If You Know What's Good for You... (You'll Get Out of Town)
Summary:The team meets up with some smalltown roughnecks who actually *do* know what's good for them.
Warnings:Nothing but mild violence and good clean fun. Be aware that Murdock will act crazy, BA will be grumpy, Face will flirt, Amy will be after a story, Hannibal will put on his black gloves...
Disclaimers: Hannibal, Face, Murdock, BA, Amy, and Decker do not belong to me. I'm just borrowing them. I'm not renting them out or otherwise exploiting them while they are in my possesion, and I'm not making any money off of them. This is just for entertainment value.
Billy Joe Bob and all other characters are my own warped and twisted creation. But if someone, for some reason, wishes to use any of my creations-go ahead. After all, I use other people's.
Dani Metadi deserves credit for some of the ideas in this story. So... credit. Credit credit.
'Gracey 18 Mi'
"Gracey-sounds like a nice place," Face commented. "Anywhere sounds like a nice place now," he added under his breath.
"We gonna stop at this one Hannibal?" BA asked.
"Come on Hannibal," Amy said from the back seat, "We ditched the decoy homing device 500 miles ago, and the real one 300 miles ago. We could be anywhere by now. I don't think Decker's going to find us."
"And I *really* wouldn't mind a hot bath about now," Face added.
"OK team, Gracey it is," Hannibal gave in, "We can relax for a few days before we head back to LA."
"Yeah, that's what you always say, Man," BA muttered, "Relax."
"Gracey-I wonder if its related to Graceland?" Murdock mused. "*You ain't nuttin' but a hound dog*," he sang in his best Elvis voice.
"Shut up, crazy man."
18 miles later, the van crossed into Gracey. It was a quaint little town, situated there in the desert. A grocery store, a diner, a small park, a church, a motel, and the police department made up the main drag.
"OK gang-Amy, you go get us some rooms; BA and Face can take in the luggage, and Murdock and I will go grab a table for everyone at... Aunt Ethel's Diner."
"Yummy yummy, fried greaseballs!" Murdock said as he headed towards the diner, "*I'm all shook up!*"
"Well, not exactly Haute Cuisine," Face commented as the group left Aunt Ethel's an hour later, "But not too shabby."
"Not too shabby?" BA demanded, "What else do you call a diner that runs out of milk?"
"*I gotta hunka hunka buuuurning*... heartburn." Murdock was about to launch into his next tirade of Elvis tunage when a high-pitched scream emanated from the back parking lot of the diner.
The team rounded the corner to see a dark green sedan screeching away, driven by a figure in a black ski mask. A middle aged woman-must be the screamer- was struggling to regain her feet from where she had apparently been thrown to the pavement.
BA immediately rushed over and helped her up.
"Are you alright ma'am?" Hannibal asked.
"Thank you," she said to BA, giving his mohawk a strange look, "And yes sir, I think I'm alright."
"We'll walk you over to the police station-report that sucker who took your car!" BA thundered. The woman laughed a short, bitter laugh.
"Oh, don't bother," she said, "I know who it was."
"Uh, you do?" Face asked.
"Yeah-and wouldn't you still want to tell the police?" Amy added.
"Them creeps can be *dancin' to the jail house rock* in no time, little lady."
"Its not that simple," she insisted, "But I really am grateful for your concern. It really would be a help if you would give me a lift home, though," she said, indicating her shoes, which were quite unsuitable for a walk.
"Go get the van, BA," Hannibal instructed, "And now Ms...?"
"Laurence," she replied, "Daisy Laurence. You can call me Daisy."
"Daisy," Hannibal continued, "Who are these people you say took your car."
Daisy's expression darkened, "I'm hardly the first person to have their car stolen. Its those Kirsey brothers-they run the used car dealership. Ha! Anyone who drives a vehicle that they didn't buy from the Kirseys end up without a car-but they can buy one just like it off the used lot a few days later-with some nice papers they forge in the back of the place. "I thought I'd be OK-I didn't want any of the pieces of junk they had on the lot. My husband got me some pepper spray in case they tried anything, but I wasn't quick enough..."
"Why don't the police do anything about it," Amy asked
"Well, the sheriff here... he's a good man but, well... just not the bravest man-with only one deputy, he's afraid of these guys."
"Well Mrs. Daisy," Murdock said, curling his lip up, "I don't think you'll need to worry about these bunch o' hound dogs much longer-the king will see to it."
Daisy was eyeing Murdock warily, but was saved from comment by the arrival of the van.
"I'll go with you," Amy offered, and the two women got into the van. "BA and I'll see you guys later," she added as she closed the door.
"So Hannibal?" Face said.
"I think we should go pay a friendly visit to Kirsey's used car lot," Hannibal said.
"*Uh-huh*," Murdock sang.
"Well, little lady, can I help you with something?" a greasy-headed man asked.
"I sure do like this car," Amy replied. "Do you have the, ah, records for it? Uh... my boyfriend said that I should check out history and stuff of a car before I thought about buying it." Amy made her best confused and stupid look.
"Well of course we do," the man replied, "If you'll just step here into my office? My name's George Kirsey, by the way."
"George-that was my father's name," Amy said, batting her eyes as Georgie guided her to the building at the back of the lot, "I'm Amy."
"Well it is a pleasure to meet you, Amy-hey, what do you think you're doing?" The last, delivered as Kirsey opened his office door, was directed at Hannibal and BA, who were lounging in his office. Amy kicked the door shut behind her.
"Well," Hannibal said, "We're the Bureau of Dealing with Slime, and you've come to our attention."
George's eyes narrowed. "Phil! Johnny! Stan! Get in here!" he yelled.
A great clatter of clumsy feet later, three men who resembled George to varying degrees burst into the office.
"I think we need to show these men the street, guys," George said.
"Now now," Hannibaly said as he pulled on his gloves, "That's not very neighborly of you." He neatly ducked the punch that goon #1 threw at him, slamming his own fist into a potbelly.
BA made short work of the other two; and Amy saw goon #3 go flying over the desk just as she broke a convenient flower vause over the head of George, who had not deigned to move after his brothers burst in the door.
"Well gosh," Face said as he and Murdock entered the office, "Looks like we missed all the fun-what a shame." He and Murdock dropped the armloads of papers and file folders that they had carried in onto the desk. "Nice little setup in the back room. And, the original papers were all in the safe."
The Kirsey brothers were beginning to get groggily to their feet.
"Now," Hannibal said, lighting a cigar, "We know all about your little operation here-and we don't like it." BA scowled nicely to emphasize his point. "If you fellow know what's good for you, you'll get out of town."
The team escorted the Kiereys out of the building. They sprinted to one of the cars on the lot. After some fumbling, George produced the correct key to the car. All four brothers piled in, and the car dissappeared in a screach of tires and a cloud of dust.
Two days later, they still had not been seen or heard from. Half of the cars on the lot had been returned to their rightful owners-the other half seemed to actually be legal.
"Well THIS has never happened before," Amy commented to Murdock, who had grown weary of being Elvis. "Think they're actually going to stay away?"
"Sure looks like it, muchacha," Murdock replied.
"And I had such a good plan worked out, too," Hannibal said. "But they might still be back."
"Well since it's been four hours since your predicted time for their return," Face asked, "Do we still have to sit here and wait for them?"
"I guess not. Everyone take a walkie-talkie, and if they come back, I'll call."
"I've been needin' some time to work on my van-got some bullet holes last time Decker found us. Oughtta be plenty of spare parts around."
"I think L.A. readers might enjoy a small-town human interest story."
"I've always wanted to taste cactus juice-didya know it can keep you alive in the desert with no water? I saw some barrel cacti on the way in..."
"I suddenly have a craving for ice cream."
Hannibal sat chewing on an unlit cigar as his friends all filed out the door... *I wonder what there is to do around here.*
"Gee, it all looks so good," Face mused, studying the desert menu-and the cute brunette who was manning the counter at the drug store. "Any suggestions?"
"Well," she said, smiling, "I make a mean chocolate milkshake."
"Wow, 32 years," Amy said, supressing a yawn.
"Yep, 32 years. My honeybunch's Grandma Ethel started this diner-and Stan and I took over 32 years ago. Nobody calls me Caroline anymore-that's my name, actually."
"Yep, but everyone calls me Aunt Ethel now. But I don't mind-I like the place."
*OK, yeah-no,* Amy thought. *Nobody will really want to read about Aunt Ethel's legacy.*
"Hey there, little sister," BA said to the little girl who was peering at him curiously from behind a cornter of the van. She smiled and waved shyly.
"What're you doing?" she asked.
"Well I'm fixin' some holes that got in my van here," he replied, "See-I've got'em all smoothed up-but they don't match, do they?"
The child shook her head.
"Can I help?"
"Sure you can!" BA said with a huge smile, digging out the touchup paint and a brush. "Just try painting right here. What's your name?"
"Well I think you'll do a great job, Cindy!"
"Beat'chu agin!" Billy Joe bob declared, cackling.
"Sure did," Hannibal admitted. "Another game?"
"'Course, 'course," Billy Joe Bob said as he returned the checker pieces to their appropriate places. Hannibal pulled a cigar from his coat pocket.
"Now, just hypothetically," Hannibal started.
"Yes-just imagine. If you were, I don't know-robbing a bank, and someone came to stop you, which would be more intimidating: 'All that money might make you rich, but you'll always be ugly' or 'They say the love of money is the root of all evil'?"
"Well, I think that first'un's better, meself," Billy Joe Bob replied helpfully.
"It does have a nice ring to it," Hannibal said, lighting his cigar.
"Ye're turn to go first."
"The daring wanderer is running low on water-he hasn't had a drink for days. What's that! In the distance-a barrel cactus! A man can drink its juice! Well, if he has anything to drink it with."
BA was surrounded by a small army of children as he rolled out from under the van. His expression darkened slightly when he noticed a pair of too-short kakhi pants sticking out of the open hood of one of the cars on the lot.
"What'chu doin' crazyman!" he yelled.
"Oh, BA BA!" Murdock yelled excitedly as he ran across the lot to where BA was working on the van, "Do you know if any of these cars have those little squirty windshield-washer thingies?"
"How would I know that! Ain't my cars-and why do you wanna know?"
"Well I need one of the tubes that connects the squirty thing to the cleanin fluid..."
"You're gonna need an OXYGEN tube in the hospital, if you don't get outta here!" BA said, holding up his fist.
"You're in such a great mood," Murdock said, giving him a big hug, "Must be the kids." Murdock waved to the kids, who were laughing, and then scampered off.
"Didn't your mother ever tell you to play nice? Nah, not enough pizzaz. How about 'It takes more than a forklift to move the empire state building-you better remember that.'"
"I don' get it, but sounds good!" Billy Joe Bob agreed enthusiastically.
"Hey Face!" Murdock called, waving enthusiastically to Face, who was strolling along with an arm aroud the waiste of a pretty girl.
"Murdock! This is Sadie-Sadie, my buddy Murdock."
"We met earlier," Sadie said.
"Yep-girl makes a killer chocolate milkshake," Murdock said.
"Uh, what exactly are you doing?" Face asked, noticing Murdock's antics with the water fountain.
"Well, this thing's full of window cleaning solution," Murdock replied, indicating the length of plastic tubing that he was apparently cleaning out.
"Well that explains everything."
"Well *you* wouldn't want to drink through something that was full of cleaning fluid, would you?" Murdock asked indignantly.
"You could just... stick to a straw?" Sadie suggested.
"Nope, not long enough. The juice is in the *center* of the cactus."
"...And we have potluck dinners every tuesday night, and prayer meeting on wednesday, of course-you should just hear our choir. They sing like angels..."
Amy doodled smiley faces on her notepad as she pretended to take notes on Mrs. McDonald's fascinating description of church activities. *There has got to be SOMETHING interesting around here.*
"This is the queen. She can move as many spaces as she likes, in any one direction."
Billy Joe Bob blinked and nodded.
"This is the knight. It moves in an L-shape."
"Oh, I got one colonel!" Billy bob interrupted. "How bout this'un." He cleared his throat. "Yous oughtta get outta town, `for you end up like them tadpoles that don' turn into frogs `for their mud puddle dries up."
"It has merit," Hannibal mused, waving the horse-head knight. "Oh! Here's one. `Evil name is evil fame.'"
"How's that horsey move again?"
"So Hannibal, how was your day?"
"A day with friends is better than a year with one who hates you."
"Yeah," Murdock put in, "And it is better to have one friend than a thousand bloodthirsty enemies, but then again-that should be fairly obvious."
Hannibal chuckled. "Well, I try not to praise the day before night."
"Pretty soon, Hannibal, you'll be as crazy as that nut!"
"You give someone a nut-and he throws the shells at you!"
"I like it, Colonel."
"Lost in the moistureless desert, the weary wanderer trecks on-his eyes on the horizon. He knows he may soon expire from this bloody `eat soon if he has nothin' to drink." The Australian accent truly was almost flawless. "But wait-there in the distance-a barrel cactus! "The Adventurous Andy Anderson will not die alone in the desert-at least not today. It just so `appens that I have this convenient length of tubing-I knew it would come in `andy one of these days.
"I'm SSSSSSSSSAAAAAAAAAVVVVVVVVVVEEEEEEEEEEDDDDDDDD!" Murdock yelled at the top of his lungs.
"What *IS* that man doing?" Helen asked, squinting into the desert on the edge of town. "Hey, isn't that one of your friends."
"Oh, well, yes," Face replied, putting an arm around Helen's shoulder. "That's Murdock-he's very... cerebral. Just one of his experiments."
"Looks like he's drinking cactus juice to me."
"Well, of course that's what he's doing." Face and Helen watched as Murdock sucked the sticky reddish liquid through his straw. "I wonder how it tastes."
"Hi Murdock. Milkshake?"
"No, Sadie, No!" Murdock leaned over the counter, intensity shining from his eyes. "For on this day I have tasted the nectar of the gods!"
"Have you now?"
"I can now feel the flow and pulse of life. THRUMMING"- with that word he did a bizzarely ecstatic interpretive dance move- "with the essence of joy and laughter and..." he leaned in conspiratorially. "time itself," he whispered.
"Check mate!" Billy Joe Bob annonced, after his queen jumped several of Hannibal's pieces."
"Maybe we better go back to checkers."
"Whatever you say, Colonel."
"It is well to leave off playing when the game is at its best."
"Hannibal, when we leavin'? I got the van all fixed up."
"Yeah, any time now would be great."
"But fellows-we can't possibly leave until our good friend Decker arrives. It wouldn't be mannerly." Hannibal smirked.
The sun was nearly set on the team's fourth day in Gracey, as Hannibal sat staring at the chessboard that sat between him and Charley O'Connor. Finally, he spied the move he was looking for. Black-gloved hands moved the remaining black rook.
"Checkmate!" Hannibal said cheerily.
"Well, you finally beat me," Charley said, equally cheerily. "You're the best player I've ever played!"
"Done with your game Charley?" a woman's voice asked as the owner of said voice emerged from The General Store. Charley nodded his head. "OK then, it's almost your bedtime."
Charley got his knees out from under him and slid out of the seat to join his mother. Hannibal reached out and shook his hand. "Thanks for the game Charley."
"You're welcome. And thank you. Oh, and tell your friend BA thanks for the basketball tips-if you see him."
"I'll do that."
"Wanna play checkers again, Colonel?' Billy Joe Bob asked.
"You know, Billy Joe Bob, I think I've had enough checkers for now."
"Well you'know `ya better play checkers while ya can cause, uh, one day you won't be able to play checkers no more." He beamed.
"I'll remember that one," Hannibal assured him.
"You can see the stars so wonderfully out here in the desert," Face said. "Nothing like LA-the only stars we get to see are of the movie variety."
*Finally,* Amy thought, *This'll be great* "So," she said aloud, "That really is an amazing story of how people who have feuded so long can come together- a real life Romeo and Juliet."
"Only without the sad ending."
Amy accepted Julie's offer of tea, and sat scribbling extra notes. Then she heard something in the distance-it sounded like sirens. Sound carried well here.
"Sorry Julie, I must run-I'll send you a copy of the story," she yelled as she plowed out the door and towards the motel. She didn't have to run far, though, as the van screeched to a halt before her. She wasn't certain that it stopped completely as she jumped in.
"Gotta pick up the rest of the guys," BA said, screeching back towards town.
"Well, Hannibal," Face said as the van plowed out of town, the sirens still far distant, "We actually managed to have a rest this time. And I appreciated it, let me tell you. I could do without this hasty departure next time though."
"Even rest will make a lazy man tired, Face." Face huffed indignantly at that one.
"So Murdock, what's in the cups?"
"Oh these-wasn't Sadie nice-let me have five of these nice styrofoam cups."
"Yeah, what's in them?" Amy asked again.
"Cactus juice-or should I say AMBROSIA!"
"You crazy, fool."
"I love it when a plan comes together."