Warning Overall: Alternate Universe A-Team, Violence, Gore, Language, Monsters all over the damned place
Chapter 1 Chapter 2
“Wrong?” B.A. and Face shared a confused look before they walked over as Murdock trailed behind.
Lying in the sand was a tall, redheaded, white male with an Eagle, Globe & Anchor tattoo visible on what was left of his chest.
“Oh, shit. Holy shit!” Face ran a hand through his hair.
“Fucking Marine.” B.A. growled.
“What? How is this? Boss?” Face rambled as his eyes shifted between the dead man and Hannibal.
“I don’t know.” Hannibal shook his head then stood, “Let’s get this taken care of then I need to make a call to the General before we do anything else.”
As Face and B.A. went to get the vehicle Hannibal looked to Murdock.
“Everything good, son?”
Murdock met Hannibal’s intense gaze. The same one the Colonel had had that day so long ago when they’d come swooping in and gotten him the hell out of that Mexican hospital filled with nitwit nurses and the soul-sucking mummy that he absolutely knew skulked the premises.
“Things got a little hairy there for awhile, sir, but we’re set.”
Hannibal’s face relaxed as he laughed and Murdock could have wept with joy when the Colonel’s big hand clapped him on the left shoulder instead of the right that still burned like hellfire.
After they had gotten the body stowed away the three of them waited for Hannibal as he placed the call to General Morrison.
“You sure you didn’t get bit, fool?” B.A. tried hard to keep his scowl more one of aggravation than concern.
“Come on, big guy! Everybody knows that people getting all wolfed out from a bite is made up to sell movie tickets and that’s it.”
“What? Man, you know damned well…” B.A. started to argue but stopped when Hannibal strode over, chewing hard on his unlit cigar in irritation.
“Let’s get out of here, boys.”
“What the hell’s going on, Hannibal? What did Morrison say?”
“We’ve got an emergency debriefing as soon as we get back.”
Murdock never thought there'd come a day when he’d be apprehensive about flying but then today had been full of all sorts of fucked up surprises and Face was not making the situation any less stressful as he stuck so close that the pilot felt like he couldn’t breathe.
The entire three hour trip back to base Murdock talked continuously, even more than usual. He filled up the space around them with inane trivia and burst of songs to make sure there was no room for questions about what had happened, not trusting himself to keep the truth in if asked while it was just Face and him in the cockpit.
Murdock started to recite ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ in its entirety… in German when he looked over and noticed Face had fallen asleep.
‘Maybe it’d be alright to slow down.’ Murdock thought, but the minute it crossed his mind he felt the beginnings of a horrified scream as it tried to claw its way out of his throat.
He kept it at bay as he resumed his tale of ‘Rotkäppchen’ and by the time they landed he’d moved on to ‘The Three Little Pigs’.
“You’re going to medical as soon as this meeting is over.” Face stretched in his seat as he woke and kept an eye on the pilot.
Murdock’s response was interrupted by a commotion and Hannibal’s voice booming with anger from the rear of the plane.
“For fuck sake. What now?” Face groaned as he stood up and opened the door.
Murdock looked over Face’s shoulder at the unfolding chaos. B.A. was still knocked out, strapped to his seat and oblivious to the uproar. Hannibal was shouting at a smug-faced blond man in a suit, while a group of people took the containment unit off the plane.
“We had orders from the General to bring the cargo back to base. Has this gone through him?”
The blond laughed. “We’re the Supernatural Defense Agency; our orders supersede any given by General Morrison.”
“What are you going to do with the body?”
“Body, Colonel? What body?” The agent smirked before he stepped off the plane.
“Boss, this is bullshit. They can’t just come in here and take the body and not tell us what’s happening.”
“Yeah, kid, obviously, they can. We’re gonna be late. Help me with B.A. so we can get out of here and get some answers.”
Murdock hoped the meeting would be over quickly. He didn’t know how long he could keep his anxious body still, especially when it took everything in him not to scratch the burning itch that had started shortly before in his right arm.
He had intentionally sat to Hannibal’s right, taking full advantage of the Colonel’s blind spot but that didn’t save him from the constant glances from Face or the few angry, groggy stares from B.A.
Murdock barely paid attention, more worried about getting out of the tiny room so he could assess the damage and trying to ignore the voice who continued to try and convince him how quickly his team... no, friends would put him down if they knew.
He shook his head hard, trying to steady himself but the rest of his limbs didn’t get the memo and his knee knocked against the table loudly.
General Morrison stopped talking and all eyes were suddenly on Murdock.
“You alright, Captain?”
“My leg wanted to share his two cents but forgot all questions were to be held till the end. Sorry ‘bout that, sir.”
After a moment Morrison continued and Murdock kept his eyes front, ignoring the holes Face was boring into him from the other table.
Murdock’s interest was finally held when they started going over the details of Gunnery Sergeant Ted Rogers. Somewhere, possibly his last leave, Rogers was infected and had been AWOL from his unit for the last six months before they had the unfortunate meeting with him earlier tonight.
The General was interrupted again when the door opened and in walked the blond S.D.A. agent from the plane.
“Gentlemen, this is Agent Lynch from the S.D.A.”
“We’ve already had the pleasure of meeting, though this is our first official introduction.” Hannibal glowered at Lynch.
“Alright, here’s the deal. As you’ve been told, Gunnery Sergeant Rogers was AWOL, but that is no longer the case. And seeing as how no one on your team was injured…”
As Lynch’s gaze slid over the four of them, Murdock found himself running tongue over teeth. ‘Good deal, no fangs.’
“No one was injured, correct, Colonel?” Lynch’s stare flicked back to Murdock, who grasped the chair tightly to keep himself still.
“No injuries.” Hannibal responded and Murdock sagged in relief as Lynch looked away.
“Excellent, then that means we’re done here.” He clapped his hands together before striding out of the room as quickly as he’d entered.
“That’s it? Russ, what’s really going on here? S.D.A. doesn’t just come in and make a body disappear.”
“Hannibal, it’s out of my hands. If they say that’s it then that’s it.” Morrison sighed.
Murdock quickly took advantage of the apparent dismissal, “I’m gonna go get checked out then hit a shower ‘cause I smell like a dog, Bossman.”
Hannibal absently shook his head in agreement and Murdock relaxed, the other man’s obvious distraction made it easier for him to lie right to the Colonel’s face.
“I’ll come with you.” Face offered, giving no option for refusal as he moved over to sit next to them at the table and watched Murdock suspiciously.
Murdock knew Face would see right through the story as soon as the conman heard him volunteer to head to medical.
“I’m fine. I know where it is. Don’t even gotta drop breadcrumbs to get back.” Murdock rolled his eyes.
“Face, I need you here. I have a couple more things to go over with Morrison and want your input.”
Murdock didn’t waste time and nearly knocked his chair over as he headed for the door, ignoring Face’s continued protests to Hannibal.
He went directly back to the tent, grabbing clean clothes out of his trunk before heading to the showers on the other side of camp.
After checking that there was no one else in the area Murdock shrugged out of his jacket, wincing as the sleeve dragged against battered flesh. He took the ripped pieces of cloth off his arm and looked at the wound clearly for the first time. Though it’d been under 6 hours, Murdock could see a large amount of healing had already taken place.
“Figures, Marine would go right for the Ranger tat.” Murdock grumbled dryly as he poked at the damaged skin before taking off the blood soaked shirts and burying them at the bottom of the trashcan.
He quickly finished undressing and climbed into the shower, turning the water on as high and hot as it would go.
“Mother fu…” Murdock’s hand shot out for the wall as the water hit his arm, the pain almost sending him to his knees. He stood hunched under the spray, trying not to vomit or pass out, both of which were a strong possibility, when he heard a sharp intake of breath from behind. Murdock tried to will himself to stay still but it was useless as his body betrayed him and turned towards the one thing he didn’t want to see.
Face stood near the shower, eyes wide and face pale with shock. Murdock felt a violent, manic laugh start to bubble up and he tried to swallow it back down as Face spoke.
“Oh, Christ, Murdock.”
The look of terror was bad enough, Murdock thought as he tried to keep his eyes from sliding back to the man in front of him but Face’s voice shouldn’t sound like that. Face was supposed to laugh or shout with excitement, gasp in the heat of passion, but not this.
Murdock looked down at the tiled floor, the water losing heat and turning cold against his back as he remembered the last time Face had used that pained, lost tone. It’d been the mission with the Odz-Manouk, two years ago. They’d fucked up. Some small miscalculation but it had given the serpent a chance to lash out with its razor tail and claws.
Face had gone down so fast and Murdock would never forget the panicked and scared pitch of his voice when he clutched at Murdock as the pilot dragged him out of harm’s way.
Oh, God there had been so much blood that day, so much of Face’s blood. Like the blood that was now swirling, escaping down the drain. Except this time it was his and there would be no recovery from this wound like there’d been for Face.
Murdock felt the room tilt slightly and the edges of everything get fuzzy.
“No fucking way, H.M. You don’t get to check out and leave a goddamn lycanthropologist or werewolf hunter to fix this. I need you to help me. I. Need. You.”
The anger in Face’s voice snapped Murdock’s head up and sharpened the room immediately. Anger he could deal with. The terror and pity would be the thing that broke him.
“Face, there’s no fixing this.” Murdock wearily pointed at his arm, the mending even more visible without all the blood.
“We can…I don’t know. We can figure something out. Let me help.” Face pleaded and moved closer.
Murdock held a hand out, “Stop. Don’t. There’s still blood, all over.”
Face shook his head. “Ok, ok let me think.”
Murdock turned off the shower and wrapped a towel around his waist, watching as Face paced back and forth.
“We should tell Hannibal. He’ll help.” Murdock heard himself say and Face came to an abrupt stop.
“No, no, no. We can’t get him in this. I’ll take care of it.” Face reached for Murdock but the pilot dodged the movement; causing a pained expression to cross Face’s features. “Don’t lock me out, buddy.”
“What can you do, Face? Have you forgotten all the fur and fangs and raging blood lust? How in the hell are we gonna deal with that?” The questions hung in the air as Murdock went stone still and before Face could respond the pilot let out a desperate moan that tore through the silence as shudders wracked his body.
When Murdock felt Face’s hands against his skin he started to flail, trying to shove him away even as Face’s grip tightened.
“Temp, don’t touch me!” Murdock’s eyes were large and wild; he wailed and bucked as Face used his slight size advantage to press the frantic pilot against the stall.
“H.M., look at me, look at me.” Face ran a hand through Murdock’s wet hair and tilted his head up so their eyes met. “Shhh, buddy, you gotta stop. Someone’s gonna hear you.”
Murdock slumped forward, the fight going out of him as his left arm scrabbled for purchase against Face’s back. “Bound to happen anyway, Faceman. We’re only gonna delay the inevitable.”