I've surprised myself by writing a little story from Amy's point of view! I hope you all enjoy it. Please leave a review if you have time, I would really appreciate it. Thank you kindly.
FEAR NO MORE
"Mr. Murdock, you have a visitor."
Amy Allen stepped into Murdock's room at the VA Hospital, smiling graciously at the middle-aged nurse who had opened the door for her. "Thank you," she said.
Murdock was eating his dinner from a tray balanced on his knees. Loud classical music was blaring from his radio and he slowly swayed from side to side in time with the melody as he put another forkful of mashed potato into his mouth. He looked up at Amy and grinned broadly.
"Hey," he said, by way of acknowledgement and he reached over and turned off the radio.
"I'll be down the hall if you need me," said the nurse and Amy nodded and flashed her another smile.
As soon as the door closed Amy's smile was gone and her face became serious.
"OK, Murdock," she said, urgently. "What's the mission? Who's the client? Where are we going? I take it we'll be flying. I already have a plan to get you out of here, where are we meeting the others? And where is Face, anyway? I thought he usually does this part, he's not in any trouble is he?"
"Whoa!" exclaimed Murdock, putting his fork down and raising his arms in the air. "Whoa, whoa, whoa, Nelly! Whatch'ya talkin' about?"
Amy's face fell into a puzzled frown. "I got your message on my machine," she explained. "I came as soon as I could. I assumed we had a new client?"
"Nope," replied Murdock, returning his attention to his meal. He plunged his forefinger into the mashed potato, scooping up as much as he could before waving it in front of Amy. "Want some?" he asked.
Amy turned up her nose. "Um, no thanks," she replied.
Murdock shrugged and enthusiastically licked the potato from his finger.
"Why don't you eat with everyone else in the hall?" Amy asked.
She was starting to realise that Murdock spent a lot of his time alone in his room. She guessed it was partly to do with making sure he was available for the team if they needed him, but she couldn't help thinking there was another reason too.
"Some of these crazy folk have real bad table manners," replied Murdock with a wink and Amy laughed.
She hadn't known Murdock that long and of course he was insane – or so he claimed – but the message he'd left her had sounded serious. If The A-Team didn't need her help with a job, what was she doing here?
"Why did you call me, Murdock?" she asked, pulling up a spare chair and sitting down opposite him.
"No, I'm Murdock," he replied. "I called you Amy. I think you're gettin' yourself confused, Darlin'."
It took Amy a moment to realise what she'd said and she rolled her eyes. "You know what I mean!" she exclaimed.
"I just thought we could talk," Murdock explained. "That's all."
"Talk? Um, OK," Amy responded, hesitantly. "About what exactly?"
It had been three days since they'd returned home from their last job and she'd been up all night finishing her story on the so-called Reverend James and his crazy cult. She wasn't really in the mood for talking, she'd planned an early night.
"Well, I wanted to make sure you're OK," Murdock explained. "That last mission sure was a tough one."
Amy nodded slowly. "Yes," she agreed. Then she realised something, the real reason Murdock seemed so concerned about her. "I guess you heard about my little… um…" she trailed off, searching for the right words. "My little wobble back there," she said, eventually.
Amy closed her eyes and thought back to the moment Martin James and his goons had locked her, Hannibal, Face and BA in a barn. The guys had immediately started making an escape plan, but for some reason Amy had quickly become overwhelmed with fear.
"Face told me," admitted Murdock. "So, you wanna talk about it?"
"Not really," replied Amy, stoically. "I was scared, the guys helped me through it. That's all there is to say."
"I'm guessin' they gave you the whole speech about acceptin' death, right?"
Amy laughed lightly. "They did," she confirmed. "And it worked. I assume you've heard it before?"
Murdock nodded. He lifted his tray from his lap and placed it carefully on the bed. Then he drew a slow breath. "First time we were captured in 'Nam," he began. "All the trainin' in the world ain't gonna prepare you for a VC POW camp. Me and Face… we weren't doin' so good. Hannibal held us together in there with that speech. I don't know where he'd heard it before – maybe it was all his own, I never asked – but it got us all through."
Amy patted his forearm gently. She could see the darkness in his eyes as he spoke. She would love to interview him properly about his time in Vietnam - to ask him some really probing questions about what it had been like over there – it would make a great story, but she knew she couldn't ask Murdock to re-live the hell he'd been through. She hoped one day he'd be strong enough, but she knew that day was still a long way off.
"Hannibal really cares about you guys," she said, with a warm smile.
Murdock nodded. "He cares about you too," he noted. "He wouldn't let you hang around with us if he didn't. We've been a unit for a long time, he doesn't let just anyone in. Especially not a pretty lady like you. Or any lady, come to think of it. He sees somethin' in you."
Amy felt her cheeks flush. She still couldn't quite believe how much her life had changed since she'd found The A-Team. She knew how lucky she was to be in this position and she didn't want to do anything to jeopardise it. "I guess what happened the other day," she began. "I mean I guess Hannibal might reconsider letting me stay if it happens again, right?"
"Is it gonna happen again?" asked Murdock, looking her straight in the eye.
"No," replied Amy with determination. "I won't let it."
"Wish it was that simple," noted Murdock. "C'mon, talk me through it. If there's one thing I've learned from living in the nut house it's that if there's somethin' playin' with your mind then talkin' about it really helps."
Amy sighed. She really didn't think she needed to talk about any of it. She had to admit it had been playing on her mind a little, but she hadn't slept properly since she'd got back and she felt sure she'd be fine after a long, hot bath and a good night's sleep.
"I'm a good listener," prompted Murdock and he grabbed a comic that he'd left on the table, rolled it into a cone and stuck it in his ear. "See?" he said with a grin.
Amy laughed. "OK, OK," she said. She took a deep breath. "It was being locked in that barn, I guess. I didn't know what Martin James was going to do to us… to me. He kept those dark glasses on the whole time so you couldn't see his eyes. It was… it was creepy. And being shut in there, the fear came out of nowhere. I tried to hide it from the guys, but Face saw straight through me."
Murdock nodded understandingly. "Nothing much gets past the Faceman," he noted.
"And that's about it," added Amy with a shrug. "We all held hands and somehow they gave me strength." She stopped and swallowed hard. "I… I don't know where the fear came from?" she added quietly. "I've been in dangerous situations before, I've been undercover plenty of times. Heck, Mexico with you guys was pretty scary!"
"You were runnin' on adrenaline in Mexico," Murdock pointed out.
"True," admitted Amy. "One minute I'm trying to track down The A-Team, next thing I'm on a plane with BA snoring in my ear. Then we found Al and I was just so relieved that he was alive and then all those people stood up to Valdez and his men… and then it was all over. I guess I didn't have time to be scared."
"Fear ain't always a bad thing, y'know," said Murdock. "The enemy'll always try to play on your fears, but y'just gotta throw it back in their face. Turn your fear into your strength."
"You make it sound so easy."
"Had a lotta practice," he said, pointedly. "You had any nightmares yet?"
"Nightmares?" repeated Amy in surprise. "No, none. Honestly, Murdock, I'm fine. Thanks for this talk, I really appreciate it." She meant it, too. It had felt really good to chat through this with him.
Murdock grabbed her hand. "If they come, the nightmares… call me," he said in a low voice.
Amy clutched his hand tightly. "Do you have nightmares?" she asked, gently.
He'd seemed suddenly very concerned and she realised he must be speaking from experience. She didn't want to imagine the kinds of terrible dreams Murdock might have. All those memories to purge, the images of war and death… it didn't bear thinking about.
But suddenly the grin returned to Murdock's face and he released her hand from his grasp. "Me? No!" he exclaimed. "Not since I got a dream catcher. Keep it under my pillow."
"Oh, I love those," said Amy. "There so pretty with the feathers."
Murdock got to his feet and lifted up the pillow on his bed to show her, but the 'dream catcher' wasn't what Amy was expecting at all.
"Murdock," she began, in a puzzled tone. "That's a sock."
"Sshhh," hissed Murdock, pressing a finger to her lips. "He's havin' an identity crisis."
Amy supressed a laugh. "Oh, sorry," she said.
"Ooh!" exclaimed Murdock, animatedly. "I just remembered, there's half a peanut butter sandwich in there. It's yours if you want it. I've been savin' it for emergencies."
This time Amy couldn't help laughing. "Thanks," she said, turning her nose up in disgust. "But I think I'm going to grab some take out on the way home."
"Thanks for comin' over," he said as he followed her to the door.
"Thanks for the invite," she replied with a smile. "It's been… it's been fun." She turned the door handle, momentarily forgetting they were locked in. "Oh," she said, awkwardly when she realised the door wouldn't open. She glanced at Murdock. "Why do you stay here?" she asked him. "You could leave any time you wanted. Why don't you stay with the guys?"
"But I'm crazy!" he replied, with wild eyes. "Insane! A total nut job. I'm loony toons!"
"No you're not."
Murdock's mouth fell open at her response. Then, as if to back up his assertions, he grabbed the fork he'd been using to eat with earlier and pretended to plunge the prongs into his own forehead.
"Arghhh!" he yelled. "Get it off me! Get it off me!" And he proceeded to 'wrestle' with the fork, scrambling around the room as if he was struggling to overpower it.
The noise attracted attention and within seconds the door was unlocked and the nurse who had let Amy in reappeared. "Murdock!" yelled the nurse, but Murdock ignored him as he continued to fight with the fork.
"He's OK," Amy said, somewhat unconvincingly as Murdock started yelling at the fork. "Murdock!" she called out to him. "I have to go now!"
Murdock managed a quick, cheery wave with one hand, before the fork apparently pulled him to the floor.
Amy smiled at the nurse. "I'll see myself out," she said and she left, desperate to one day learn more about H. M. Murdock, but content for now to call him a friend.