Well I wouldn't say that I got a bolt of genius, it was more like a mild buzz of inspiration. None-the-less it's enough to get me through this chapter, and there might even be enough residue to finish off the next chapter too. Here's hoping…
Winding up the crazy paving driveway to my lovely stained glass door, which everyone apart from me seemed to stare at in appreciation, I tried to shake Face's arm from my waist and digging into my jeans pocket, I searched profusely for my keys. A little jingle sounded deep from the bottom of the pocket.
"Need a hand?" Face asked with a little twinkle in his eyes that said exactly what he was thinking. I glowered at him; the last thing I wanted was that randy little devil's hands in my jeans. He flashed another toothy grin and turned to Hannibal who was standing next to a pair of stone boots that had little blue flowers spilling out of them. I wasn't very keen on my mum's garden ornaments but I had to admit, the boots were pretty cute. Murdock was leaning down beside the stone cocker spaniel at the foot of the steps.
"I see you like garden statues." I knew that Hannibal said it as an observation more than an inquiry, but I answered anyway.
"No, my mum collects them. Sort of a hobby." I deftly fished my keys from the bottom of my pocket and unlocked the door. Opening it, the alarm immediately went off, blaring it's incredibly annoying and noisy warning. Rushing inside, I quickly typed in the security code. The alarm stopped as abruptly as it had started.
"Nice security system you've got there." Face walked in directly behind Hannibal and headed straight for the keypad. Hannibal went to one of the sensor's that was fitted snugly into a corner wall. He studied it, waving his hand over the moving red light.
"Infra red trigger mechanism…..must have been very expensive."
I shrugged. I wasn't sure how much mum had paid for it, though I'm pretty sure it wasn't that expensive. Though considering the security of the 80's I could understand why they were all so impressed. Then it dawned on me. How was I going to explain to them that they weren't in the 80's anymore? Murdock rushed inside and headed directly up the stairs.
"Make yourself at home." I muttered under my breath as I walked though to the kitchen. The others piled in after me, filling up the room and making it almost unbearably crowded. I headed straight for the freezer and after a somewhat fruitless search for frozen peas I came out with a bag of mixed vegetables. Sitting down on one of the chairs, I placed it tentatively on the back of my head, wincing as the cold plastic touched my tender flesh.
"Let me take a look at that." Hannibal walked up behind my seat and pushed my hand away. Brushing my hair aside he searched lightly over the wound. "It's not very deep but enough to have caused a concussion. Shouldn't need stitches, if you'll let me I'll clean it up for you."
"Thanks, but I need to get changed first." My jeans and shirt were streaked with mud; the collar of my t-shirt was stiff with dried blood. I wanted more than anything to take a shower but given the present company that didn't seem to be such a good idea. I got up off the chair, my head spinning from the sudden movement. I gripped the back of the chair to stop myself from swaying and then began to weave my way out of the kitchen.
"Here let me help you…" Face stepped forward to help me but I declined his offer with a shake of my head.
"No it's okay, I can manage." I turned to BA and Hannibal who were both watching me intently. "There's some food in the fridge if your hungry and the keys to the garage are hanging up next to the back door. I'm sure you'll want those."
"Excellent! Thank you very much mam." Hannibal clamped another cigar from his pocket between his teeth and started to light up. I was about to tell him that there was no smoking in the house but I quickly decided against it. What did I care? It was a dream, that's all. This whole thing was a big, all be it realistic dream and the minute I got upstairs and was fast asleep in my bed the sooner it would all be over. With that thought stuck firmly in my head I walked out of the kitchen and up the stairs to my bedroom. Shutting the door behind me like a barrier against the world, I fell on my bed and curled up into a foetal position. Tightly closing my eyes and like Dorothy, but without the red slippers, I started to wish for home.
Fatigue washed over me and found myself drifting off into the haze of sleep quickly. The aching of my body seemed to dissolve into warm, fuzzy cotton wool that filled my limbs and made them heavy. It felt like my head was floating off the pillow. I gave a happy little groan, and considered that after waking up from this dream I would write a sonnet in dedication to my much beloved bed. A shadow fell over the warm light that was shining on my closed eyelids and the floorboards by the bed creaked. It would be Andrew, my brother, wanting into my room so he could play American football on the Playstation. I rolled over and pulled the covers up over my head.
"Andrew, you can play the computer if you want, I'm not that bothered. I just want to lie here for a while." My voice was slightly slurred but I didn't really care, I was just so in love with my bed and it's warm sheets. I was pretty sure I could live out the rest of my life just lying in blissful unawareness curled up between my mattress and covers.
"Who's Andrew?" The soft voice questioned almost inaudibly through the buzzing noise that vibrated in my head. I opened my eyes and squinted up at the towering figure blocking the light. After a few seconds the face came into focus.
"Aw fuck!" I tried to scramble up out of my bed but crawled back to far and fell off the edge, landing on the floor with a thud. Murdock ran round and knelt beside me, putting his hands on my shoulders and pulling me up into a sitting position. I looked up at him and couldn't stop shaking my head in disbelieve.
"No, no, no, no, no, no, no" I kept on saying it over and over again, this couldn't be real, I had to be dreaming.
"Are you okay?" Murdock brushed back some of the hair that had fallen onto my face and stared at me, his big brown eyes filled with concern.
"No!" My final 'no' was filled with desperation. "I'm not alright! My head hurts and my body hurts and I'm having a dream that I can't wake up from and it hurts too." I looked Murdock and he looked straight back into my eyes. Then I noticed something peculiar. He was wearing a kilt, my brothers' kilt in fact.
"Why are you wearing my brothers' kilt?"
He shrugged and grinned. "The little hamster begged me to put it on." He pointed to the sporran that hung off his shoulder like a handbag.
"That's a sporran, and you're meant to wear it around your waist not over your shoulder." Why was I explaining this? It was pointless. Everything was pointless. I closed my eyes and tried to stop the increasing build up of tears that were gathering behind my lids. It didn't work, I was so frustrated and confused and…..well scared shitless. I felt one lonely tear slide down my cheek which was quickly followed by another.
"I'm gonna get Hannibal, you need to see a doctor." I opened my eyes to see Murdock scramble up off the floor, with as much dignity as you can in a kilt, and head for my bedroom door.
"Your right" I mumble almost incoherently. "I do need a doctor, because I'm insane…..I'm absolutely, completely, totally and utterly insane. YOU'RE NOT REAL! But I'm talking to you, and I can touch you, and feel you, and hear you, and see you." Now I was babbling wildly, my hands flying around in wild gestures. Murdock stood frozen at the door, watching me with an expression that was half fearful and half intrigued.
"It's all a dream." I said it to reassure myself but it did the exact opposite. This was real…..they were real. I started to laugh, the kind of desperate laugh of people who are crazy and know it. Murdock walked towards me and sat down quietly at my side on the floor. I leaned my head to rest against his shoulder and an almost comforting smell of gasoline and old leather washing over me. It was funny but the feeling of his leather jacket and the barely audible sound of his breathing brought me the reassurance I needed.
If this was a dream, then why not go along with it? There's nothing to lose…..I'd forget half of it when I woke up anyway. And it's the A-Team, guaranteed fun and excitement or your money back! And if it was real? Well then I'd just have to accept the fact that crazy things happen to people, to expect the unexpected at all times and just because it's implausible doesn't mean to say it's impossible.
I opened my eyes to the Jack Daniels poster on my bedroom wall and felt my heart harden with a new determination. I was going to cope with this, no matter what it turns out to be, and I was going to have fun while I did it. First step, make a tank out of my brothers new car and blow up my old college. A wicked smile crept onto my lips. This was defiantly going to be interesting!
EDIT: Next one coming up soon, I promise. Would hate to have this wind up as one of the many neglected, unloved and unfinished A-Team fics. Plus I've got sequels in mind...