A/N: This is a missing scene from my other fanfic, My Poor Heart, so beware of spoilers! (I don't think you need to read the one to understand the other though)
Disclaimer: I don't own the A-Team…or Billy…or the van…or…or Face's Corvette…or a semi-automatic…wait, you don't need to know that.
"Fool, get that stupid dog outta my van before he sheds everywhere!"
"Billy doesn't shed."
"Face, tell this fool to stop talkin' nonsense!"
"Aww, Murdock, don't be silly. You know Billy sheds all over the place."
"But the big ugly Mudsucker can't see it so it doesn't matter."
"He has a point BA."
"Not you too, Hannibal! I got two crazies in the back of my van talkin' to a dog that ain't there!"
"He's there!" cried Murdock defensively. "You just can't see him!"
"Fool," ground out BA, glancing menacingly in the rearview mirror when he stopped at the red light. "I can't see it 'cause he's not there."
"I see him, Face sees him!"
Hannibal slowly pulled his cigar from his mouth, simultaneously turning to face the conman. "Lieutenant? Can you see Billy?" Hannibal watched Face closely, the lieutenant was debating what to say, he didn't want to hurt one friend, and at the same time didn't want Hannibal to think he was crazy too…Face's eyes grew unfocused, he wasn't with them in the van anymore, he was somewhere else, somewhere far away…
Somewhere else on damp ground, held up by two wiry arms, everything was blurry, everything was spinning, and everything hurt. He heard someone yelling, it was his CO, so he tried to focus, Hannibal, Hannibal was being pulled away, Hannibal was leaving, last night was a lie. It was always a lie, they always left, his vision was still swimming, but he wanted the Colonel to know that Templeton Peck knew when he was being left behind, knew that the kind words and solid arms had been fake, had been prepared… "…not leaving…won't…behind…" There he was, lying still, even as he walked out of his life, the Colonel was still lying to him.
He gathered himself for one last glare and took a deep breath despite the fact that his lungs were on fire and his ribs were trying to suffocate him. "Don't make promises you can't keep." He heard a voice above him repeating the words before everything finally went out of focus for the last time, and with a rushing sound everything went black.
"Hey Facey, open those pretty blue eyes for me…That's it…" He couldn't help but moan, he'd been in less pain after one of the Colonel's obstacle courses. Where was he? "You had me scared for awhile, Face, thought you weren't comin' back…"
It had all come rushing back to him, the mission, the target, the target was a woman, he couldn't shoot her, but he had to, he had to follow orders, or even the army might leave him…he shot, he'd hit her, she was dead instantly, but he forgot to duck, the bullet hit his leg. They were bringing him back to the chopper and he told them to leave, but they didn't, they didn't, and then…the hotel. He was in a hotel, a hotel that had the worst possible room service and the staff catered to their whims, not yours…and three days ago, Hannibal had left him, just like he knew he would, but Murdock was still there, still there when he screamed at night from the memories of torture, there when he came back broken and bruised…and last night, last night they had used him as a table, forced him to remain in a push-up position, thank God for all the pushups the colonel had made him do, as they sawed away at beef, stabbed at vegetables, never caring when they cut too deep or missed with their forks. The smell of food had made him want to vomit, but he'd somehow held back, held back knowing that if he threw up that it'd only make the torture worse. "M'rdock"
"That's right, Face, you're real smart." He felt Murdock shift him a little closer towards the lanky man, and tried to hide a hiss of pain as broken ribs ground against each other. "You think you could eat something?"
Face shook his head and closed his eyes, even the thought of food made him sick. He thought about when he'd been alone on the streets as a kid, without food, and now he had food, even if it wasn't much, and he couldn't bring himself to eat it. And suddenly, he realized something, something that scared him more than the thought of being left alone, that he was going to die, and he was going to die alone without anyone like Murdock to hold him, to force him to eat, to pretend that the next time he woke up everything was okay. The VC would make sure to kill him before anyone could make it to him, if he looked like he was going to die, they weren't going to stick him back in that cell, because they seemed to know that being separated from everyone else was what would kill him, and when they finally got sick of torturing him, he was going to die alone.
Murdock was singing something, it sounded familiar. "There was a man who had a dog…"
"I never had a dog," whispered Face. "Never had a family either."
"Well, then, Facey, the first thing we're gonna do when we get out of here is get you a dog. You've got to have a dog. Dogs love their master so much that they won't leave his side, a dog is man's best friend, so we'll get you a dog. Then you'll never be alone." Never be alone. If only he could get a dog before he died, then he wouldn't die alone. He was about to point this out to Murdock, when the VC guards came back. And this time they didn't just take Face; they took Murdock too.
Face was tied to a table, at least he didn't have to stay up for an hour with his arms to support him this time, but he wondered what they were going to do to Murdock. Murdock was tied to a chair, and began to repeat his name, rank, and serial number, only to get slapped across the face as one of the VC shouted in perfect English, "Shut up!" Chao entered the room a moment later, and Face closed his eyes. If Chao was involved, it couldn't be good. He'd been thankful that so far Murdock hadn't been hurt, that only he'd been taken, but he was worried Chao would go after the pilot. He shouldn't have been.
Chao stalked towards the table and ran his finger slowly down Face's spine, he'd lost his shirt two days ago, the whip had torn it to shreds… "It is too bad," Chao spoke perfect English too, and he seemed to relish the fact. "That your back has already been so damaged…" He stopped at one particularly deep cut, that had been made from some man sawing away at his beef last night, and fingered it gently before suddenly gouging his finger in and pushing hard, causing Face to jump. "Still, you do not scream…" He turned suddenly to face Murdock, but the Captain met his gaze coolly. "Captain…I understand that, back in America…Hangman is a popular game…"
Murdock wondered what he was getting at, kids played Hangman all the time, he remembered playing it in his free time during class…He nodded tightly figuring it was better to just play along.
"Good," said Chao smiling graciously. "I figured that we have not been very accommodating, all the good rooms were already occupied, but we thought we'd make up for it by offering some entertainment, and since Hangman is popular…" He motioned to one of the guards, who immediately ripped off the rest of the lieutenant's fatigues, and produced a very sharp penknife, handing it to Chao. "I thought we would play Hangman." He drew lines down Face's leg, but the lieutenant never made a sound. Blood welled up and Murdock could see five letters and the gallows, all dark red. "Now, here are the rules Captain. You will guess the letters…if you guess right, you win, your lieutenant gets away with minimal scaring…if you're wrong…Well, it is called Hangman, but, we'd like to keep him around for a little longer, so…what better way to hang a man, then by making him lose his manhood?" Face had turned whiter than a sheet when Chao bent down to whisper to him, "And if you pass out, I guarantee you will wake up…what's the word…a eunuch?" Murdock could see Face gulp, wondered if he was trying to keep from throwing up. Chao turned back to Murdock. "The category is names, you have three seconds to guess before the good lieutenant loses a finger." Face clenched his hands and closed his eyes, Murdock tried desperately to think of a letter, any letter, but he couldn't even come up with the alphabet song… "Two seconds," Song, song. Farmer, dog…B-I-N-G-O, those were letters…
"Very good, Captain, very good." B, the first letter was a b, he could see the blood well up, two bumps and a line, smearing a little where Chao touched it. The man lifted the knife to his tongue, licking it clean of blood and Murdock shuddered. "Three seconds, Captain…"
Damn song stuck in his head, couldn't think of another letter. Chao had carefully separated one finger from the rest of Faces, and despite Face's struggles he was stuck fast to the table. The knife point gleamed, lowered, blood began to well on Face's pinky… "I!"
Chao looked annoyed. "That is two, Captain." The second letter was I…B-I-blank-blank-blank…" Face looked relieved, but he only had three more seconds before he would lose a finger…
"N!" cried Murdock in desperation…he was wrong, wrong, the N was welling up further down Face's thigh, there was a circle added to the gallows, Chao grinned.
"Wrong, Captain." God, the man was sick, sick…
Bingo, wasn't Bingo, the stupid song was still stuck in his head…Face had never had a dog, he had promised to get him a dog…Chao was bringing that knife towards Face's finger…he was out of luck, only five more guesses and twenty-three letters to go…He wished Face were Irish, maybe then he'd be lucky, he'd get him an Irish setter when they got out of this. And if the dog was with Face, then Face would have a lucky Irish dog and then face would be lucky… "Murdock!" came a panicked cry.
"S!" S? How many names went Bis…bistro…too many letters, he knew he was wrong the second he saw it, the long S curling down the lieutenant's leg, the knife dripped blood, causing it to run to the table.
"Captain, you're making a mess."
He was making a mess. A big mess…names that began with B…Bob…five letters…Bobby…that was five…no i…and he'd already guessed b…
"P!" P…he must be crazy…Bip? And then what another p and a y for good measure…Bippy? Who would name their kid Bippy?
"One second…" He only had three guesses left.
"T!" That was just as bad…Bittsy…too many letters and he'd already guessed S…but…he hadn't guessed y, and that seemed to be an important letter in five letter b names…
"Wrong again Captain." He didn't wait for Chao to finish carving the letter in Face's leg to yell out the next letter.
"Y." Chao frowned, and Murdock heard Face let out a breath he'd been holding when the knife dug in over the last line…B-I-blank-blank-Y. Two more wrong guesses….two more letters…Biddy, Biddy was a name, right? "D." Chao grinned. Damn. One more…
He was going to get Face an Irish Setter, that kid needed luck more than anyone else…Luck…Luck began with…the knife was coming down over Face's finger, he knew there was only one more guess, one more and then he'd be irrevocably scarred… "L!" Chao swore and dug the knife in deep, carving the double L's deep. Billy. The name was Billy. Face cried out in relief. Billy, Billy was what saved Face. Billy was what Murdock was naming that dog, the Irish Setter that he was going to get Face the second they got out of this hell-hole.
It was two days before Face even talked again. During those two days Chao left him alone, he was busy torturing other people, wanted time for the young lieutenant to recover before he started over again. Murdock had spent those two days in the corner of the cell…rocking Face back and forth and back and forth. "There was a man who had a dog and Billy was his name-o…" And when Face finally spoke, Murdock almost wished he hadn't.
"Murdock, I don't want to die alone." Murdock had been floored, he stopped rocking for the first time. "They're going to make me die alone, Murdock. I knew I wasn't going to die…because you were there…I wouldn't die…but one of these days…when I'm alone…That's when I'll die Murdock…Alone…" The kid's eyes were glazed over, but he wasn't crazy, that was the talk of a perfectly sane, serious, and scared person.
So Murdock started rocking again, back and forth, and back and forth. "You won't die alone, Facey. You won't be alone, because Billy is with you."
"Billy?" The kid's voice was hoarse, painful to hear, but he was speaking, it was more than he had done in two days. "Who's Billy?"
"What do you mean who's Billy? He's right there; don't you see him? See his pretty red-brown fur, he's an Irish Setter, and he's yours Face, your dog. Remember what I told you, dogs don't leave their masters, and he'll never leave you Face, so you'll never be alone…" He was rocking still, rocking the kid back and forth…Face was staring at the corner.
"He sure is pretty, Murdock. You got him for me?"
"That's right. Come here Billy!"
Face's eyes followed something invisible from the corner of the cell, until they stopped on a spot on the ground right next to him. "Hi Billy. You sure are pretty…Why'd you name him Billy, Murdock?"
Murdock ran a hand over Face's leg, never ceasing his rocking. "'Cause Billy saved your life, baby. Billy saved your life." Face understood, he'd nodded, and fallen asleep, and an hour later been ripped from Murdock's arms for more torture. Murdock had watched as Billy followed Face out of the cell, and kept rocking, as if he were still holding the battered kid. Billy followed Face back in later, and curled up next to the two soldiers, and slept as Murdock rocked Face until his master was ripped from the Captain's arms again. He followed Face everywhere, and slept by his side as the Captain continued to rock Face to sleep.
Two weeks passed since Hannibal and BA left, taken from their cell to a new one. Or at least Murdock had hoped it was a new one. That morning he'd watched as Face's battered body was taken from him one last time…somehow he knew it was the last. He'd continued rocking as he watched Face dragged out, smiled when he saw Face whisper to Billy, "Good boy," when the dog followed. He remembered how scared the kid was the night before. He'd had a nightmare, he'd died, alone, all alone…but Billy was there, and even when Murdock couldn't be, Billy would be by Face's side so he wouldn't have to die alone. He looked down at his empty arms and rocked singing, "B-I-L-L-Y, B-I-L-L-Y, B-I-L-L-Y, and Billy was his nameo…"
Face had known it was the last time. But he could feel Billy's warm body beside him and he didn't feel so alone. He wasn't alone, Billy was there, Billy was there and he wouldn't die alone…He felt the blows rain down, but didn't feel the pain. He was humming a song, the words running through his head, "There was a lieutenant that had a dog and Billy was it's nameo…" He could feel Billy's warm tongue lick his hand from where he lay, a broken heap on the floor. He heard the safety of the gun being thrown, the soft click, and then he heard a growl, he could feel Billy's sides vibrating…and then Billy was gone, there was a sharp bark, and a loud thump. Face managed the strength to turn, he saw the guard, dead, his throat ripped out, Billy was licking his face, his muzzle covered in blood. "Good, boy…"
Hannibal looked down at his broken Captain, where he sat in the corner, rocking. "I tried…I tried to keep them from taking him…" Murdock looked up. "He was so…so…scared…so, I showed him Billy…he likes Billy, Billy'll keep him safe, he'll protect Facey…"
Hannibal knelt down next to his pilot. "Murdock, who's Billy?"
"He's my dog. I made him for Facey. So Facey wouldn't be scared. 'Cause Billy won't leave Facey, Billy won't leave us…" He was rocking back and forth, back and forth…
There was a shout from a nearby hut, "He's still alive!" Somebody came running out. "I don't know how, but, he's still alive!"
Two months later Face maneuvered his crutches into Murdock's room. The said he was crazy, wanted to put him in the VA, but Face knew better. He looked down at the dog at his heels and patted the soft head one last time, and then motioned to the bed. "Go on boy, get up." Billy jumped on the bed, curling up next to Murdock and licking his hand.
"You need him more than I do right now. Billy, stay. Good boy."
He was in a van, stopped at a red light. He watched as the light turned green, and looked down at his feet and the wagging tail. Face met the Colonel's gaze, unconsciously rubbing his leg where the old scar was, and smiled. "Yeah, Colonel. I can see Billy."
Hannibal turned back around, smiling. "See, BA, then Billy must exist!" He stabbed his cigar in the air for good measure.
Murdock and Face shared a knowing smile as BA slammed on the breaks again with a cry of "HANNIBAL!"
A/N: Well, that's the end of that. Read and Review please!