Disclaimer: I do not own nor did I create any of the A-team characters (main or support) nor do I own nor did I create any of the episodes. That credit is due to Stephen J. Cannell and his associates.

Spoiler Alert: Based off Season 1 Episode 13 "The Beast from the Belly of a Boeing" therefore some plot elements are revealed.

Author's Notes/Summary: After his horrible injury sustained during the Boeing mission Murdock faces down some insecurities, guilt, and fears as he heals.

From the Belly of a Boeing to the Belly of Dismay: by LAGC

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"Oh no I can't let him shoot Face!"

That was the only thought in my head when I dove for that creep hijacker's arm. I never thought to shield myself. Then the damn gun went off and I felt the searing pain as the powder burned my face, burned my eyes. I sat on the floor helplessly willing the fire to stop. Faceman punched out the goon and rushed to my side to help. There wasn't much he could do. The burn had left me bloody and ... blind.

We didn't have a moment to process that fact because instantly we heard another gunshot. Then the plane had lurched and we heard and felt the vicious vacuum of a plane with a breeched fuselage. Faceman braced himself against me and anchored the two of us until the plane self regulated.

"Oh hell the guys need me and I'm helpless!"

That was the new thought in my head oncd we had assessed the situation and assembled in the cockpit. Hannibal was in the captain chair and I sat in the co-pilot spot. It felt so unnatural - so wrong.

"He's on the Jazz! I better join him."

I said to myself to get focused and functioning. With Hannibal's jazzed confidence, the air traffic guy's directions, and my instructions, somehow, through the grace of the Almighty, Hannibal successfully landed the plane.

I was given primary first aid by the emergency crew on the landing strip. Amy had run and fetched the van the second she saw my injuries. Hannibal loaded us up and we fled here, to Doc Sullivan's. I heard the Colonel on the van phone warning the Doc that we were coming and that I had powder burns to my face and eyes. I heard him whisper, "Maggie, he can't see."

"Gee whiz, Colonel, no need to whisper. We all know I'm blind. What we don't know is if it's permanent blindness," I said to myself. The idea was so terrifying I didn't dare say it aloud and launch it into the universe. Face and Amy took turns patting my leg or rubbing my shoulders. A couple of times Face said, "Don't worry buddy, you're gonna be just fine." I'm not sure if he was trying to convince me or himself.

The pain, the disorientation of sightlessness, and the frantic drive kept threatening me with unconsciousness. I sat wishing I would pass out -then at least I wouldn't have to wrestle with the fear in my belly. The fear I was gonna be truly blind. But the peace of oblivion never came.

Ya know, over the years, I've been through a lot. I've seen a lot. I've lost too much. None of that had prepared me for being blinded. All I could think was ...

"Blind wouldn't be just an injury. Blind wouldn't be just a thing to deal with and adapt to.

Blind would change everything. Blind would end me.

It wouldn't kill me but it would end me."

"A blind person can't pilot a plane.

I am a pilot.

No! I am the A-team's pilot! Damn it!

My role, my function, my purpose is flying my unit safely home.

What or who am I without flying?

What would they do without me?"

Finally B.A. screeched to a halt in front of Maggie's house. She raced out to the van as we all tumbled out.

"Hi Doc. My turn for your miraculous ministrations," I teased Maggie to keep myself distracted. To distract the guys. I couldn't see 'em with my eyes ... but I still saw 'em in my mind. Hannibal had that cloudy look in his eyes, the fatherly "my boy is hurt, and I need him fixed" look. B. A.'s mouth was set in a firm line and he was fidgeting with his gold. Amy was looking at Hannibal waiting for instructions. Facey, he had his eyes big as saucers, the color drained out, and his smile wasn't functioning.

Faceman took my left arm, Hannibal my right, as Maggie led us into her exam room. She shooed everyone out - she's the only one I know who can successfully give Hannibal an order. (That's cuz he's sweet on her.)

"Okay Captain let's see what's up. Honest answers okay? The guys can't hear." I flashed her the best smile I could. She understands a Team's code. "I promise, the whole truth and nothing but," I swore.

She examined, questioned, and cleaned me up. She gave my eyes a good flushing. Then she bandaged the boo boos and patched my eyes. She offered me a sedative but I declined it. I've got enough pharmaceuticals in me as it is.

Her tasks completed, she left me alone on a cot that B.A. had brought in. Longest night of my life ... and I've had some pretty long ones, let me tell you.

But ...I've never had to dance with the type of fear I danced with that night. It's scary to fear your own death. It's terrifying to fear the death of the people you love. It's horrifying to fear the end of yourself.

I had one mantra mashing around in my mind. All I could think was ...

"Blind wouldn't be just an injury. Blind wouldn't be just a thing to deal with and adapt to.

Blind would change everything. Blind would end me.

It wouldn't kill me but it would end me."

"A blind person can't pilot a plane.

I am a pilot.

No! I am the A-team's pilot! Damn it!

My role, my function, my purpose is flying my unit safely home.

What or who am I without flying?

What would they do without me?"

I could hear the guys pacing out in the living room. Every hour or so one would peek his head in to check on me. I faked I was sleeping. I wasn't ready to expose my fear. Round about 2am one of them came all the way into the room. It was Faceman. I could tell by his stealthy footsteps. B. A.'s are always heavy, even when he's quiet. Hannibal's are always firm and defiant.

Face whispered,"Hey, Murdock, mind if I sleep in here? The Colonel and B.A. are snoring too loudly."

"How'd ya know I was awake?"

"Murdock, please, you can't con your con-man."

I just smiled to myself. Leave it to Face to find a way in. He'd never let me go through this alone.

"Hey, Murdock? Thanks for saving me on that plane. The goon had me- dead on"

"Anytime, Muchacho. No sweat."

"Murdock? You're gonna be just fine. Just fine, buddy. Get some sleep now."

And ya know. I actually did. Having Face there did seem to calm me a bit.

The next morning was sunny and bright. Not that I could see it but I felt it on my cheeks. I awoke to Doc Sullivan's voice. I chuckled to myself that Facey must have slipped out before anyone could catch him violating the inner sanctum. That's the Faceman for ya.

"Okay, Captain, let's see the difference a night makes." Maggie said as she removed my bandages. The pain in my face was less but my skin felt stiff, tight, and raw. Maggie said those wounds looked good and uninfected.

She closed the drapes before she removed my eye patches. She didn't want to shock my eyes with too bright a light. Instinctively I shut my eyelids as she popped off the patches. I really was afraid to open my eyes and assess the damage.

"Okay Murdock. Let me see your puppy dog peepers," Maggie encouraged me. Carefully I opened one eye then the other. I could see the shadow that was the Doc. It wasn't eagle eye vision but it was a hell of a lot more than I had on the plane. I released the breath I holding.

"I'm seeing shadows," I told her. "Good," she answered as she set to fully examining my eyes.

"Ok. Everything is responding well. Your pupils are dilating properly, your eyes are following movement. Your retinas and lenses seem to have sustained no major injuries. I'm confident your vision is going to be just fine, Murdock. But, I still want you to see a true ophthalmologist soon, though. I'll find you a trustworthy one."

When I heard her words I just started shaking from the relief of it all.

I was gonna be fine.

I was still gonna be H.M. Murdock. Pilot of the A-team.