Title: The Easter Bunny
Author : Nightcrawler
Fandom: The A-Team
Rating: G
Summary: Murdock awaits the Easter Bunny
Archive: Yes

Murdock sat on the worn wooden step leading out the rear of the old hunting cabin the A-Team was currently calling home. The fog was just starting to settle across the meadow, covering up the daffodils. Murdock watched the bright bits of color slowly disappear and likened it to Mother Nature's version of a cozy warm blanket. As he watched the fog descend, he felt a wave of lethargy wash over him. He felt depressed and had no energy to fight it. He was tired, just plain tired. Tired of everything, tired of everyone. Tired of BA busting his dreams every chance he got. Tired of the big man ragging on him all the time. Their latest feud concerned Murdock's belief in the Easter Bunny. Why should B.A. care whether or not Murdock believed in the Easter Bunny? What if he did? He wasn't hurting anyone, was he? Why was it that anything that seemed to make H.M. Murdock happy caused B.A. Baracus to show some serious attitude. Murdock sighed and tried to still the pain he felt inside but it just continued to grow.

Maybe if it was just B.A., maybe he could endure that, but it wasn't. There was the Colonel, and those private conversations with Face; Murdock knew they were talking about him. He knew sometimes he made the Colonel very nervous. Today had been one of those days.

The meadow behind the cabin was huge and a perfect spot for a canine obstacle course. He had sat in the sun and envisioned a pack of Dachshunds running the course, Billy in the lead, of course. He had gotten so excited, it had all seemed so real. He found himself standing, cheering a long-haired hound with a determined snout, Herr Wilhelm, shouting his name, urging him on to victory. The Colonel had appeared concerned and not at all amused. When Face showed up, the Colonel leaned on him hard. Murdock saw all that but let on nothing. Then Face came over and told him the races were over. Murdock tried to protest but Face was adamant. So Murdock sat back down in the grass and closed his eyes. He envisioned the race and played his game anyway. When he opened his eyes and looked up grinning, happy Old Wilhelm had come through, Face was frowning furiously and yapping at him just as hard. Murdock turned away, swallowing the pain, determined not to lose the beauty of the day.

Tomorrow was Easter. The Easter Bunny would come. He would find him no matter where he was. He always did. Face would go to Church Services in the morning. He always did, said it was his Easter duty. Then in the afternoon they would have an Easter Egg hunt. The momentary elation that he felt soon left him. Deep inside his depression, Murdock knew The Easter Bunny wouldn't come; B.A. had threatened to shoot any bunny that came within six feet of the cabin. Face would come back depressed, like he always did after going to church, must be the guilt for all his sins. He wouldn't be in any mood to want to help with an Easter Egg hunt and neither would the Colonel. Not after the looks he had been giving him today.

Murdock felt the chill air settle around him and zipped up his leather jacket. It was time to go inside. Once inside, he lit a lantern and put a pot of water on the stove to boil. Automatically he went to the cooler and opened up the carton of eggs and proceeded to hard-boil all twelve. The others had gone down the mountain to eat in town. Murdock was not in the mood for their company and they didn't look too eager to be with him either. When he explained he wasn't hungry and preferred to stay home, they all looked at each other knowingly and left him alone. No one had even tried to talk him into coming. Not even Face. Murdock sighed again wearily, unwilling to admit how much that hurt.

As the emotionally spent, mentally fragile pilot gently spooned out a hard boiled egg, he cursed himself viciously. Bad enough he drove the staff crazy in the VA hospital, now he was driving his friends crazy. He looked down at the egg and remembered then it was Easter. He shouldn't be doing that, cursing like that. He didn't usually curse.

Maybe he should take his meds again. Today seemed like one of those days when you needed to take your meds two or three times for them to work proper. Then again, if he took them again now, he might not wake up in time to see the Easter Bunny in the morning. He couldn't let anything interfere with that. Half an hour later and the bowl on the table was filled with a dozen hard boiled madly decorated Easter Eggs.

Somehow, he managed to finish the clean up, then exhausted, he walked over to the bed in the corner. Last night he had slept with Face in the loft, but he'd be damned if he'd share a bed with him tonight. He didn't dare take B.A.'s bed, but he pulled off the blanket and laid down on the floor in front of the fire. He watched the flames for a few minutes and then fell fast asleep.

"So Lieutenant, how did you know he wouldn't come to dinner with is? He hasn't eaten anything all day!" the Colonel asked.

"Yeah," B.A. piped up, "And how did you know he'd be turning that meadow into a dog track?"

Face just smiled and polished his fingernails against the front of his shirt, declining to reveal the source of his wisdom.

"Man I still can't believe I let you talk me into this!" B.A. complained.

"B.A., B.A., every man has his price, you're no different." Face drawled knowingly.

The burly Black man jerked his head around and with a glare asked menacingly, "Are you saying B.A. Baracus can be bought?"

"No! No, no, no, certainly not," Faceman soothed as he thought gleefully to himself, not unless they just happen to have a box of miniature transponders along with the latest edition of Car and Driver magazine, not to mention a gallon of fresh milk.

"Best not be, " B.A. concluded, "or you won't have no Easter Bunny tomorrow morning."

The Colonel joined in then, "It was a wonderful plan, Face. Even Murdock would never suspect the Sergeant of dressing up like the Easter Bunny. He'll have to believe it."

"I know Colonel. That's the beauty of it. I can't wait to see the expression on his face."

The next morning, Murdock awoke slowly. He was cold. Then he saw why; Face had hogged all the blankets again. He wondered how he had ended up in bed again with Face. He listened to his friend's gentle snoring and knew for sure it was Face. In a way, the familiarity was comforting. The he sighed in resignation. It didn't make any difference. Face didn't care, not really. He didn't really believe in the Easter Bunny anymore than B.A. did. They all just thought he was crazy, just like the doctors back at the VA. Maybe they were right. Maybe there was no Easter Bunny. Maybe he was just a crazy pilot come back from Viet Nam with his brains scrambled.

Dawn was starting to break and the room was just beginning to fill with light. He was in B.A.'s bunk, that meant trouble for sure. Suddenly, Murdock heard a familiar sound, like the back door of the cabin opening and closing. Immediately he knew. He knew it was the Easter Bunny. By some miracle, he had found him. He leaped from the bed and raced for the door. Once outside the room he ran towards the back door and jerked it open. On the wooden step where he had sat last night and felt so sad was a giant Easter basket filled with chocolate Bunnies, jelly beans and even a coloring book and crayons. A shriek of pure joy escaped his lips as he fell to his knees as tears of joy ran down his face. He wasn't crazy, he wasn't crazy after all. He looked up, and in the far distance he could see the giant Bunny disappearing into the fog.

A moment later, he was surrounded by Face and the Colonel. "Be quiet" Face warned, "You don't want to wake up B.A." A fearful Murdock took the warning to heart and whispered elatedly to the Colonel and Face.

"SEE? I told you there's an Easter Bunny!"" he cried victoriously. The Colonel and Face looked at each other knowingly as they stood over their friend. A moment later B.A. appeared out of the fog saying, Where's my gun? I just went to use the latrine and man, I saw me the biggest damn rabbit, we could have stew for a week!"

"No, B.A.! No. Please, let him go. It's the Easter Bunny. You saw the Easter Bunny!"

"Easter Bunny? Easter Bunny! There ain't no such thing! I must be seeing things."

The Colonel patted B.A. on the back in a consoling way and advised him to get some rest. B.A. nodded, trying hard to hide the sly grin that kept sneaking on to his face.

Later that day, the Colonel supervised an Easter egg hunt with B.A. and Face trying hard to keep up with Murdock as he scurried about. The two men finally gave up, collapsed in the grass and watched the elated Captain's frenzied egg collecting. They knew they could never do him justice. In a few minutes, Murdock staggered over to them with dozens and dozens of Easter Eggs. His face glowed with happiness, his dark brown eyes sparkled with joy.

"Look!" he exclaimed to his friends.

Each man, in turn, looked. Each felt touched by Murdock's innocence, warmed by his happiness and proud of their contribution towards it.

B.A. got up and hugged Murdock enthusiastically. Then he turned towards the others and growled, "Yeah, man. Who said the Easter Bunny is just for kids?"

Face lit the Colonel's cigar as both men grinned and nodded their agreement.

Murdock looked at B.A. with wonder. Slowly he walked in a circle around the big man. "You realize, big guy that this means there's hope for you yet. If you believe in the Easter Bunny, it's only a small step to you believe in Santa Claus and reindeer that fly, and snowmen that dance and sing."

B.A. began growling.

"Now don't do that, don't growl. You know you want to believe."

"Believe this sucker, if you don't shut up, I will make you shut up."

"Boys, " the Colonel interjected.

Both man backed down. The Colonel looked at Face as he took a long draw on his cigar, "You know what I always say, Face."

Face grinned wide and nodded as the Colonel continued, "I love it when a plan comes together."

The End