Honesty is the Best Policy
By Kathryn Criley Katiemarie1@excite.com
The team headed out to Montana. The women who hired them met them at the airport. Angel Wilson, Savannah Howell and Tammy Defoe were surprised at the appearance of the men they hired. Never could they have pictured a more different looking group of men. They tried not to stare at BA.
"Ladies, I would like to introduce you to the rest of the A-team. This is Templeton Faceman Peck, HM Murdock, and BA Baracus." Hannibal said the women waved and the guys nodded. They headed out to the house that would be their base of operation for the length of the job. It was a large old farmhouse. BA looked at it and thought how much work it needed. There was only about 15 cattle on the whole ranch. Murdock who grew up in Texas started asking questions right away.
"How many cattle did you lose? "He asked
"About 20" Angel said
"Our husbands were friends from high school, they all went in to business together. We just started a year ago. Then Mr. Mckay started making offers to buy all three farms and all our cattle." Angel continued
"When we said no our cattle started getting sick. We lost 8 in a week. He was poisoning them. The ones that didn't die were too sick to do anything with. Then some of our silos got contaminated. It's been awful" Angel started to cry Tammy rubbed her back.
"I know this is hard but we will do what ever we can" Face said
"Well guys what do you say we go and rattle some cages " Hannibal said as he put on his black gloves.
"Yea" BA grunted
"What's the plan Colonel?" Murdock asked
"Well the best way to get a rat is to offer some cheese," Hannibal said as he slapped Murdock on the back
"Why don't I like the sound of this" Face said running his hand through his hair
"Cheer up Face. This will be a " before Hannibal could finish the guys yelled "Don't say it"
Hannibal just grinned.
Hannibal went over the plan. It was one they used many times before. They would make the bad guys think Hannibal had bought the farms. That would take the danger off the women and put the attention on the guys.
Mckay had a strangle hold on the town. You could almost taste the fear from the residents. They were afraid to even look at the strangers in the town.
It took about a week and a half for the guys to have all the lose ends tied up. They put away the bad guys and the whole town united and helped. The ladies tried to pay the team but Hannibal refused.
"You lost your husbands, you'll need the money to keep the farms going."
Face looked crest fallen at the thought of not getting paid but then his eyes brightened as he watched the women's tears of gratefulness fall.
"If you guys ever need a place to relax feel free to come here. Even if the military found out about this town none of the residents would let them within the city limits.
"We might just take you up in that offer." Hannibal said. They gave their hug goodbye and gave BA his knock out juice. When BA was fast asleep the remaining team members settled into their seats on the scammed plane.
Hannibal sat up front with Murdock.
"Captain, now that the job is done I thought we could talk a bit." Hannibal looked sideways at his pilot.
"Sure Hannibal "Murdock knew this talk was coming. He had been distracted through out the mission and he knew Hannibal picked up on it.
"Who is she? "Hannibal asked he had gotten a little information from Face but he really wanted to hear it from Murdock.
"Just a girl I met, her name is Molly. I don't know what it is about her Hannibal. I can't get her out of my head." Murdock told his friend.
Murdock told him a little more about Molly. Hannibal watched the expressions on his friend's face as he spoke. He had known HM Murdock for almost 20 years and the only thing in the world that got Murdock this excited was flying. He had seen the same peaceful yet excited expression when Murdock would tell stories about his days in the Thunderbirds.
"Well Captain, I am not gonna give you a lecture about being discreet. You are not in the same boat as the rest of us although you are as important as anyone of us is to the success of the team. But I will say this if you want to be with Molly, you might have to make a big choice." Hannibal said
"What do you mean, if I want to be with Molly I have to leave the team?" Murdock felt a flash of anger start.
"No I am not saying that, but I am saying that you may decided to settle down, Have a family. And if you do that I will not allow you to go on missions because I wouldn't want to have to come home and tell your wife and kids that you were hurt or killed. We all know how dangerous this life is. You have been shot and almost blinded just in the last year. I want you to be happy and have the life I can't have."
Murdock's anger went as quickly as it came and left him with a feeling of guilt.
"Hannibal I respect your feelings but aren't we jumping the gun just a tad. I mean I have only gone on one date with her. Between you and Face I feel like you are trying to marry me off" Murdock laughed
"Maybe captain, but I know if I had the chance know where my address would be." Hannibal looked out the side window and thought of Maggie.
"You miss her huh?" Murdock asked. He knew that Hannibal and Maggie were close but he had never realized till then how much his Jazz loving commander needed the country doctor in his life.
"Yea" Hannibal chewed on a cigar
"Home sweet Home " Murdock said as the small landing strip came into view.
"OK well that is that" Hannibal put on his most stern face. " Next time we work I want your full attention "
"Yes sir" Murdock said
They returned the plane and jumped into the van that they had hidden before they left. BA was still asleep so Face drove. Murdock needed to get back to the VA so they dropped him off first.
"I'll call ya later " Face said as he drove away.
After they pulled back in to traffic Hannibal asked Face "What do you think Face?"
"I think we could have taken some money, " Face said
"NO About Murdock"
"I think he's in love. We might lose him Hannibal" Face said
"I think so too"
"I hope we are wrong." Face said
"Me too, Face, ME to" Hannibal lit a cigar
Murdock avoided walking in front of Ricter's office. He wanted to get to his room and check his answering machine before he did anything else. As he went in to his room his heart leapt at the sight of the blinking light that indicated he had messages.
A few were hang-ups, but there were 4 from Molly. He listened to them and smiled at the sound of her voice.
"Hi Murdock . It's Molly. Just wanted to know if everything was OK . Haven't heard from you in a few days. Well call me when you get a chance."
"Murdock, um I guess your not there yet. I um Never mind .I am back home now but will be back in LA on Monday. I will call you with the number. Bye."
"Murdock It's Molly again, I really don't have anything to say I just wanted to hear your voice. But I didn't want you to get home to a bunch of hang-ups. I have a number in LA. It's 555-9786. Call me when you get a chance."
"Murdock it's Molly, it's Tuesday and I am still in LA so call me at the number I gave you before .555-9786. I miss you. God this is crazy. I just met you and I already miss you. I am so weird. Bye.
Murdock grabbed the phone and called the number. He wondered why she was still in LA. He was surprised to hear her answer the phone. He was expecting it to be a hotel switchboard.
"Hi ya pretty lady" Murdock said
"Murdock is that you." Molly couldn't contain the excitement in her voice
"Yea I'm back and all is right with the world." Murdock told her to let her know he was fine.
"I missed you, so everything went ok? "
"Yep not a problem, why are you still in LA, I mean not that I am not happy but don't you have to be back to work? "
"I um well while you were gone moved here. I got a little apartment right around the corner from the VA .Is that crazy? "
Murdock was shocked. He didn't know what to say.
"Your not mad are you? I am moving to fast aren't I .Oh geez " Molly sounded like she was gonna cry
"No Molly it's great I mean it was just a surprise that's all. " Murdock said he couldn't help but smile at the thought of her being so close.
"Are you busy ,I know you just got home but are you up to company?" Molly asked
"For you always, meet me in the yard" Murdock said as he felt is heart begin to race.
"Ok see ya soon," Molly said as she hung up
Murdock looked at the phone for a minute then hung it up. He couldn't believe
she was living in LA. He was happy yet scared at the same time as the old
doubts came flooding back with a vengeance. He pushed them back down and went
out to the yard.
Molly ran a quick brush through her hair and checked her makeup before she left her new apartment. She had not done much unpacking and didn't know when she would. She hoped maybe Murdock would come and give her a hand. She grabbed her car keys off the table by the door when the phone rang.
"Hello " Molly answered
"Hi Molly, just wanted to see how the new place was?" It was Molly's Aunt Linda.
"Oh it's ok, a wreak but other than that ok." Linda told her as she sat down
"Well I am sure you will get it all put together. If you need any help I would love to fly out for a few days."
"Now Linda, I am an old expert at moving. Is everything ok? " Molly didn't like the tone of her aunt's voice.
"Sure Hun, Just thought you could use some help. Did Murdock make it back ok? "
"Yea I was on my out to see him when you called. Hey why don't you fly out? I would love to see you." Molly said
"OK Hun let me see if I can get a flight. Bill will watch the shop for me."
"If you can't get a flight let me know, I have the jet and a handsome pilot." Molly said
"Sure Hun "
Molly hung up and headed out the door and tried to put her aunt's strange tone out of her mind. After all her Aunt was fine. She would have said if there were a problem. Molly thought some more and came to that conclusion.
She ran down the street to the West Side of the VA hospital .She saw Murdock waiting by a tree. Her heart skipped a beat at the sight of him .He was leaning against the tree with his hands in his pockets. He was looking at the sky with a small smile on his lips. As he saw her round the corner his smile got wider. He walked towards her and scooped her up in his strong arms.
"I missed you, " They both said in unison.
They made their way to a nearby bench and sat down facing each other.
"You look great Molly" Murdock said
"So do you. Except what happened to your lip" Molly noticed the swollen cut on the bottom of his lip.
"It's nothin, just a scratch. " Murdock leaned in and gave her a soft kiss
"That was nice, but I don't like seeing you all bruised up like that." Molly said
Murdock got a dark look on his face and got up off the bench. He started to walk away then turned towards her.
"Now wait a minute, you know who I am, you know what I do. If this is gonna turn into one of those times where I am told that I have to choose between my life and a girl, your gonna lose." Murdock told her
"Murdock where is this coming from? I never meant anything like that. I said I don't like to see you banged up but I would never make you choose me over anything" Molly went to him and took his hands in hers.
" I vow right now never to make you choose anything over me. I swear on my Mickey Mouse watch and my Rolling Stones records." Molly said
Murdock gave her a grin and hugged her to him. As they were hugging Murdock noticed a nurse running towards them.
"Mr. Murdock, there is an phone call for your friend, You are Molly right?" Sharon the head nurse asked
"Yea I am, " Molly felt her stomach fall in fear.
"It sounds serious. It is a New York police officer." Sharon, Murdock and Molly ran to the closest Nurses station.
"Hello " Molly asked. Sharon had given them privacy in her office. Murdock was looking at her with concern.
Molly Listened to the other side of the line for a few minutes then told the caller she would be there right away.
"IS everything ok? " Murdock asked
"My Aunt's store was held up. She is on her way to the hospital. "Molly said
"DO you want me to fly you? " Murdock asked as they walked out of the office back outside.
"No, I can get a flight. You just got back, wouldn't anyone notice if you left again? " Molly said as she headed for the parking lot.
"I can fly you if you need, or if just want me to go for support? " Murdock said
"NO Hun but thanks, I will call you when I find out more. " Molly kissed him and ran across the street towards her apartment.
Murdock watched her till she was out of sight. He couldn't put his finger on it but something was not right. He decided to make a few calls of his own.
Face had just settled down on the expensive couch in his luxury apartment he had skillfully "borrowed ".
He turned on the Five O clock news and laid his head back on the couch. He was just starting to doze off from the 2 glasses of wine he had drank with his supper when the phone rang.
"Hello" Face said
"Hey Face, " Murdock said
"Murdock , how'd you get this number, I just got here. " Face asked shortly
"B.A gave it to me ,look Face I need your help. " Before Murdock could begin
Face cut him off
"OH NO ,Dammit Murdock we are on vacation. Call Hannibal." Face hung up. The phone rang a few seconds later. Face exhaled sharply and picked up the phone.
"Face please. It's important, I already called Hannibal. Hell I even called BA Just let me explain" Murdock's voice had risen in pitch as he tried to get his friend to listen.
"OK Murdock, what happened, Billy run away? "Face asked sarcasm dripping from each word.
"Come on Face give me some credit! I think Molly's hiding something." Murdock told him what had happened that afternoon. Face half-listened twisting the phone cord between his fingers. When his friend finished he took a deep breath.
"Murdock I think your overreacting. Maybe she just wanted to go tend to her Aunt. Maybe she didn't want to bring you around cops. You said she knows who you are. Or maybe she just told you the truth. You just got back from a hard case and need a little rest. We all need the rest Murdock. Now let it go. Talk to you later. " Face hung up ignoring the pleas of his closest friend.
"I am to old for this " Face said to himself as he laid his head back again and closed his eyes.
Murdock looked at the receiver for a moment then slammed it down. He sat back in his chair and tried to fight his anger at his friends. The he stood up and started to pace his small room. As he paced his hands went automatically to his pockets. His fingers brushed something cold and hard.
He pulled his hand out and smiled.
Well she didn't say I couldn't go to New York for some sight seeing" Murdock grinned and grabbed his overnight bag threw some clean clothes in and grabbed a wad of bills he kept hidden in the back of his closet. Then he snuck out the VA and hailed a cab.
Face tried to sleep, he couldn't. He laid on the couch trying to figure out the cause for his insomnia. He was dead tired but sleep kept evading him.
"Dammit Murdock" Face realized his guilt for not helping his friend was the reason sleep abandoned him.
Face sat up and dialed Murdock's room at the VA . He let it ring about 20 times then hung up. He called Dr. Richter's direct line.
"Dr. Ricter it's Dr. Jones. I am calling to inquire about one of your patients. A H.M Murdock.
"Yes Dr. Jones. If you would give me one moment to check my file " Dr. Ricter stood and closed the door. The he reached in his drawer and took the device BA Bade him that would scramble any tap or recording on his phone line.
"What's wrong? " Dr Ricter asked
"Is Murdock with you? I have tried to get him in his room for awhile? " Face asked
"NO I saw him earlier outside. But he is not here now" Dr. Ricter heard a knock on his door.
"Hold on ok?" He gave permission for the knocker to enter
Face listened and heard what he was afraid of. He didn't even wait for the
Doctor to come back on the line he hung up and called the rest of the team.
Murdock landed the plane on a small private airstrip. He convinced the controller that he was having a mechanical emergency. As he exited the plane he quickly went under the plane and cut an oil line with his pocketknife.
As the emergency crews rolled up he climbed out from under and told them he found the problem but asked if their mechanics would look the plane over.
They agreed and he went to the car rental shop and got a small car for a few days. He smiled at his handy work as he drove away.
"Face couldn't have done a better job" He headed for the nearest library. He knew they would have a map of the city and a listing of all business.
Molly ran into the hospital demanding to see her Aunt. The quickly ushered her into the back of the ER.
Linda was just getting dressed. She had been banged up and had a cast on her arm. When Molly saw her she started to cry.
"Now don't go to pieces on me child. I have been injured worse falling of a ladder. " Linda embraced his shaking niece.
"Did they catch the guys who robbed you?" Molly asked after her tears subsided.
"Let's talk about that later, I want to get out of here first. Too many spirits here." Linda and Molly left the E.R and headed to a little coffee shop down the block. When they were both seated with steaming cups of coffee and a couple of bagels Linda looked at her niece.
"Well are you gonna tell me or do I have to try to guess what happened?" Molly asked sharply
" I wasn't robbed, some enemy's of the Family paid me a visit" Linda said
"What Family? I don't understand? " Molly said
"The Family, yours, mine."
Linda looked at Molly and knew without a doubt her sister had done just what she wanted. Molly was completely unaware of who she really was.
"Molly, Do you know who your Father is? I mean really is. What he does?" Linda was afraid this would happen one day. Her sister kept Molly completely sheltered from her father's real life.
"Yes. He was in the army. That's why we moved around so much. ." Molly couldn't understand why her aunt looked so sad.
"I wish I didn't have to tell you this. Lilly forgive me I know you never wanted her to know" Linda looked upward begging for her dead sister's forgiveness.
"Know what? What the hell is going on!" Molly yelled
"Shhhhhhh, I will tell you but you have to listen and really hear what I am saying" Linda looked into Molly's eyes.
"Your father was not in the army, He has his own business. " Linda told her and waited to see if she got what she was implying.
"No he doesn't he works as a mechanic." Molly was getting more and more agitated.
"Molly listen to me, Your dad is in the Mob, He has been since he was 16. So was your grandfather. So was my father. That's how your parent's met. It was a business deal, Their union. " Linda went to hold Molly's hand but Molly shot up out of her chair.
"NO, YOUR LYING, DAD WAS RIGHT YOU ARE NUTS. LEAVE ME ALONE. " Molly ran out of the shop and head long into the crowded New York Street.
Linda placed her head on the table and cried. She told her sister Lilly it was wrong to keep the truth from Molly. But she wouldn't hear it. Linda sighed as she remembered the many times she begged and pleaded with her sister.
"You can't lie to the child, Michael knows. Why won't you tell Molly" Linda asked her sister over tea on afternoon when Molly was about 12.
"I don't want her to lose respect for her family. We are not exactly upstanding citizens. I don't want her to doubt herself. " Lily said as she looked out the window at Molly playing with a neighbor's child.
"SO you will base all she knows on a lie? "
"Do you think the mother of that child would allow her here to play if she knew who we were? Do you think Molly would like to be an outcast or worse a child kids play with by force of their parents to protect themselves. We lived that way Linda I will not let my daughter live the same hell I did." Lilly slammed her cup down and left the room.
Linda was brought back from the past by a tap on the shoulder. Before her stood a tall man In a ball cap and leather jacket. Linda knew who he was before he had a chance to speak.
"Murdock, what are you doing here? " Linda stood up and shook his hand.
"I am sorry, DO I know you?" Murdock asked,
" I am Molly's Aunt Linda. You are Murdock right? " Linda asked maybe her visions were confused
"Yes I am how did you know? " Murdock sat down
"OH Molly told me what you look like, She failed to mention how dark your eyes were. " Linda looked at his eyes almost mesmerized by the depths of the brown eyes.
"IS she here? I am looking for Molly she took off so quickly today." Murdock didn't know what it was about Linda but he felt compelled to be truthful with her. Maybe it was because her face was an older version of Molly.
"She was, she just left. I upset her. But I had to; it's for her own safety. " Linda spoke quickly
"IS she in trouble? Where did she go? " Murdock could feel his nerves tighten.
"Yes Murdock I believe she is and no spell I cast will protect her.
" Linda locked sadly in the direction Molly had run,
Molly ran to her hotel and threw herself in her room. She couldn't believe what her Aunt had told her. It couldn't be true. It just couldn't. Molly tried to think of a reason her Aunt would try to hurt her like that. She couldn't come up with one. Well Molly thought I will put an end to this Mob garbage right now. She grabbed the phone and called her dad.
"Hello," the voice of her Uncle Billy answered.
"Hi Uncle Billy, is my Dad around? "Molly tried to keep her voice steady.
"HiYa Miss Molly, You father is busy right now, He um has a car he's working on for a friend." Billy sounded unsure what to tell Molly.
"I really need to talk to him, It's an emergency" Molly told him
"Ok Molly " She heard him cup the receiver and she could hear a few voices threw the Muffled phone.
"Molly what's wrong? " Molly's dad came on the line.
"Dad I heard stuff, I just want to know if it's true, What do you do for a living? " Molly demanded
"You know what I do Pumpkin, Why what did you hear?" Molly heard a change in her father's voice. his usual kind and soft voice had turned cold and untrusting.
"Nothing, never mind sorry to bother you. I will let you get back to work." Molly didn't want to have this conversation over the phone. She didn't want to have it at all.
"Molly where are you, Are you at home?" Her dad asked
"No Dad, I'm on vacation " Molly lied. She had never done that in her whole life and she didn't know why but she just knew she couldn't tell him where she really was.
"What did you hear? What is going on? I am gonna come meet you where are you?" Molly's dad was demanding to know.
"I got to go Dad, I will call you when I get home. I love you " Molly hung up before her dad could reply.
Molly's father hung up the phone and looked around the room. "Did you get the trace Billy? "He asked
"Yea Boss" Billy said and handed him a slip of paper.
"That damn Linda, she is always threatened to tell her. I need to go to New York and talk to my daughter."
"You want us to take care of the other business. " Billy asked
"No not one of you are to lift a finger to my sister in law. She is family and you know the rules about family. Not to mention I don't want to ruin whatever chances I have with my daughter. She loves the flake and I will respect that." Mr. O Brian got up and headed to his car.
Molly was crying on the bed when she heard a light knock on the door. "Go away Linda I don't want to talk to you." Molly yelled
"Molly please, it's me open up" Murdock said from the other side of the door.
"Murdock?" Molly felt a wave of relief rush over her and ran and opened the door. "What are you doing here?" Molly asked as he hugged her tight.
"I'm sorry I just couldn't let you run off like that I was worried." They went and sat on the bed. "Your not mad at me right?" Murdock asked her
"No I am glad you came I need someone I can trust now more than ever." Molly started to cry again
Murdock just held her till she finished. When she started to Hick-up he went to the sink and got her a glass of water.
"What am I gonna do? My whole life's a lie. Everyone I ever loved has been lying to me" Molly felt another wave of tears coming on but managed to fight them off.
"Molly, I am sure your family meant well .I know your Aunt loves you. This will work out." Murdock was unsure how it would work out but he didn't tell her that.
"Why did they lie, I don't know who my father is anymore. I used think he was this great man, now I find out he is a criminal. My whole family is full of criminals. I know about the mob. I have heard about them and the awful things they do." Molly looked at the floor.
Murdock just took her in his arms and held her. He didn't know what to say. He wished Face or Hannibal were here. Maybe they would know what to do. So he said all he could think of.
"Molly I love you, I have never lied to you and I won't ever I