"Get away from me, fool! I don't have time for your jibber-jabber!"
Terry Sullivan looked up in surprise at the angry voice she heard a short distance away. She could have sworn she just heard -
"I'm warning you, sucka!"
The flower garden she had been working in forgotten, Terry picked herself up off the ground and made her way around the side of the house.
"Mark! What are you doing?" she demanded of the taller of the two children, causing a guilty expression to cross his face. Beside him, Timothy stood sobbing his little six year old heart out.
"Where did you learn to speak like that?" she asked, scooping up the hysterical child.
Another voice interrupted before he had a chance to reply. "B.A., are you sure you don't need help with that? I bet if I could just-"
"Shut up, fool!" The big man carrying the ladder past them hollered at Murdock who shadowed his moves. "I don't need your help for nothin'!"
"Excuse me." Terry's sudden appearance made both men stop in their tracks. "I was wondering if I might have a word with you, Mr. Baracus? Alone." she added, her tone clearly indicating he had no choice in the matter.
After a moment, they began walking together. The captain had gone off with the two boys, realizing right away this was a conversation he did *not* want to be a part of.
"I hope you don't take this the wrong way," she began carefully, "but I have a duty to look after the children who stay here at the orphanage, and I'm afraid your attitude is just unacceptable."
B.A. studied the woman for a moment. Nobody had ever spoken to him like that except his mother. All at once he felt about two feet tall. "I'm sorry, ma'am," was all he could think to say. Here he was the one most determined that the team take up the orphanage's case, and he was the one being scolded!
"It's all right, as long as you can keep your temper under control around the children." Terry patted the muscular arm lightly as she would a child, letting him know she wasn't angry. "My parents and I are just trying to teach the children to accept others, no matter how different they are. Now, if you could refrain from expressing the negative and point out the positive, I'm sure it would help tremendously! These little boys are really starting to look up to you, you know."
B.A. glanced around the huge yard, watching as the dozen or so children scampered about. The number of orphans who actually lived there was small since the place had just opened, but Terry and her family provided them with lots of love. They were having a few troubles with the local big shots, but that was something the A-Team intended to resolve real soon. His gaze returned to the young woman at his side.
"You have my word," he promised sincerely, "I'll treat everyone as nice as I can."
Things went amazingly smooth for the rest of the day. B.A. kept his promise, not blowing up at Murdock or anyone else. In fact, he even complimented the captain on the dinner he had prepared that evening. Everyone was very impressed, even startled in some cases.
Yes, things were running very
smoothly on the mission. That is, until later that night...
It was late in the evening, all the children were tucked in tight and fast asleep. (As it were, a few of the teenage girls were dreaming of a certain lieutenant who had struck their fancy.) The only sound to be heard was that of insects forging through the darkness outside.
Among those in dreamland, Murdock lay curled up in his bed with images of planes, hats, and Snoopy running through his mind when suddenly, a great weight did fall upon his head. He jerked awake, alerted by the rap to his noggin, only to find...nothing.
"That's odd," he mumbled sleepily, looking around for some clue as to what had startled him. Just twisted sheets and a fluffy pillow. Even B.A. (who was easily the number one suspect) was missing from his own bed on the other side of the room. Well, something had hit him, and he was determined to find out what or who it was.
"What's going on in here?" Murdock demanded, flying into the room the other two members of the team were sharing and flicking on the light switch.
Two loud groans were his response. "We *were* sleeping." Face grumbled, throwing his pillow at the figure in the doorway.
"What's wrong, Captain?" Hannibal pulled himself into an upright position and blinked at him groggily.
Murdock glanced from one person to the other, studying each carefully. "Never mind," he said quickly changing his mind and slipping out the way he had come. Tired and cranky expressions like the ones he had seen could not be faked, he decided. No, it just didn't make sense. He would have to examine every possibility right from -
The pilot's train of thought was rudely interrupted as another blow landed to the back of his head. Turning quickly, he managed to catch a glimpse of B.A. returning to their room from the bathroom, a rolled up magazine in his hand.
"He did it! He attacked me with a concealed weapon!"
Hannibal and Face let out another shared groan as the lights were once again turned on without warning.
"Murdock, this really isn't the time."
"You don't understand!" he replied to the colonel's protest, "the
big guy is out to get me!"
It was Face's turn to try reason. "Murdock, B.A. has been a perfect angel since this morning. He's been walking on egg shells around you."
"It's an act! A cover!" Despite the lieutenant's feeble protests, Murdock ran over and inserted himself under the other's blankets to join him. "I can't go back there! He's just waiting for another opportunity to strike! I knew he really didn't like my meat-loaf!"
"Take my bed." Hannibal stood up, still half-asleep. "I'll go bunk with B.A."
"Be careful!" Murdock called after him before the door was closed. He turned to find Face looking at him expectantly. "What?"
The next day, things resumed back to normal. The team worked to help the Sullivan family and B.A. was so sweet it was positively sickening. Murdock's claims were largely ignored, but he was allowed to permanently switch rooms with Hannibal for the rest of the case and, for some reason, all the magazines in the household turned up missing.
When night came, Murdock was taking no chances. He had determined that the best policy was to remain amongst as many people as possible and stay awake all night, ready and on guard. Unfortunately, the only volunteer he had for assistance came from little Timothy. So, despite Terry's protests, they camped out in the living room watching "Nick at Nite" until the wee hours of the morning when the tired tot finally dozed off. Murdock was following suit when an episode of "The Odd Couple" started.
*Boy, that Felix...* he thought as he drifted off.
The captain bolted awake in the arm chair as the rolled up newspaper connected with his skull. There was no doubt about it this time, it was definitely B.A.'s back he saw retreating down the hall. Timothy was of no help, he had slept through the entire thing. For some reason, Murdock glanced at the TV.
On the screen, a sleepwalking Oscar was chasing Felix around the apartment trying to hit him. As he watched, everything began to click. B.A. was Oscar! Forced to be good during the day, his subconscious took over at night! That was it! All he had to do was *make* the big guy yell at him when he was awake! That had never proven to be a problem before...
With a flurry of movement, Murdock rushed to tell his room the news.
B.A. looked up as he slipped back into his room and found Hannibal watching him in amusement. The "sleepwalker" couldn't hold back his own giggle as he nodded.
"Got to get my kicks somehow," Baracus explained.
Hannibal lit up a cigar from his sitting position in the bed, a feat mastered over the years.
"You realize, of course, you're acting out an episode of an old sitcom."
The grin widened. "Where do you think I got the idea from?"
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