Fandom: The A-Team (series)
Characters/pairings: Hannibal/BA/Murdock/Face; any and all combinations mentioned
Summary: Murdock has been left alone in the VA hospital for a really long time. Which wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't for the fact that the team has just connected the dots between the pairings and started sleeping together as a foursome. Murdock doesn't know that his team-mates have been captured, and his insecurities begin to torment him. Written for a prompt at ateam_prompts and posted here for the sake of my formatting.
Notes: Practising writing Murdock. Hope this isn't too odd.
The French have a term. Le Petit Mort. It’s what they call an orgasm.
(Yes, I hear you, and no, I do not have a fixation with sex. Well, not usually. I kinda did at that point, but it’s not usually my shtick, that’s all Larry in room 113, he’s got that covered. I’m hallucinations, paranoia and delusions. Sticking it where it don’t belong is Larry all the way.)
What it means is during sex - or some other engaging activity - you expend a little life force. Sounds like a euphermism, don’t it? It doesn’t mean that. It means that after all the foreplay, all the sweating and physical exertion, there’s this one long moment of intense goodness, and then nothing. Just exhaustion and an awkward silence and that gray feeling, like the world’s more real and less good than usual. I never really understood it, I guess because there’s always been someone there after who wants to cuddle, and who can feel melancholy while cuddling? Not me, that’s for sure. Old BA likes to cuddle. No, really, it’s like he turns into this big huggable teddy bear right after, for a good few hours. It’s amazing. And Face, he’s a cuddler too. I always make sure and sleep right between them, to maximise sleep-time cuddliness.
But that’s what it was, when they left me there. They had to leave me there, I knew that, but it was a little death. Three little deaths, and that makes one medium-large death. Weren’t much left of me after all that death, and for a few days I just kept to myself, quiet-like. Thinking. Not even thinking. Just being. Not noticing the edges peeling away. And no one really noticed, not the doctor or the nurses. I guess they just figured I took my pills for once, so they didn’t say anything in case it spooked me into not taking them again. So no one noticed, right up until art therapy day. It’s really very hard to hide being on a downer when faced with all that paint and glue and glitter.
Art therapy is a joke, but as jokes go, it’s not a bad one. The idea is somethin’ like getting all that excess brain juice that so many of my housemates are plagued with siphoned off into some useless but harmless activity. Either that or someone somewhere really needs a dozen macaroni pictures and paintings of dogs and fruit and trees every single week. I wonder what happens to the bits we make? They hang around for a while, and then they’re gone. Some people give things to their relatives and friends. I made a cigar case with seashells stuck on it for Hannibal once, and a colorful pasta necklace for BA, but he don’t ever wear it, not that I’ve seen. I guess in our line o’ work it could get smooshed pretty easy, so maybe he’s just being considerate an’ keeping it somewhere safe.
I decided that day to make something for Face. He’s always been so nice to me, nicer even than the Colonel, whose job it is to be bossy sometimes, I guess. But not Face. He always knows what I’m talking about and where my head’s going and he never says the wrong things like BA does, things that send me scurrying into my skull to hide in the dark until he’s calmed down, and o’course I love the big lug but he’s got no patience for people not as straightforward as he is. Face is patience personified, and I guess if I’m gonna pick favourites it’d be him. I don’t know as he’d pick me too, but I don’t mind that, and it’s not even like I ever have to really pick at all. It’s just in my head, just a game. Maybe I’d pick him cause he’s always nice, maybe it’s because we smaller guys got to stick together on account of we don’t have BA’s brute strength or Hannibal’s... Hannibalness to see us through, so we gotta rely on speed and our wits and each other.
While we’re on the subject of the Faceman and of sex as well, it’s also worth notin’ he’s got the most raw talent in the bedroom. Not as poweful as BA, not as creative as the boss, but it’s something... probably the same thing, now I come to think of it, that makes him always so in tune with me, with the rest of us. He always knows what I need.
But I didn’t know what he needed, so I was stumped when it came to art day. I took a big sheet of paper and some paint and tried to make him a picture, but I didn’t know what he’d like. I couldn’t think what Face would like. I sat and stared at the paper and thought of all the times he’s given me something, bought me food or a t-shirt or just a gift, when he meets my gaze and reads right off my retina what it is I’m thinking, how he knows ‘Murdock needs a hug’ or ‘Murdock is thinking about getting a snack’ or whatever, and he gives me a hug or gets some snacks, and how I can’t do the same thing for him. I thought about the last night we were all together, how Hannibal lighting his cigar pretty much signalled he was out of the game and BA had wandered off to shower, and I looked at Face and he grinned and down he went on his knees. Just knew. And after that, we fell asleep, without me giving him something in return.
I was stuck there thinking about Face getting things and me taking them. It felt like no time at all, but when the art girl touched my shoulder and made me jump and I spilled the paint I’d been holding all over my hands, she said I had been there for the whole session and it was time for lunch.
And I hadn’t made anything for Face. Everything a little foggier, another little death.
“What is it with warehouses, huh?”
Face blinks in the dark, trying to focus on something, anything, before he sprains his eye muscles, but it’s no good. There’s something over his head. A bag? He can’t see anything, can’t feel anything either - hands bound too tight behind his back, feet tied to... chair legs? He’s in a chair. Well, that’s something. And Hannibal is on his right. He knows that because he can hear the Colonel talking.
“Always a warehouse in the middle of town. How do these people know where to find them, Lieutenant? You’re the go-to guy, you must know the ins and outs of acquiring property on short notice, so enlighten me here. Who do you call to rent an abandoned warehouse? Is there a committee somewhere? Because how, otherwise, do these mobsters and mercenaries and whatever the hell else, how do they know it’s really abandoned? Someone could walk in any minute with that delivery of door hinges they’ve been waiting on for months and stumble across this little charade and call the cops. But that never happens in the movies, does it? So what’s stopping it from happening now?”
Face feels himself smile. The Colonel’s talking rubbish. Anyone listening in would think that. Just talking out of nervousness or false bravado, but there’s far more to it than that. For starters, he’s just informed Face that he, Hannibal, can see where they are. He’s not blindfolded. He’s also not mentioning BA - the big guy’s not here. Door hinges, that’s a very old code, an obscure reference to Murdock, Murdock isn’t here, hasn’t found them, isn’t likely to... the reference to the movies means he’s working on a plan and Face shouldn’t worry. And he’s asking Face questions. He doesn’t know if Face is conscious or not and wants a response asap.
Face lifts his head, feels his neck seize up, and moans. Hanibal’s little dialogue comes to a halt.
“You okay, kid?”
“Fine and dandy, Colonel, never better. Owwww...”
“Try not to move.”
“Oh, well, I didn’t think of that.” Face tries to wriggle his legs. Whoever tied him to this chair did it very well. Shame. He does so like to see incompetence in his kidnappers.
“No, kid. Really. Do. Not. Move.”
A chill runs up Face’s spine, and he stills his efforts against his bonds. Hannibal is here. BA is not. And Face feels as though he’s still naked. What isn’t he being told here?
There’s a dark, unfamiliar chuckle off to Face’s left, and the sound of footsteps emerges from beneath that disconcerting tone. Footsteps coming towards him - no, heading towards Hannibal. No, two sets of footsteps. Oh god, he must have taken a solid blow to the head, his senses are a little warped. But no, definitely two sets of footsteps. They aren’t even out-numbered, so they must have Hannibal tied down pretty well too.
“Colonel Smith,” says the unfamiliar voice, although now he hears it again... “Or can I call you John?” And yes, Face is pretty sure he’s heard that voice somewhere before. Somewhere, a long time ago, and he can’t quite...
“I get a choice?”
“Of course. This is all about choices. For instance, you may also choose to tell me where it is. If you decline that option, your choice is this: do we cut off your boy’s left hand or his right?”
Face tenses even more. “Hey. My hands are one of my best features!”
Hannibal is silent for a moment. Then he says, “Where what is, friend?”
Another dark chuckle, and it’s gone. Face can’t pin down the voice. Hannibal doesn’t sound like he knows who this is either, but he could easily be putting that on for Face’s benefit. Whoever it is clearly knows Hannibal. Face is slightly more concerned with trying to pin point where the other set of footsteps went.
“Oh, you know, John. Or you will remember soon enough. So. His left or his right?”
“You cannot be-”
“I am very serious. Do not worry, my assistant here is a doctor, he will properly cauterise the wound. Your boy won’t die, but he will suffer. A very great deal.”
“You’re gonna have to explain what you’re talking about, or it won’t matter what you cut off whom, buddy. You won’t get your information because I don’t know what it is you want.”
The silence feels like it lasts forever. Face can’t hear a thing, not the sounds of the city, not Hannibal’s breathing. Not a sound from the second person who entered the warehouse. Then, finally, the man over by Hannibal speaks again.
“Very well. I will give you some time to think. And then you must decide.”
The footsteps start up again, but Hannibal shouts out after them.
“Wait! Where’s our friend?”
Another eternal silence. “He is... comfortable. Not as comfortable, of course, as in your bed, Colonel. And there is another threat for you. I know how important your team’s reputation is to you. It is, after all, your reputation that secures you future work, and I am sure there are those who would think twice about hiring such... deviants, should they find out. So think hard. Think back to the war. I will give you no more help than that.”
And then two sets of footsteps are moving away again, and Face and Hannibal are completely alone.