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Rated: PG-15, for violence to a child Summary: Face remembers the past, how he met Alex's mom, here are the answers to a lot of questions I have been asked, like why Alex is so violent towards Trent, ETC.
Warning: Alex's past, there will be lots of violence Copyright: 2000 Murdock's CrazyLady (MCL)
Author's notes : In this chapter there will be violence. Consider yourself warned. I don't want to get flamed for not warning you. It's not like it's graphic, but it's violent. Expect a lot more from this, especially a twist, this is my first FanFic, so please don't be too hard on me!
Face remembered a lot of things that night when he told Murdock he had a daughter, including how he'd met Alex, Alex's mom. He smiled as he thought of it all over again. He remembered the way she would scowl if he was angry or if she wanted something to go her way. He also noted that was just one of the things Alex had inhareted from her mother. His favorite thing about the blonde-haired, blue-eyed lady was her sweet smile. Normally he looked for *Other* things on a woman, but with Alex, it was different. Her smile had him hooked, line, sinker and all the very day he saw her at the diner. Yorks was a small local diner where everyone knew everyone else, and Alex was a waitress. That day, Alex noticed far sooner then Face knew, that he'd been watching her instead of eating the food he'd ordered over an hour before. She finally smiled and went over to him after taking someone else's order.
"Are you ready for desert yet, Templeton?" Alex asked smiling, as she leaned over onto the counter with her chin sitting in her hand. Face snapped out of dream land and blushed a little, he'd only really come to ask her out, and now he had her full undivided attention, and he couldn't remember what he wanted to say. She smiled, she knew. "In case you remember, Templeton, here." Alex said writing her phone number down on one of her order sheets. She tore it off and handed it to Face. Face took it, looked at it in amazement, and then he stopped drooling and folded it in half and slipped it into his black leather jacket's inside pocket. Face looked down at the plate in front of him after Alex had gone back to work. She was right. The cheese burger and fries were cold. He didn't mind it though, and he ate it anyway. Then, before he left, he let a ten dollar tip for Alex and stood by the door until she picked it up. And when she got it from underneath his plate, she smiled at him. He waved goodbye and left.
Later that night he called her and they began dating. A month into the relationship, Alex secretly met Murdock and fell in love with him. Alex was still seeing both Face and Murdock a month later when she found out she was pregnate, and that the baby belonged to Murdock, not Face. Alex stopped seeing Murdock, and continued to see Face. Face couldn't believe she had slept with his best-friend, or that she didn't tell him about the baby being his. But, he forgave her, and stayed with her. Murdock was crushed, and he begged her not to stop seeing him. Alex told Murdock she was pregnate with Face's baby, and that was why she couldn't see him anymore. Murdock was shocked, he didn't know she had even dated Face. He was mad at Face for a long time for that, and he never really got over it until the day he finally found out the truth about baby Alex. Murdock cried and wished her and the baby well, and after that night, he never spoke to nor saw Alex again.
7 months later, Alex begged Face on her death bed not to tell Murdock the truth about the baby until he was out of the VA and the baby would be old enough to understand why she wouldn't be there. It was then she told Face another secret. She had just found ot she had cancer the week before, and that she would be lucky to make it through the delivery. She had been sick, but Face thought it was just from the pregnacy. He was even more shocked that she refused all drugs for the cancer as well. She didn't want anything to happen to the baby. It was healthy and she wanted it to live, at ANY cost. Even her own life. Face promised. Exactly 2 months and 10 hours of labor later, Alex got to say goodbye to the little girl as she was laid on her chest after birth before she died. It tore Face apart, and he had a very hard time coping with it. She and him hadn't even gotten the chance to be married. Murdock took it even harder.
Murdock had nightmares for months, following Alex's death. Screaming every-night that he was being chased by the Grimm Reaper. This might sound funny, but he was terrified. Murdock then refused to go to sleep, and locked himself in his closet. The orderlies had to take the door off of it's hinges to get him out. He fought them, and begged them not to make him go to sleep. He had to be pinned down and given a mild seditive almost every night. Murdock continued this routine every night for months. He would run and hide if he thought someone was going to make him go to sleep, the thought of sleep had become a punishment to him, and he hated sleep. Then things changed some, to where Murdock would go to sleep, but not without his little 19 inch tv on all night, with the volume up full blast. The nurses and orderlies put up with it, after all, it was a lot better than having to fight Murdock and stick him with a needle every-night. This slowly helped Murdock to sleep without anyone else's help. A nurse had taken a shine to HM the very day she had met him, the very day he was voluntaially comitted. Her name was Melinda Saint. She would check on him many times during the night, and she always acted like a mother figure towards him, since she knew he'd lost his own mother when he was 5-years-old.
She would come into his room after she was sure he was asleep, and she would smile at how he was almost always laying. He would stay on his right side all night, curled up like a baby in it's mother's womb, facing his TV. He almost always had his P.J's on, with his leather jacket over his top, and on his feet his trusty Converse all star high tops. Once when she'd asked him why he wore his shoes and jacket to bed, he'd replied, "So I can run away from the monster who takes your life away." He also sucked his thumb, but she never told him she knew. She would cover him up and make sure he was okay before leaving his room to make rounds. She would check on him many more times before her 12 hour shifts were over. Melinda loved Murdock like he was her own son.
She was in her late 40's, not old enough really, to be his mother, but she loved him anyway. Murdock loved her back too. He often looked at her as his mother, and she would be the one he would yell for if someone else tried to give him medication or shots, or if he had a nightmare, which he had often. He called her 'Mimi' and her name would often be heard being screamed through the halls. She always went to his side, to comfort him. It helped to make him better, and 8-years-later, he would be found sane, mostly credited to her work and love she gave him. Melinda would have a tearful good bye with the man she called her baby. Murdock never forgot his 'mom' and always sends her presents for the holidays and her birthday. He visited her often. Melinda always told him that he always had a home at her house, if he ever needed it. Murdock never forgot that either, and she was the first one he called when he found out he was a daddy.
Trent was another promise Face had made to Alex that day on her death bed. Alex had a little boy from her first and only marrage, and she asked him to take Trent and raise him. She explained that her family hated Trent's father and wouldn't have anything to do with him, and that they would rather see him put in some orpahanage. Alex didn't want that. She wanted to know Trent would be safe after she was gone. Face promised. Trent was 4-years-old when his mom died and Face became his legal father. Trent was a very sweet child as a little boy, but by the time he was 6 and baby Alex was 2, he changed, and He was angry towards the baby. Once, he'd been watching TV and he let the remote lay on the coffee table. Alex waddled in and picked it up, and began chewing on it. Trent preceeded to get up from the couch and tackle the baby, like she was some football player, knocking her to the hard wood floor. He bent her arm back almost the whole way in a direction the arm just doesn't naturally go. Alex screamed and Face and Murdock ran in, followed by B.A. and Hannibal. Face had yanked Trent off of Alex, while he still had a hold of her arm. He was like a rabid dog, and he refused to let go. Alex screamed and cried in pain and Face got his hand off of her red and already bruising arm. Murdock grabbed Alex and she clung to him, screaming at the top of her lungs.
Alex screamed until she almost lost her voice, and Murdock held her the whole time, rocking her and singing to her. He wouldn't let anyone else touch her. Later she calmed down and Murdock checked to make sure her arm was okay. "Can you do this?" He asked, bending his arm from the left to the right. Alex nodded and showed him. "Betcha you can't do this." Murdock said, making a little game out of it. He bent his arm from his chest out this time. Alex giggled and bent her arm that way too. Murdock had her move her wrist around too, and by pure luck, she was okay. Murdock had decided that day that Trent needed to be taught a lesson, but he kept it to himself. He was angry with Face because Trent had mearly gotten sent to his room for nearly breaking his baby sister's arm for no reason. Face never punished Trent, and it had killed him just to send him to his room that day. Hannibal sure didn't agree with it, he knew Face had been raised by an orphanage, and by a lot more stricter rules. He would never have gotten away with doing that to a girl when he was a kid. He wouldn't have been able to sit down if he had.
A few months later, Trent pushed Alex down the stairs, causing her to get a black eye. Face had done nothing to Trent, and B.A. had threatened Face with serious bodily harm, grabbing him by the collar of his shirt, unless he did something about Trent. Face promised he would, and B.A. let him go. Face grounded Trent and Murdock again was the one to take care of baby Alex. That would be the second to last time Trent would inflict pain on Alex before Murdock began teaching her to fight back. The last accident could have taken Alex's life. Alex was playing outside, at the local playground with Trent. The guys had taken Alex and Trent out to play after they ate a quick lunch before checking a client out, about another mission. Alex ate quickly, she kept telling Murdock, "Side! Side!" and pointing to the kiddie sliding board. It was about as tall as Trent and about as long as him too. Murdock finally let her down to play and she waddled off into the fenced in area, he listened to Hannibal briefing them on the job, and watched Alex play at the same time.
Trent had been playing a lot longer before Alex even got down and had come in giggling. She went right for the slide. Murdock watched as Alex climbed up the 5 little plastic steps and crawled up onto the little platform. She sat down and stayed there, and Murdock worried she would fall and went inside the fence. She turned his back to close the gate when Hannibal yelled, and he turned back around towards the slide just in time to see, in slow motion, a small child being shoved off of the top of a slide by her bigger brother. Murdock ran and made it just in time to catch Alex before she hit the gound head first. Had she have hit, she would have broken her neck instantly. As Murdock held Alex, whom was crying and clinging to him, the other 3 guys ran into the fence and huddled around him. Then B.A. glared at Face and Face swallowed. He looked over at Trent, whom was sitting up on the platform, where seconds before, a happy Alex had been, smiling at him. Face again refused to do anything. He knew that Alex had never hit Trent, and he wasn't going to either. That was what he'd said when he was asked what he was going to do about Trent throwing the baby off of the slide.
Murdock got angry and took a crying and scared Alex to the van. Hannibal stepped up to Face and had a look on his Face that Face had rarely seen it was the look of shame. He was ashamed of Face, had he lost all of his marbles? Trent had just tried to kill his sister, and Face didn't even care! "You aren't going to do hit him Face? After he just tried to kill Alex?! If you won't take care of him then I will!" Hannibal said and Face made no move to stop him as he chased Trent around the playground. It wasn't that Face didn't think Trent needed punished, it was just that he wasn't about to be the one to do it. Hannibal finally caught Trent and carried him off, kicking and screaming, to the public bathroom. Face and B.A. went ahead back to the van and met Murdock. Five minutes later, Hannibal met up with them back at the van, carrying a crying but angry Trent over his shoulder. Trent hadn't cried when Hannibal had spanked him, but afterwards, in anger. He hated all of them from that day, but he's hated Alex since day one. He just didn't show it much before now. He didn't know or care why he hated the little girl that slept soundly in Murdock's lap, He just hated her.
That would be the first and not the last time Trent would end up on the bad side of Hannibal, in that way. Hannibal had told Face after that day that if he wasn't going to punish him when he called for it, then he would. Face hadn't argued, and was silently glad. Trent's real father had died in a car accident before he was born and he was raised alone without dicipline of any kind by his mother until her death. Then Face got him, and he never really punished Trent either, continuing the circle. Murdock began teaching Alex that same week. He was surprised at how even at 2-and-a-half, Alex would follow his moves almost exactly. She enjoyed it, because he made a little game out of it. And, since he would always give her an hour of training before her nap time, she didn't throw a fit about going to sleep. Most of the time he would go to sleep with her. She sucked her thumb along with Murdock, and none of the guys ever said anything to him about it.
He usually slept on the couch, and she would always sleep on his chest, covered up with Murdock's Da Nang 1970 jacket. B.A. usually found them and covered them up, he'd just gotten used to their everyday routine. He noticed Face hadn't really done much with Alex since Trent had tried to break her arm. Murdock had taken over. He fed Alex. He bathed Alex. He played house and dress-up with Alex. He taught Alex martial arts. He changed Alex's diapers without a whine and later potty trained her as well. He'd scold Alex if it was needed, although he never once hit her. Alex had become Murdock's baby.
B.A. helped out too, like when Murdock went out to feed and exersize his horse Waco. B.A. had become very good at handling a baby. Helping to take care of his nieces and nephews on occasion helped him learn how. B.A. always loved all kids, and he loved Trent too, he just had a hard time with how Face let him act, even towards Face himself. He remembered the time Trent screamed at Face, "I hate you! You aren't my real dad! I don't gotta do nuthin you say!" Trent had screamed this into the Face of the man whom had raised him for 2 years, and whom had loved him no matter what. Face just sat there and took it. He didn't yell, he didn't even look up from his tea. And B.A. remembered how fast he had to go outside because of how angry he was. He'd almost broken his own hand that day, because he'd put it through the tack room door. Trent had gottenaway from Hannibal on that day, and it has been the only time he's escaped from Hannibal since.
By the time Alex was 3-years-old, Face had finally taught her how to open any kind of a lock or door, and how to scam stuff. Alex was very smart, and he even taught Alex her letters by the age of 2-and-a-half, right before Trent shoved her off of the slide. Face loved teaching Alex. B.A. did as well, he taught Alex her colors, numbers and how to read at 3-years-old. She loved him to read to her. He would read to her every single night after Murdock had given her a bath and she was tucked into her crib. B.A. would let her choose the book she wanted to hear off of the library of books on her bedroom wall, and then he would read it to her until she fell asleep. Then he would cover her up, give her Bogey, her life long sleeping companion, a teddy bear Hannibal had gotten for her the day she was born, and give her a kiss before he clicked her carousel night light lamp on and left. He had been the one to buy it for her, and she even loved it as an infant, she would watch the horses as they floated across the walls of her room, giggling baby giggles until she fell asleep. He never forgot to turn it on before he left her room.
Hannibal had his share of love for the baby too. He always avenged her beatings from Trent, and he also showed her how to use a gun. He waited until Alex was five to teach her how to fire and use a gun, and he always told her that she was never to take a gun and use it unless he was the one giving it to her. And, if she ever did, she'd be in dire straits with him. Alex had never been punished by Hannibal, and she didn't want to be. She promised she would obey that order, and he'd carried her back inside after target practice.
Being one of the A-Team's children, it was a must for her to know. They were still working for Stockwell, and he was about as low as a person could get, not caring weather or not Face had Alex and Trent to look after, He was on a mission when he saw fit, and if he didn't do as Stockwell wanted, he would never get pardoned. Face took Trent with him a lot on missions, at first, but them Trent complained he hated missions and Face started sending him to Mimi's house. She took good care of Trent, and Face knew if she could keep someone like Murdock in line, she could keep his 10-year-old nightmare in line. Alex always went with them. Even as a baby. She never caused them trouble, and she rarely cried. B.A. built a bullet proof vest for her to wear at a month old, and also bullet proof walls where her car seat was strapped into his van. By age 4, Alex could beat Trent within an inch of his life, if she wanted to. Murdock had told her not to fight unless she had to, or unless the oponnent asked, literally, to fight with her. Alex was tempted every time Trent hit her, but she listened to Murdock and didn't hit back.
Murdock changed his mind when Trent beat Alex up so bad, she had 2 black eyes. That's when he told her not to hold back, and to fight him if he ever did it to her again. Alex said okay, and later, that very same day, at 4-years-old, Alex beat Trent up, returning the black eyes, and adding a bloody nose to boot. He'd tried to burn her this time, and she'd surprised him with her attack. She knocked him down with one kick to the gut and took the lighter he'd stolen from Hanibal's jacket pocket from his hand.
Face was going to punish Alex for fighting, when he didn't even know why Alex had fought in the first place. He knew it had never happened before, Trent had always been the one to get in trouble for hitting her, not the other way around. When B.A. grabbed a hold of him and threw him down into a chair, he changed his mind real quick. He wasn't afraid to admit it, he was angry and tired of Face taking Trent's side over his, or Murdock's, of Hannibal's, but worst, Alex's. He told Face Trent tried to burn her, and Face got wide eyed and almost stopped breathing. He also told Face how he'd attacked her earlier, beating her so bad he'd given her her the 2 black eyes to show for it. Face believed B.A. and ruled that Alex wasn't in trouble. Alex was happy and Murdock was proud of her. All those years of Trent beating her and getting away with it were over, because now even if no one else punished him for hitting her, she could. Her fear of him had subsided, and she could and would defend herself.
Hannibal was proud of Face, and was finally able to talk B.A. out of knocking him out for a week. Murdock was glad with Face for once. Finally he hadn't punished Alex, and Trent had his punishment dished out by his own sister whom is 2 times smaller than him! That thought made Murdock laugh.
Alex was a part of each one of them, and she loved each one of them more than anyone else in the world. She secretly was closer to Murdock though. Her feelings for him were more fatherly than big brother, and her feelings confused her, she couldn't understand them, and she wouldn't for 6 years.
Title: Deception 1/?
Author: Murdock's Crazylady
Rated: G for now
Archive: Yes, please!
Summary:Face has his hands full with a now 6-year-old Alex, and when he punishes her and doesn't believe her side of the story, which is the truth, Alex runs off. How will Face get himself outta this one?
Disclaimer: I don't own the team. Not that I wouldn't mind having Dwight for a big brother though
© 2000 Murdock's Crazylady (MCL)
Author's notes : Expect a lot more from this, especially a twist, this is my first FanFic, so please don't be too hard on me!
A slam suggested another fight. Face might have known. He came across the big, lucius house and as soon as he came into the family room, he knew what the slam had been. "Dah, would you look at this? He said to himself, looking around at the room. It was in shambles, complete with 500 hundred dollar lamps broken, shattered into a million little pieces on the hard wood floor, and expensive paintings and framed pictures knocked off of the walls, their glass frames shattered as well. There was also the over-turned furniture. It was leather, and VERY expensive. He'd just had this whole room remodeled, and now it looked like a stampede had run through it. Face knew yet another martial arts death match had begun, again, between his two kids.
"I did not!" Alex yelled as she flew in and drop- kicked Trent. He was hit hard in the stomach, and he fell, hitting his head on the hard wood floor. He yelled out in pain. He didn't get the chance to stand back up because Alex was back on him like white on rice. "You better take that back fool, for I knock your head off!!" Alex screamed, seeing red. Trent tried to push her off. She was amazingly strong for her size and age. "NO! Get offa me ya punk!" Trent yelled back. Alex growled and was about to put Trent into la-la land when she was grabbed from behind. She soon heard her father's voice as she was pulled off of her still almost fainted brother.
"Alex, How many times do I have to tell you no fighting in here?" Face asked. Alex kept her glare on Trent as he struggled to move. "You both know I just had everything remodeled and I don't want any more fights in the house." Face said, still holding onto Alex's arm. He knew if he let go she'd go back in for the kill. She yanked it and he let go.
Trent finally made it to his feet and Alex went back into her ready position. "Alex stole Murdock's chopper keys." Trent said, smirking evilly at her. Alex lunged. A dropkick to the gut again and Trent was back to kissing the floor, sprawled out on his stomach, groaning. "Alex!" Face yelled shocked as he grabbed his 6-year-old again. "I did not!" Alex screamed as she struggled against Face's grasp. Face was shocked. He always was when Alex acted this way. He knew she'd inherited it, but he still didn't like his baby to be so mean in anger.
"Alex, go upstairs, now!" Face yelled giving Alex a small push toward the stairs. As soon as he let her go behind him, she went back into her ready-position. Face turned around and caught her. "Alex, NOW!" Alex gave in and ran upstairs, almost breaking her door in half by slamming it. Face went to Trent and helped him up. "Trent, Alex has the chopper keys. You're sure?" Face asked. Trent, now standing by himself, shook his lying head.
"Saw her put em in her backpack, and when I asked her why she had em, she said because now you can't let her behind on your next mission, or make her fly without Murdock." Trent said, and Face, as usual, fell for it. Face looked over to his right and saw Alex's Bag on the floor.
Just to be sure, Face went over to the camoflaudged back-pack sitting in the middle of the mess and peered inside of it. Seconds later, he sighed. He pulled out the rabbit's foot key-chain, and dangling from it's chain were Murdock's chopper keys. Face rattled them and then put them in his back jeans pocket. Trent smiled. His own mission had been a success.
"Alex, it's daddy." Face said as he knocked on Alex's still surprisingly standing door. No response later, Face opened the door and noticed Alex was gone, or out of sight as least. Face looked around and knew where she was. "Alex, why'd you take Murdock's keys You know you can't fly without him with you. You're not good enough at it yet." Face asked as he opened a tall, thick, wooden door. The small figure sitting inside was quiet.
"I dinnit."Alex said a second later. "I don't scam stuff from my big brother. Trent's lyin an he's gonna pay!" Alex said as she came from her dark closet. She crawled out and sat down beside her bed. Face ignored the 'gotta pay' part and closed her closet door.
"I can't prove who did what Alex. But I did find these in your back-pack." Face said pulling the chopper keys from his pocket. Alex looked at them and snarled. "Trent put them there." Alex said as Face put them back in his back jeans pocket. "You are grounded Alex, for wrecking up my family room. Trent is also. I can't I prove anything with the keys, so no one is in trouble for that. But you are both grounded for fighting in the house. a week, no tv." Face said and Alex scowled. Mission kill Trent ran into her mind without a cigar and she smiled. "Stay outta trouble, huh Alex? B.A. will be here soon. He's gonna spar with you, so behave." Face said, he hated seeing his baby scowl.
"Really?! Yay!" Alex's scowl turned to smile as she jumped up and grabbed Face's waist, jumping up and down. He laughed as she let go and ran off down the stairs yelling happily. Face followed seconds later. Alex watched out the big bay window with her knees in the couch, and her chin propped up on her hands, waiting for B.A. to arrive.
Twenty minutes later, Alex yelled,"There comes the van! Uncle B.A.'s here!" Alex screamed as she jumped down from the couch and ran out of the house. Alex ran out of the gate and waited for The van to be parked before she ran over to it. B.A. was just getting out when he heard Alex coming. "Hi uncle B.A.! daddy says you're gonna spar with me." Alex said as he got out and closed the door. He put his keys in his pocket and Alex hugged him. He hugged her back and smiled.
"Are ya?"Alex asked again as she let go and he picked her up gently and carried her with one arm. She smiled as he got to the corral where they usually sparred and he sat her down on the top of the wooden fence. "You look like you've been on the jazz already Alex." B.A. said and Alex thought to herself,(Yeah, and I feel like it too.) Alex got down pretending not to hear him and got into her ready position. B.A. laughed and they sparred for awhile. B.A. was very careful not to hurt Alex as he fought with her, and taught her how to fight. He taught her a new move almost everyday, and the one she learned today is a move that even a 6-year-old can use to take down a 6-foot-man. It's a flip-kick, and Alex picked it up fast. She loved it.
"That was good Alex. Try it again." B.A. said as he watched Alex practice her new move. "Hey! Wanna fight?"A voice came from behind Alex and she landed her new flip once again, landing at ready, with her fists raised and her feet slid apart. "Let's do this!!" Alex yelled growling, wanting revenge for earlier. Trent went ready, and with B.A. as the ref, they went at it.
"Yeah!" Alex yelled as she landed a great kick into Trent's ribs. Trent painfully blocked another shot to the ribs and watched as he was about to get a dose of Alex's new move....Alex jumped up, turned around and around in a ball, with her knees tightly pressed against her chest..and then, her leg shot out like a bullet and hit Trent point blank in the mouth. "Yeah!! Haaaa!"Alex yelled, landing at ready again. Trent landed in a pile on the ground, and dust surrounded him and Alex smiled on proudly.
"Take that ya ugly mudsucka!" Alex said like Murdock sometimes did as she smiled over at B.A. The tall, muscular, gold-ridden guy stood there with a thumbs-up sign and a smile back to Alex. Alex was still at ready when Trent got up again, thinking he'd caught Alex with her guard down. "I'll get you Alex!" He yelled. Alex's head turned quickly away from B.A. her short, brownish, blonde hair flying around as she looked to Trent, and then falling back into place the way it was layered. Her eyes and facial features now changed from smiles and happiness, to focused and angry as she watched him, not blinking.
Trent ran towards Alex like a rabid dog, he lunged for her throat. Alex was ready, and with a smirk of concentration and readiness, she blocked his arms and hands from getting to her throat and he went for a low stomach kick. Alex yelled, "Yahh!" as she caught his knee, lifted him up and threw him backwards. " Game over, slime ball!" Alex yelled as she waited to see if Trent would come back for more. But when he got back to his feet, he turned and ran into the house. Alex then finally went back to normal, and wiped her sweaty forehead.
B.A. walked over and put his hand on her shoulder. She looked up and smiled. "You're gettin real good at it Alex. See what practice can do? You sure gave it to Trent!" B.A. said and Alex was proud. "Thanks uncle B.A. I know he deserved it."Alex said as she fixed her t-shirt underneath her overalls.
"Why?" B.A. asked as he helped Alex with her overall's buckles. " B'cos earlier the mudsucka told daddy I stole big brother Murdock's chopper keys! He got me grounded and I would never scam anything from big brother, you know that." Alex answered and B.A. knew it alright. He knew Alex would die before she'd ever scammed anything from Murdock. She worshiped the ground the crazy fool walked on. "I know Alex. Scam anything from anyone for anything, except for crazyman." B.A. replied and Alex laughed. B.A.'s calling Murdock crazy man always made her laugh, and he knew it.
Just then, Alex was about to sit down on her wagon when a loud yell of her name made her wince and turn around so fast that she nearly tripped. B.A. steadied her and with his hands on her shoulders and he saw whom was stomping towards them. "Alex!" It was a very angry Face. B.A. rarely saw Face mad, and right off, he knew it was Trent's doing again. "Alex, go inside." Face said and Alex looked up at him confused. "What did I do?" Alex asked as she figured Trent was the culprit once again. Face was angry, but he wouldn't say why.
"Alex, just go." Face tried to say calmly. It came out in more of a growl, and B.A. didn't like it."But what..." Alex began to ask as she walked past. Face told her to just go again, and Alex did, but not without Face catching her behind with a swat. Alex went inside and up to her room, not even sure why her daddy was mad at her. She closed her bedroom door and went into her closet. She vowed to kill Trent if she got...No, she told herself to be quiet. She was sure it wouldn't go that far.
"What's up man, why you bein so hard on Alex fer? I was right here, she ain't done nuthin." B.A. asked face as Face seemed to calm down a little. "Trent says she attacked him, he's got the blood coming from his face to prove it, B.A. I didn't even see any dirt on Alex. She didn't need to attack Trent." Face replied and B.A. shook his head. "Alex DIDN'T attack Trent Face, Trent asked for it, He wanted to spar with her and she won." B.A. said and Face was quiet. He was confused, but blood was a clear road out to him. He decided B.A. and Alex were lying. B.A. would lie to save Alex from trouble, no matter what. "Trent was attacked, I saw the blood, and now Alex is in trouble." Face said as he walked off. "Hey man, Alex didn't...." B.A. tried to say. But he only shook his head as he watched Face leave. Face disapeared into the house, leaving the screen door slam behind him. "If he hurts her, I'll Knock him into next week." B.A. said to one of the wooden posts. He knew, in a way, that Face was going to hurt her, but he hoped for Face's and Alex's sakes,(but mostly Faces, because he'd have to kill him) that he'd only bruise Alex's pride and not her behind. He punched the post and growled. He never liked it when Face even yelled at Alex. All he himself had to do was raise his voice and Alex would apologize or whatever, without even thinking about it first. Another dozen punches into the pole, and B.A. went inside.
"Alex, being a poor sport and attacking Trent were both wrong. You can't just go around blaming Trent for something you do, or for being in trouble." This is the speech Alex got from Face before she got so mad she almost burst with anger."Uncle B.A. SAW us sparrin daddy, I DINNIT DO NUTHIN!" Alex yelled in defense. Minutes later, Face had spanked her and was leaving when B.A. came into Alex's room and glared at Face. "You hit her again Face, and I'll knock your head off your shoulders!" B.A. yelled, the anger was red in his eyes.
Face just stood there, as Alex cried underneath her Horse-print-ridden comforter. B.A. grabbed Face''s shirt and drug him out into the hall. Alex heard them go, and slowed crying so she could hear what they were saying...Maybe daddy believed her now...
"Listen Face, Alex didn't do nuthin, Trent's lyin man. I was right there...you know I ain't got no problem with how you raise your kids Face, but hittin Alex for somethin she didn't do ain't fair an I'll say somethin about it an then knock you out!!" B.A. said and Face still believed Trent's story. Face knew B.A. for years, and he never did step in unless he knew one of the kids, mostly Alex, was innocent. "What's goin on Face? Big guy?" a voice asked coming around the corner from the stairs. He heard crying and knew.
"Did it again, huh face?" Murdock asked, looking angry and insane at the same time. Face was quiet. Alex heard Murdock's voice, and then her door knob moving, and she thought Face was coming to apologize to her. She sniffed underneath her comforter where she lay in a ball. Face sat beside her on her bed and Alex curled tighter and farther away from him.
"Alex, I believe T..." Face said and Alex knew now, he still believed she was wrong. Her own father didn't believe her. Alex got out from under her comforter, off of her bed, and ran from her room, past Murdock and B.A. Trent was outside, and seeing Alex's red face made him laugh. Alex wanted to kill him, but she kept heading towards her stable. Alex found lil''T and climbed onto his shiny, bare back with nothing but a halter and a lead rope. She kicked him into a gallop and rode him 6-miles out into the land, where her tree house was.
Murdock and B.A. had helped her build it when she was three, and only Murdock and B.A. knew where it was. It was kept a secret, and they never told anyone, not even Face and Hannibal, where it was or how to get to it. This was because of Trent, and it seemed now that even Face had forgotten that.
"Easy boy."Alex said to Lil'T as she stopped him and climbed off of his back. She pulled the lead down and lead him into the corral underneath the tree house. She closed the gate and locked the chain around it. Then Alex sniffed and climbed up the rope ladder. Soon she came to the trap door and pushed it open. She climbed up into the tree house, and pulled the rope up. Then she latched the trap door and crawled over to her sleeping bag. She buried her face into her pillow and cried as hard as she could, until it hurt her lungs and she was afraid she'd not be able to breathe if she didn't slow down. It wasn't fair. She hated daddy, and she knew that eventually someone would come after her. And, she knew, she'd be in more trouble when they did.
(C.)2000 Murdock's CrazyLady
"Hey Alex, wake up." Alex drifted out of sleep and woke up to hear a familiar voice. At first, she thought she was still dreaming, but then she opened her eyes and rolled over to the direction of the voice. B.A. was sitting on the floor beside the trap door. Alex couldn't figure out why she was in her tree house at first. Then she thought a sec and the memories flew back at her like a fly ball. Alex sat up and faced the corner of the tree house, with her back to him. She didn't want to face him.
"I dinnit do what Trent lied to daddy an said I did, honest uncle B.A." Alex said into the wall. B.A. sighed and Alex heard, and thought he was going to make her go home and get into more trouble with Face. Alex was relieved when she heard him say, "I know you didn't Alex. That's why I told Face I was gonna knock him out, I was there Alex." B.A. was surprised when Alex turned around slowly and he saw she was crying. B.A. smiled at Alex and she crawled over to him on her hands and knees like she was an infant again. B.A. hugged Alex as she held him and cried into his chest. B.A. really wanted to pound Face now.
A few minutes later, Alex, still buried in his chest, said, "I can't go home b'cos daddy's mad an I don't want him to..you know." Alex said and B.A. hugged her again. "We'll go and I'll k-o Face if he tries anything." B.A. said and Alex let him carry her out of the trap door, down the rope, and to Lil'T. B.A. put Alex on Lil'T's back and he held the lead. He walked the whole 6 miles back home, leading Alex on Lil'T. Murdock was in the field helping to look for B.A. and Alex when he saw them coming. "Hey Facey-man! There they come muchacho!" Murdock yelled to Face. Face came around the stable and came over to Murdock. He put his hand up above his eyes to shield them from the sun as he looked in the direction Murdock had pointed. He saw two blurs come into focus and saw them coming closer.
Alex saw them and turned to B.A. "Don't forget your promise, uncle B.A." B.A. smiled as he stepped over a hole in the ground and lead Lil'T around it. "Don't worry sweet heart, I didn't." He answered and Alex tried to smile, but couldn't as they got to Murdock and Face. Alex saw Face's look and read it as saying that he was about to rip her off of Lil'T by her ear. Alex sniffed and awaited for the yelling to begin.
"Alex, why'd you run off? You're acting warped, you know that?" Face said and Alex was ready to cry. "B'cos you hit me an I dinnit do nuthin, you fool!" Alex replied and Face's jaw dropped. "Alex, get inside." Face answered and Alex shook her head no at him. "Trent's a liar an uncle B.A. saw him an he knows I dinnit do nuthin 'cept kick his butt like he asked." Alex answered and Face began to get frustrated. "Listen Face, Alex is tellin you the truth man. I WAS THERE! I saw trent and her! Trent is feedin you a line Face, an he's the one you outta get hard on, not Alex." B.A. said for what felt like the hundredth time today. "But Alex, you don't disrespect your father like that." B.A. said first to Face and then to Alex. Alex's eyes got wide at the sudden raise in B.A.'s voice and she looked at Face. "I'm sorry I called you a fool daddy. Sorry uncle B.A." Alex apologized and B.A. smiled over to her in response to let her know he'd heard what he had wanted to hear. Face was lost for words. Speechless. He ran his hand through his blonde hair and sighed. How did he get himself into these things? He wondered.
Then, another voice and the smell of a cigar filled the thick air, cutting through it like a knife. It came from behind Murdock and Face. "What's going on Face?" It was Grampa Colonel Hannibal. Even at 53, he looked young, and his clear blue eyes were always twinkling and ready to cheer you up. Alex looked up from examining Lil'T's Mane and saw Hannibal standing in between Murdock and Face. "Trouble Colonel, that's what." Murdock finally answered for Faceman and Hannibal looked up at Alex. She couldn't meet his eyes and went back to Lil'T's mane.
"Well, what kind of trouble?" Hannibal asked. "Trent lied an now daddy's tryin to hit me." Alex answered and Hannibal looked at Face, asking. Faceman looked at the ground and then back up at Hannibal. "Well, Well Trent had the blood to prove she attacked him, Hannibal, and I thought that, well, Alex..." Face stammered. He usually did if he thought Hannibal might yell at him.
A high-pitched neigh caught B.A. off guard seconds later and he dropped the lead rope and had to get out of the way as Alex made Lil'T rear up. She turned him around and kicked him into a full gallop in the other direction. She raced off and Face yelled after her. "Alex!" Face yelled stomping his foot. Face still didn't believe Alex. Face's voice was not heard, for between her crying, the thunder of Lil'T's hooves hitting the ground, and the wind blowing against her ears, all drowned it out as she cried and let her body go with Lil'T's galloping stride. Alex rode that way for awhile, and then she went back to her home away from home, her tree-house. She vowed to Lil'T that they were never leaving here and never going home again as she climbed the rope ladder.
Alex climbed through the trap door and sat on the tree house floor. She didn't bother to latch the door or pull the rope up. She knew if they wanted in, they'd get in, and they didn't need any rope or door for that. B.A. had proved that once, earlier.
Hannibal got a plan, lit his cigar again, and sent Murdock on his white gelding he named Waco, to bring Alex home. He'd had two hours to think it up and he had only just sent Murdock off twenty-minutes ago. He knew Alex was somewhere, but he knew he couldn't ask Murdock to tell him where. It was a secret. Hannibal knew better than to ask B.A. where she was, because that would be like getting Alex to fly without Murdock. Hannibal smiled. He knew his plan would come together.
Alex sat in her tree-top house and heard a horse coming. She listened and hoped that it wasn't uncle B.A., and that he wan't too mad at her, because he isn't as easy to get along with when he's angry. The horse stopped and Alex waited to see who'd pop up at the trap door. A minute later, the door lifted, blocking Alex's view of the person. Then she saw the top of a dark blue baseball hat, with brown hair sticking out a little underneath it. Then a brown leather arm came around the door and pulled it's body through the hole and sat on the edge, with it's hands on the edge of the door. Murdock looked over and smiled at Alex. "Murdock!" she yelled happily as he crawled in the rest of the way. Alex went over and grabbed his neck in a hug. He'd been crawling his way over to her, and her sudden hug knocked him from his knees backwards onto his behind. Alex let go after he fell, and she laughed. Murdock went back over to Alex's sleeping bag with her and they sat down.
Murdock watched as Alex's face changed from glad to see him, to sad and scared. Murdock sighed. "Face wants me to bring you home." Murdock said as he realized Alex was picking at her boot. Alex sniffed, trying to hold back tears. "What happened earlier?" Murdock asked finally. "Trent an me got into a fight an daddy came an made us stop, and we both got grounded. But I dinnit take your chopper keys! He took them and put them in my back-pack and daddy didn't believe me." Alex explained. Murdock patted her boot-clad foot. "I know you wouldn't. I knew I forgot something when I left for horse feed." Murdock said as Alex curled closer to him. She sniffed. "Then uncle B.A. and me was sparrin an Trent asked to spar wit me, and I kicked his butt, an he told daddy somethin about be attackin him an daddy believed him an not unle B.A. an me..." Alex trailed off and started crying. Murdock held her and she put her head inside his leather "Da Nang 1970" Jacket and cried against his side.
Murdock held her until she calmed down and came out a little bit, keeping her head and ear over his heart. "Then he hit me an you came, an he still dinnit believe me, an I ran away. He spanked me Murdock, but I dinnit do what Trent said, he lied and I got punished. Trent's gonna pay!" Alex said as she cried into his side again. Murdock patted her back, and silently got angry at Face, which he didn't do very often. Even he was sick of Trent doing this to Alex. He felt Alex's body shake and he continued to rub her shoulder. "It's gonna be okay, muchacha, I know you can't believe it now, but it will. Really." Murdock said, trying to comfort the trembling child inside his jacket. Alex sat up and looked down at her boots again. "Will you come home?" Murdock finally asked, knowing Alex would do anything he asked her to. Alex sniffed and picked at her boot and wiped her face a little. Then she felt Murdock's hand underneath her chin, as he raised her head and she saw his smile. Alex knew he'd always been there for her, and Alex loved him. She had a deep respect for him as well. She told herself she'd have to go home now, but only because Murdock had asked her to. It couldn't happen any other way. Only Murdock could bring her home, and the Colonel knew that.
Alex remembered her daddy calling her and her uncle B.A. a liar, and she got angry. Then she remembered her big brother's question. "Why? So he can spank me for comin out here an ridin the way I did? Makin Lil'T rear and stuff?" Alex asked as Murdock listened. He didn't know what Face might do, but he knew Alex didn't want to go home because she knew Faceman was mad at her. "He won't touch you, because I won't let him. He won't spank you, I promise." Murdock said and Alex thought about it. Murdock hoped that after promising, that Face wouldn't make his promise a lie. "Okay, I'll go." Alex said a few minutes later.
Murdock carried Alex on his back down the ladder to Lil'T and promised about Face again. He got back into Waco's saddle and they rode off. He promised her again about Face about a million times more as they rode back home. Alex was scared, but she trusted Murdock. He'd never let her down, and she knew he never would. Murdock took Lil'T and put him into his stall, and Alex took Waco to his. Then she went on her way back to Lil'T's stall to waited for Murdock. Then, as Murdock came out and closed the stall door, Alex screamed, afraid at first, as someone grabbed her around the waist. "Murdock!" She screamed. Then Alex heard a familiar voice as Murdock came running around the corner, and was relieved to see that Alex was okay. Her scream had scared him. "You can come on your own like a lady, or you can go over my shoulder." Came Hannibal's voice. Alex ignored him. "Suite yourself." Colonel replied and he carried her off towards the house, with Murdock in tow. He had his hands in the back pockets of his khaki pants as he followed Hannibal, thinking. He hoped his promise would stick.
Inside, Hannibal carried Alex around until he found Face. He was in the family room, on the couch by the big bay window Alex had been staring out of earlier, watching for B.A. to come. Alex saw that B.A. was there too, and then she felt Hannibal putting her down. He sat her on the other couch, and Murdock sat beside her, with Hannibal on her other side. Nobody said anything at first. Then, Face sent Alex upstairs. Alex was going to argue, but after another go-on-your-own-or-go-over-my-shoulder look from Hannibal, she went after a pleading and longing glance to Murdock. After she'd gone, Face looked at B.A. and got a growl and a look of murder, then he looked to Hanibal, whom had the look of don't do it across his face, then to Murdock, who had determination in his eyes. They were all watching him, and they all knew his plan.
Face stood up and was passing Murdock when he felt someone grab his wrist tight. He looked down and saw Murdock's hand grasped tightly around his watch. Murdock stood up, not releasing Face's wrist. "Face, you can't. I promised Alex, that's how I got her home. I promised you wouldn't be mad at her and that you wouldn't go up there and do what I know you were about to do. I promised Face, don't turn me into a liar. Alex knew you were mad at her, I had to promise." Murdock was very serious and Face rarely saw him this way. Face could see that this meant a great deal to his best friend. "Okay Murdock. I'll talk to her." Face nodded and smiled. Behind him, Hannibal and B.A. did too. Murdock took a deep breath as he released the grip that was now getting painful on Face's wrist. "Thanks Facey-man." Murdock said. Face nodded back as he headed upstairs towards Alex's room.
Alex heard a knock. Then, "Alex it's daddy." Face always said that before he came into her room, weather he was mad at her or not. "C'min." Alex said and Face opened the door and went in, closing the door behind him. Alex was sitting on her bed looking at him. He cam eover and sat in her desk chair. Alex remained quiet. Then he was about to say something and she cut him off. "I knew you wouldn't let Murdock keep his promise. But before you hit me, lemme just say that I did not do anything and I dinnit do what Trent said." Alex spoke her peace and waited for the usual pre-hitting questions, like do you know why I'm gonna hit you and it's gonna hurt me more than it will you, (which she didn't believe for one second). She was shocked when she heard Face laughing. She looked up at him and he said, "Alex, I am not here to hit you. I cam to talk to you. And, to tell you that Murdock DID keep his promise, or you wouldn't be sitting there now." Face said and Alex listened. "I won't lie to you, when I was on my way up here, I was going to hit you. But Murdock stopped me." Face said again and Alex was happy, but then she realized that if he believed her, he wouldn't have been going to hit her at all. Alex sighed and fought back tears. Face noticed and came closer to her. "Alex?" he asked.
Alex looked at him. "You still don't believe me. I didn't do what Trent said! I won't lie because uncle B.A. don't like people who lie. Uncle B.A. saw us sparrin daddy, an uncle B.A. don't lie!!" Alex said unable to fight back the tears any longer. Face got up from the chair and sat on her bed, and held her. It finally hit him that what Alex had just said was true, B.A. never did lie. Alex felt Face hug her. "I'm sorry I called you and B.A. liars, Alex. And I am sorry I hit you earlier. And listen, I do believe you." Face said and Alex looked up at him tearfully, but happily. "Thanks daddy." She said and he hugged her again. He felt like an idiot. He'd scared the heck out of a 6-year-old baby that wasn't even really his.... "I'm going to talk to Trent. Calm down before your uncle B.A. kills me, okay?" Face said and Alex laughed and nodded okay. Face Kissed the top of her head and went to leave. He opened her door and Murdock fell in!
"Uh, hi Face." Murdock said as he lay on his side on the floor. Alex was dying laughing. He loved to hear her laugh, and Face knew that. "Didn't trust me, huh Murdock?" Face asked with a sneaky smile. "Nope." Murdock answered and Face left it at that and left. Murdock got up and went over to Alex. He sat beside her on her bed. "I heard you crying, are you okay?" Murdock asked. Alex nodded yeah. "I'm okay. I was just glad cos daddy believes me now. He let you keep your promise." Alex answered and Murdock was glad. "Big brother?" Alex asked. "Yeah muchacha?" Murdock gave her his full attention and asked. "Can we go flying?" Alex asked. Murdock stood up and smiled. "C'mon co-pilot, lets go an get our birdie warmed up an ready to go up!" Murdock answered, he was pretending to be talking into a mic. Alex laughed and Murdock helped her climb up onto his back. "Okay muchacha?" Murdock asked. Alex took his blue baseball hat off of his head and put it on hers, backwards. "That's a ten-four ready and wilko captain!" Alex answered and Murdock made chopper noises as he carried her out to the chopper. Flying is Alex's pride and joy, and her only release from Trent. Even the horseback riding and her martial arts couldn't do for her what going up in the air with Murdock could do for her. Murdock had taught her the martial arts from age 3, and she loved it. Now he was teaching her how to fly, and she loved that even more. She was to the point that she could fly anything by herself, although he refused to let her until it was absolutely nessacary. Her Flying made Alex feel even closer to Murdock. She didn't know she was even closer to him than anyone else in the world, in another way. She couldn't find out yet. Face would see to that.
Later when Alex was sopossed to be in bed, she over heard Hannibal and B.A. talking. "Face is too hard on Alex, and not hard at all on Trent. He's a spoiled brat!" B.A. said pounding his fist into his other palm. Hannibal knew it frustrated the sargeant at the thought of Trent getting away with murder. "He should be getting onto Trent more, but he falls for Trent every time." Hannibal took a puff of his cigar and agreed. Alex silently agreed with them too, as Murdock came down the hall and caught her. He tapped her on her shoulder and she jumped. She turned and saw him. "Hi big brother. Don't tell, okay?" Alex asked in a whisper. Hannibal and B.A. both secretly knew she'd been there all along. Hannibal smiled. "Okay, but c'mon." Murdock said and she took his hand. He walked her to her room and put her into bed. He covered her up and noticed something brown sticking out from under her pillow.
"What do we have here?" Murdock asked as he pulled it out. It was his Da Nang jacket. "I dinnit take it, honest." Alex saw it and worried another episode of her stealing from him would start. Murdock knew that already, he'd remembered he'd left it in his room down the hall. He knew who'd planted it. "I know. I had it in my room." He answered and Alex took a deep breath. He folded the jacket in half and slung it over his shoulder. Then Alex tugged on his tee-shirt sleev as he reached over her to turn her carousel night light on, and he looked down at her. "Do you mind, if I sleep with it?" She asked knowing how much he loved the jacket. He never let it out of his mind. When he took it off, he knew exactly where it was. He smiled and pulled it back down from his shoulder. "Take care of it, little muchacha. Goodnight, don't let the bed people bite. If they don't listen, just tell em B.A.'ll knock em out. That usually makes em stop." Murdock said and Alex laughed. "Night big brother. I will, and I love you." Alex answered and Murdock saluted her. "Love you too, captain." He winked and let her go to sleep.
Alex rolled over after he was gone and hugged the leather jacket. She buried her face into it. It smelled like Murdock and a little like Grampa Hannibal's cigars, she noted. She loved it. Then she sat back up and put the jacket on. It was very big on her, and it went past her knees, but she didn't care. She snuggled up inside of it and went to sleep.
In the morning, Trent saw Alex wearing the jacket, as she stood on a chair at the dining room table beside Murdock. And she wasn't even in trouble! He thought to himself. "Hi Trent, big brother let me sleep in his jacket last night! He even said I can wear it every night, if I want to. Isn't that cool?" Alex said to her now scowling brother by marriage only. Murdock hugged her. "Yeah whatever." Trent replied and he left the room. His mission had failed. Hannibal laughed. Finally one of Trent's ideas burst in his face. Hannibal thought, "I love it when a plan comes together." and Alex, almost reading his mind, did to.
"I'm a lumber jack an I'm okay..." Murdock sang as he poured feed into Lil'T's feeder. Lil'T nuzzled him and he smiled. "Hungry boy?" Murdock asked as he gave the horse a friendly pat on the neck. Lil'T started eating and Murdock left his stall and slid the door closed. "I'm a lumber jack an I'm okay, got no legs but what the hay.." Murdock sang again as he opened the next stalls's door. "Mornin' Waco." Murdock said as he gave the white gelding a hug. Waco nuzzled him back. "Breakfast time boy, ya hungry too?" Murdock asked holding up the bucket he had the feed in. Waco shook his head yes. Murdock filled his feeder. Murdock had trained Waco himself, after it threw him and nearly broke his arm in the process. He refused anyone else to help him, and this is the end results, Waco is Murdock's baby. Nobody can rise him except for him or Alex. Waco's picky, but he loves Murdock. Murdock made sure his trusty companion had enough fresh water and left Waco's stall.
"I'm a lumber jack an I'm okay, wash my clothes just once a year, smells real bad, but I don't care.." Murdock continued his made up song again as he took the feed bucket back to the tack room. He went in and sat the bucket on top of a bale of straw. Then he flicked the light switch and the light inside the tack room went out, Then he went back to singing as he left the tack room and closed the door. "I'm a lumber jack an that's a fact.." His belly growled, reminding him it was breakfast time for him too, and he began to walk back towards the house. Then he felt a hard blow to the back of his neck and then he fell to the hard concrete floor on his side. A man laughed and ordered 3 others younger than him to drag the unconsious Murdock outside. "An tie him up good." The old man said. He was older than Hannibal, by at least 5 years. He was way over weight and he looked like exactally what he was...a country hick slob. The boys, ranging in age from 40 to 25, were all a splitting image of there slobbinly father. The boys grabbed Murdock out to a beat up, rusty orange Ford and put him in the bed. One of them tied his wrists while one of the others tied his ankles tightly.
Before the boys had taken Murdock, the old man had taken his knife from his back pocket. Before he left, the old man took the knife and after writing a note on a piece of paper, he the paper up to the wooden door of the tack room and plunged the knife in it's middle. Then he laughed again and left. He went outside and got into the waiting truck and then the truck tore off. Back inside the stables, Murdock''s dark blue baseball hat lay on the hard concrete floor where it'd fell, just waiting for someone to find it and the note.
"Hey Murdock, you coming? Breakfast is.." Face came in and started to ask. Then out of the corner of his eye, he saw something on the floor and went over to see what it was. He bent down and picked up the hat Murdock never went anywhere without. Face looked it over, and found blood on the inside edge, and knew his best-friend was in trouble. He stood up and turned the corner to make sure Murdock wasn't there and spotted the note. He got wide eyed and gave it a quick glance before he tore it down, leaving the knife where it was. He ran back to the house and burst into the door.
"Hannibal!" Face yelled. Hannibal was having a coffee at the dining room table. Face''s sudden yell and slam of the door made Hannibal turn his head calmly, not even spilling a drop of the hot coffee. Face came in. "What is it lieutenant?"Hannibal asked sipping his coffee calmly as Face panted in distress. He walked over and put the note under Hannibal's nose. Hannibal took it. "Murdock's in trouble." Face said holding up Murdock's hat. Alex, sitting at the table eating her oatmeal, heard the news and ran, from the kitchen, through the house, and to the stables, in her pajamas. She nearly fell as she bolted into the stable's main door. Her head suddenly hurt, she didn't like this. Murdock was missing and it was causing her to have a panic attack, something she never had before. "Murdock?! Murdock? Please be here, please don't be gone!" Alex yelled as she checked all of the stalls. Her voice echoed off of the walls and bounced back at her. They returned without answer.
"By the time you read this, your friend Murdock will have been kidnaped and probably beaten into submission. If you want to see him again outside of a pine box, don't call the cops. Wait for my call." Hannibal read, and Face, the born worrier, worried about Alex as well as Murdock. He knew how close Alex was to him. He worried for Murdock because he didn't want to think of all the things the kidnappers might do to him. Murdock was his best-friend, and Face never forgot to worry about him. "He might as well be one of my kids!" Face said to himself, because indeed, he did worry about Murdock, a lot. He worried about him as much as he would if one of his kids was hurt. He worried about Murdock more than anyone else on their team. Mostly because he seemed to always be the one anyone would hurt to get back at them. The guys in Nam had proven that, Face shook away memories of the war and listened to Hannibal. He knew he''d be on the jazz shortly. A planner is like an elephant. He never forgets.
"Why would anybody want CrazyMan?" B.A. asked. Hannibal put the note down on the table and looked up to B.A. "Because B.A.,that way, they can get to us. Remember, we've got a pretty penny on our heads." Face said and B.A. growled. There was 2 things B.A. Baracus hated. One was being called liar. The other? Feeling helpless like he did right now. He looked at Hannibal. Hannibal had a big smile, his crystal blue eyes were shimmering cheerfully, and his cigar topped it off. B.A. took one look at the look on Hannibal's face and shook his head. "Man, Hannibal's on the serious jazz!" B.A. said and Face smiled and shook his head too.
Alex, meanwhile, in anger, had begun sparring with herself, trying to vent her frustration. She had punched and kicked in the air as hard as she could, imagining the people who'd kidnaped her big brother as being her victims. She'd been at it for so long she was all sweaty and her jammies were sticking to her. Alex was ready to faint, but she didn't stop. Then, in mid punch, she collapsed and lay on the cold ground and cried herself out. "No...No...not...Murdock...somebody''s...gonna...pay...they...hurt...him..." Alex said as she finally fainted. B.A. found her on the floor five minutes later. He knew Alex would be upset, but he didn't know it was going to be this bad. He shook his head as he knelt down and carefully picked Alex's limp and sweaty little body up. Even at 6 she was always small. She never looked her age, at 4, people thought she was 2. She was healthy, the doctor said, she was just going to be short. Face worried about this to and saw to it Alex ate good at every meal. B.A. felt how sweaty she was as he carried her back to the house, and he knew she'd fought herself out. B.A. carried her inside and put her on the couch. Face came in and nearly fainted at the sight of Alex. He looked very concerned as he bent down and gave Alex a kiss on the forehead. Alex was out.
"She'll be okay Face. She just needs sleep. She knocked herself out." B.A. said when he saw how worried Face was. Face nodded and let B.A. cover Alex up. Hannibal came in and looked at B.A., and then to Alex, who looked like all the sweating had made her shrink back into a 2 year old. Hannibal was worried about her. "B.A., keep an eye on Alex." Hannibal said and B.A. nodded. He was going to keep an eye on her anyhow. Hannibal turned from Alex to Face. "Face, we better wait in the van. The only number Murdock knows is the mobile phone's." Hannibal said and Face followed him out to B.A.'s van.
"Why are you doing this?" Murdock had asked that very same question at least 10 times since he woke up with a splitting headache and blood going down the side of his head, it was dried inside his left ear, from him laying in the back of the truck on his side for so long. "Because you know three guys I've been after for a long time and you're gonna help me get em or you die right here." The old guy said putting a gun in Murdock's face. "Well, since you put it that way..." Murdock said as he looked down the barrel. He didn't want to find out if it was really loaded or not and held up his hands. "Good. Boys, take him inside." The old man said and his 3 boys jumped off of the truck and prodded Murdock inside with their rifles.
Face watched a half hour later as his Colonel never lost that look from before. He was on the Jazz, and Face knew it meant he was thinking up a plan. The twinkle in his eyes, the cigar, the smile. It read, "warning! On the Jazz! Keep a distance! Beware of the half pincer movements and duck calls!" And Face, for once, was glad to read it. He sat in the drivers seat and thought to himself, "God, when are they going to call?" Then as if the phone was listening to Face''s thoughts, it rang and Hannibal snapped from being on the jazz to alert. He grabbed the receiver like it was one of the kidnaper's throats and said nothing, but listened...
Inside, B.A. took Alex upstairs to her room and got her dressed. After Alex was dressed, he stood back to admire his work. Not bad. A long sleeved red hooded sweatshirt, Jeans, and her favorite combat boots. He'd gotten good at dressing a kid who was out sleeping. He'd been helping to take care of Alex since the day she was born. Satisfied with his work, B.A. smiled and picked Alex back up gently. He carried her back downstairs.
One of the boys took Murdock inside, dragging him by the back of his leather jacket. Murdock staggered along, the blow to the head had done a number on him, and he felt like he was on a major hang-over. He was dizzy, sick to his stomach, and couldn't see straight. He felt like he was looking through a kaleidoscope, he saw five or six of everything. Once they were inside, Murdock got plopped into a wooden chair and tied him up.
Murdock sat there, as they laughed and gabbed, and joked about how much fun it would be to kill his family. Murdock felt sick and did his best not to think about having to throw up. Humming silently to himself helped, and he began to feel better. Murdock wasn't surprised when the old man and his kids came back into Murdock's room ten minutes later. The old man picked up a phone reciever and shoved it in Murdock's face. Murdock was quiet, he'd stopped humming his lumber jack song at the second he heard their heavy footsteps coming towards him. Murdock looked up at the old man questioningly..
"Damn, wrong number..." The voice on the other end of the mobile phone said. The person hung up. Hannibal put the phone back into it's cradle and noticed how disappointed Face was. "He'll call Face, I know it." Hannibal said as he smiled, even though he was worried like hell too.
"Call your friends." The old man said. Murdock told him the phone number and the old man dialed it. Then he held the phone reciever to Murdock's ear and Murdock listened to the ringing, waiting for someone to answer...
Face grabbed for the phone, but Hannibal beat him to it. "Yeah" Hannibal said. "Colonel, there's somebody here, wants ta talk to ya." Murdock said as he watched the rifle that was pointed to his head. The old man got on the phone. "Smith, listen and you listen good cos I'm only gonna say this once." The old man said as he glanced down at a now gagged Murdock and smiled. Murdock stared fearfully at the rifle and NEVER looked away. Murdock looked like an 8-year-old child, scared and lost, just waiting for his daddy to rescue him from his nightmares. Hannibal could picture this in his mind, and he didn't like it. It made him mad, and he felt the way B.A. did. Helpless at the moment.
"What do you want Murdock for?" Hannibal bit his tongue and asked, keeping all of the things he wanted to call this scum out of the conversation. "It's not Murdock we want. He's just insurance. You bring Peck and Baracus and come quick, or your buddy Murdock here won't be breathing when you see him again!" The old man said laughing. He then told Hannibal some directions and the phone went dead. Hannibal smiled and put the phone down. He loved it. Another mission. Just what he needed.
Inside, B.A. put Alex on the couch again and kept a close eye on her with his loaded gun nearby. Alex moaned ''Murdock'' in her sleep and B.A. felt angry because he was helpless, he couldn't take away Alex's bad dreams. He growled. Even he knew why Murdock was kidnaped: the bounty hunters wanted them. B.A. finally decided to go out and wait for the call too, and he picked Alex back up. He carried her out to his van, in one arm. Alex was so light he could lift her with one hand. She looked like a baby in his arms. She always did. Alex said ''Murdock'' again as Hannibal nodded towards her. Alex slept restlessly on B.A.'s shoulder.
"What's the plan Hannibal?" B.A. asked as he kept a watchful eye over Alex. He knew Hannibal had a plan. Hannibal always had a plan. "Face." Hannibal said reaching over to the Leuteniant. Face smiled and pulled a fresh cigar from the inside of his black leather jacket. He handed it to Hannibal and Hannibal smiled as he bit the end off of the cigar and spit it out of the window. B.A. wrinkled his nose. He would never get used to cigars at all. That's when B.A. knew Hanibal was on the jazz for sure and that he had a plan. "We gotta find Crazyman Hannibal. Alex's been havin nightmares, an she keeps sayin crazyman's name over and over." B.A. said as Alex cried in her sleep. Hannibal saw and heard her, and he got angry at the men who'd taken Murdock once again. "Let's go B.A." Hannibal said. B.A. carried Alex with him to the side of the van and handed her through the back door to Face.
Face took Alex and noted to himself how well B.A. had dressed her as he kissed her sweaty forehead. B.A. climbed in and tore off, going by the directions the old guy had given Hannibal. An hour later he stopped the van and Hannibal got out. It was the small diner in the directions. Hannibal heard the ringing pay phone as soon as he stepped inside the door. Hannibal ran over and grabbed the phone, half ripping the reciever off of the metal cord. "Yeah." He said breathlessly, and the voice on the other end sounded fuzzy, but Hannibal heard laughter.
"So I see you made it, you're lucky cos one more ring without an answer and I was gonna use my favorite rifle on your boy Murdock here." The old man said looking down at Murdock, laughing. Murdock was quiet, although he wanted to punch the old man laughing in his face out in the worst way. The rifle was still pointed to his head. "What do you want?" Hannibal asked shutting his laughter up for a second. "here's what you're gonna do now, Smith..." The old man forked out another mouthful of directions and a 2 hour time limit, and the phone again went dead. Hannnibal hung up and looked at his watch. Sure he knew what time it was now, Memorizing the conversation, Hannibal ran back out to B.A.'s van and told him the new directions. B.A. tore off in his van again, and Hannibal's plan went into gear full swing.
Unbeknowst to Hannibal, for sure, one of the boys had been in the diner all along. Hannibal thought so, but he wasn't absolutely positive. So, he'd had B.A. tap the phone and record the conversations after he was gone. Sure enough, his thoughts were true. "He just left, he's on his way." B.A. listened in as the boy told his father. "Come on back." The old man replied and they hung up. B.A. listened from the telephone pole down the street, and growled. He also got the phone number that had been called. "Didja get anything B.A.?" Hanibal's voice came from B.A.'s walkie talkie and he picked it out of his pocket. "Yeah, a guy called the same nimber you did right after you left. I got the number, 555-2944." B.A. radioed back and replied. Hannibal smiled over at Face. "Come back B.A." Hannibal replied and B.A. nodded to the walkie-talkie and climbed down from the pole.
B.A. got back to the van and Face moved from the driver's seat to the back as B.A. climbed in and sat behind the wheel. Hannibal looked at Face. Face knew he wanted him to scam something and moaned. "Don't tell me the ol'Faceman is gettin slow in his old age." Hannibal said smiling,hearing Face's groan. Face glanced over at Alex. She twitched and cried for Murdock. He knew he had to do this, if not for anyone else, for Alex. Face sat straight up and got his oh-yeah-I'll-prove-you-wrong look as he sat forward in his seat and looked back at Hannibal. "Really Hannibal. Rusty? Me? Huh! We'll see." Face replied as he watched Alex again. She was rolling around like she had a bad case of cramps or something, crying for Murdock. Face patted her leg and she seemed to feel it, and calmed down a little. Hannibal watched out the windshield and smiled as he thought about how easy it was to torment Face.
B.A. drove to the local phone company and Face looking the part of a construction worker in a hard hat and carpenter belt, he went to work. He went inside and began hammering nails into the floor around a secretary's desk. She was at the switch board, and didn't have a clue what the cute guy crawling around on the floor was doing there. She looked bewildered and confused as she watched him moving quickly around the room, moving the carpet to plunge a nail into the floor where it would have covered it. She stood up and began asking questions, when the second part of Face's scam came into place. He noticed she wasn't wearing a hard hat.
"It's against regulations for you to be here while I'm working without a hard hat." He said to the confused girl. She tried to argue him but he stopped her in mid sentence. "Oh, ah Baracus, would you come in here a minute?" He called into the hallway. B.A. came in wearing a blue hard hat and sat the tool box he was holding down on her desk. He looked at the girl. "Hey, she ain't got no hat." B.A. said to Face. Face smiled. "Take her out to the truck and fit her with one." Face answered and B.A. took her by the arm gently and she followed him. Face smiled and sat down at the computer. He tapped into the main files and with a few taps of the keys, had the address he needed. He smiled again thinking of what Hannibal had said as he wrote the address down on a small notepad he had retreved from his pocket. He got away from the computer just in time for B.A. to come back with the irl, confused, but ib a white hard hat now. "Nice. Uh, can I see you in the truck a minute?" Face said and B.A. followed him as they returned to the van. They left, leaving a very confused woman behind. After this, she was questioning her sanity.
"125 south mason road. 4 minutes and 27 seconds. Not bad huh? Slowin down in my old age." Face said grinning as he climbed into the van. B.A. climbed in too. Hannibal laughed. Tormenting Face was so easy, and it was a fun way to get him to do what he wanted. Face handed Hannibal the notebook paper with the address. He looked it over and turned to B.A. "Go B.A., we've only got 20 minutes." B.A. started the van, and tore out of the parking lot, and went on the way to the address.
Feeling the van tear off woke Alex from her nightmare and she sat up quickly, hoping to see Murdock holding her. She rubbed her eyes and jerked her hand back. Her eyes hurt like she had a bad sinus infection. She knew it was from all of the crying she'd done. Alex sniffed and looked around, gathering herself to remember where she was. The guys were so wrapped up in getting to the address on time that no one saw Alex wake up.
"Daddy?" Alex said softly. Face turned quickly and looked at her. "Are we goin to get Murdock now?" Alex asked and Face tried to smile good enough for her, so she wouldn't see the worry in him that Murdock may not be alive. "Yeah Alex, but you gotta stay in B.A.'s van cos there might be gun fire and I don't want you in the middle of it." Face said and Alex was beginning to get upset. "Just gimme a gun daddy. The Colonel taught me how ta shoot. I wanna help get my big brother back!" Alex said growling a little like B.A. always did.
"No Alex, no guns. And that's an order." Face said, wondering why saying it like the Colonel did made Alex obey him. Say it any other way and you can forget it. Alex scowled and then her scowl turned to tears. "They're gonna kill him! They're gonna kill my big brother!" Alex yelled crying. She wished she had Murdock's jacket to wrap her self in, or better yet, she wiched she had his lap to curl up in. Face pulled Alex into his lap and held her and tried to calm her. Alex continued to cry. B.A. looked at Hannibal as he turned a corner. "Don't cry little sister, we won't let em kill Crazyman." B.A. said to Alex. Alex heard him and stopped crying loudly. She sniffed as Face patted her back. B.A. had NEVER broken a promise to her. She smiled, dispite the fact that her tears still fell.
B.A. knew calling Murdock Crazyman would make Alex feel better. It always did. B.A. called him that because, well, he IS crazy. But it's a good and kind, and nice kind of crazy. Unless you hurt one of his team members or his family. Then, the smell of ammonia takes a hold of him and nothing can stop him...Alex was quiet the rest of the short drive, besides sniffling.
"BANG!" One of the boys pointed a rifle between Murdock's eyes and pulled the trigger. Nobody could hear the scared scream inside Murdock's head as he closed his eyes and prayed it would all be over quick. But seconds later, he opened his eyes again and realized he felt okay. Blanks. He'd fired a blank at him! The boy stood just steps away from Murdock laughing so hard he almost wet himself, holding the rifle. Murdock watched him and got angry. He waited for the familiar smell of ammonia to set in, but when it didn't come, he suddenly went back to being afraid. Then, his grew wide as the boy raised the rifle again and pointed it back to the same spot between Murdock's scared eyes. But then he put it down again and walked off laughing. Murdock sighed in reilef and tried to breathe normally again. It was hard because the tape over his mouth was half suffocating him.
"I wanna be the one who kills him paw." The kid went into the other room and said to the old guy. "Shut-up an let's go. I wanna meet em!" The old guy said and they left, leaving Murdock tried to a chair. They went to ambush the team, left Murdock alone. They were sure their prisoner wouldn't go anywhere. Boy, did they underestimate little ol' Murdock.
After hearing the truck doors slam, Murdock stood up holding the chair on his behind. He wobbled over to the wall and slammed the chair into it with all of the strength he had to spare. It broke apart, abling him to get the rope loose enough to free his arms and legs.
He pulled the gag off and rubbed his rope burned wrists. He listened at the door for the truck to pull off, and then he went over to the big bay window. When he was almost sure they were gone far enough, Murdock took a deep breath and jumped through the window! A flip much like Alex's newest move, a landing on his feet and he ran. The men heard the glass breaking, and slammed on the breaks, bringing the Ford to a sliding halt. Then they hit reverse and drove back. Murdock his in some thick bushes until they got back from the truck, fearing they would see him before he was ready to run. He stood up and ran, seconds later, and bullets flew at him, a few just missing him as he ran for his life. The bounty hunters watched as Murdock, as fast and elegant as a deer, ran off through the woods away from them. They got back into the truck and raced after him. As Murdock ran, he hoped to find a phone....
Seconds later, B.A. pulled up in the van. Hannibal, Face and B.A. jumped out of the van with their guns loaded and ready. They got to the door, and with a growl, B.A. knocked it down, with ease. Inside, Hannibal picked up a piece of the chair. "It looks like Murdock escaped." He said tossing the chair piece back down. B.A. looked around still holding his gun. "We gotta find him Hannibal." B.A. said but before Hannibal could answer him, Face yelled.
"Colonel." Face yelled and Hannibal and B.A. came from the lining room to the other room and immeadiately saw the window. "Yeah. Murdock escaped alright." Hannibal said looking at the glass on the ground. "Uh-oh colonel, we've got company." Face said hearing sirens. "Decker." Face said and they heard the sirens coming closer. Decker is a cop who's always on the team's tail, just looking for a reason to put them away. "Somebody musta seen us driving on the road." Hannibal said and they split.
When Alex heard Murdock was gone, she split from the van, not
caring if she lived or died. This was her mission now. All she wanted to do was find Murdock, even if she was scared at the thought of how angry her unc le B.A. and daddy would be. She ran from the van long before they had even found the broken window.
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