Back when TV's had dials…

Disclaimer: I do not own the A-team. The Omega Squad however (though they pale in comparison) are mine all mine.

Rating: G

Description: What would the team think if they watched themselves on T.V.?

Warnings: Author was hot and tired and thought she was clever…

To Kelli, the evil one

Back when TV's had dials…

The Omega Squad

Murdock flipped through the TV channels impatiently, watching each news broadcast and soap opera for only a few moments before becoming bored and clicking the dial to the next channel hopefully. But nothing good seemed to be on. Finally, he decided that it was because the TV at Face's new apartment was different from the TV at the V.A. It just didn't seem to want to pick up any of the good shows.

He muttered under his breath at that, since he hadn't known that TV's could be as snotty as the people here in Beverly Hills; he'd probably find something better to watch if he turned the TV off. But he couldn't do that, since Face had made a point of showing him the new wide screen set that the people he was "housesitting" for had just bought and had obviously wanted Murdock to enjoy himself. Plus it might hurt the TV's feelings.

Murdock turned his head to look in the direction where the rest of the team had gone. Using the Jacuzzi probably, he thought with a shake of his head. That was silly when there might be something good on the tube. The only thing a Jacuzzi was good for was for toe diving… Murdock frowned for a moment, wondering vaguely if that was why he'd been distracted with the TV. Then he shrugged and flipped the dial all the way around again in search of a cartoon, or maybe an old western.

He looked down despondently to scratch behind Billy's ears just as he turned the channel and heard a blast of triumphant music that made him raise his head excitedly.

"On next…The Omega Squad!" A man announced in a deep voice. Murdock eagerly scooted closer to the set. His nose was just about touching the glass when the theme music to one of his favorite shows started for real. He briefly looked down to grin at Billy, not really noticing the soft footsteps behind him.

"You know, Murdock, sitting that close could make you go blind," Face commented from behind him. Murdock didn't even bother to glance at him as the deep voice of the narrator started the introduction that began every episode.

"Five years ago an elite unit of agents rebelled against the covert government agency they worked for and were ordered to be terminated…" Murdock recited happily along with the man as a rapid montage of images came up on the screen. "Due to their unique training, these men escaped." Murdock had to deepen his voice for that part, especially when the man said 'terminated'. That was his seventh favorite part. He knew exactly. "Now they are on the run, seeking to reclaim their lives and to make up for some of the crimes they unwittingly committed while employed by the government. Experts at disguise and secret operations, you might never know where they are. They are…The Omega Squad."

"What?" He heard Face snort as if he found something amusing. This time Murdock turned around to give his friend an irritated look. Face was wearing shorts and a towel and was frowning past Murdock at the TV. "You know a show's good when it has to explain the premise at the beginning of every episode," Face added sarcastically. Murdock stuck his tongue out at him just as B.A. made his way down the hallway behind him.

"Man, what is this?" B.A. asked disgustedly, staring at the TV as he came in. Murdock opened his mouth to defend his beloved show, then got distracted by the sound of each character being introduced. This was his sixth favorite part. He turned back around without making a single joke about the little red trunks that that ugly mudsucker was wearing.

"Their leader…Code Name: Spartacus. Weapons and special tactics expert." An older man in various disguises and holding various weapons appeared on the screen. This time B.A. snorted. Face mumbled something about TV rotting your brain under his breath that Murdock ignored. This show didn't rot your brain, they would see. Besides, how much worse could his brain get anyway?

A slightly younger man suddenly appeared on screen. He was well tanned and shirtless in several of his scenes, and actually winked once at the camera. B.A. started to giggle at that and Murdock heard Face sitting down on the sofa behind him as the announcer continued. "Code Name: Angel. Surveillance. Information officer."

"Angel?" Face wondered derisively. "Can't he work with a shirt on?"

"Guess that's how he gets his information, man." B.A. continued to laugh.

"Code Name: T.K.O. Martial arts. Hand to hand combat." A dark skinned, muscular man with several tattoos appeared, holding either a gun or a knife. B.A.'s laugh disappeared. He moved across the room to a chair and frowned at the TV.

"He's part Indian," Murdock told the other two helpfully.

"Ah," Face said in that oh-so-reasonable tone, making Murdock roll his eyes but he jumped in place at B.A.'s angry growl and turned around.

"Token characters!" B.A. barked and shook his head. "Who really believes this stuff?" he asked Face. They were both watching the screen with similarly condescending looks on their faces.

"I'll have you know that…" Murdock started angrily, then trailed off as his absolute favorite character of all time came up.

"Code Name: Tripwire. Expert in computers and micro-technology." A skinny man wearing a Star Trek t-shirt appeared, chewing gum intently as he worked in front of a large computer monitor. Then the theme music continued.

"He's my favorite!" Murdock confessed excitedly, clapping his hands. "He's not used in the show as much as the other guys, since they only use him when they need some computer stuff done. But he's always talking about science fiction, especially Star Trek. He loves Kirk the best."

"That is such a gimmick," Face remarked. Murdock turned on him with narrowed eyes.

"The whole thing's a gimmick," B.A. grunted. Murdock transferred his frown to the Big Guy, then changed his mind when B.A. slammed his fist into his palm. Murdock turned back around to watch the screen, muttering about people letting him watch his show in peace.

The director's credit came up just as the camera panned over a small, peaceful looking town in the middle of anywhere, USA.

"I think I saw that town on a tour of Universal Studios once," Face joked. Murdock shushed him without turning around.

"It's about to get good!" Murdock told them both and scratched Billy. The camera zoomed in a pretty young thing walking up the sidewalk, smiling to people as she passed.

"It is getting good," Face commented. Murdock and B.A. both turned to stare at him before shaking their heads and returning their gaze to the TV. "What?" Face looked confused.

The pretty young thing stepped into a shop and began talking with an older man—her uncle. They began complaining about some guy named Mendoza buying up all the businesses in the area. Murdock frowned suspiciously, wondering what this Mendoza's agenda really was. There was always a hidden agenda. Always.

"Guys…what's with Mayberry?" Hannibal asked from behind them, interrupting Murdock's train of thought.


"Murdock's watching TV," Face explained in a stage whisper.

"Some nonsense called Omega Squad." B.A. added. "Fool!" That was directed at Murdock, but he kept his eyes on the screen and shushed them all again.

"Omega what?" Hannibal sounded amused. His little laugh abruptly disappeared as two hulking bruisers walked in and started to tear the tiny little feed store to pieces. When the old man protested, one of the large men grabbed him and held him as the other punched him repeatedly in the stomach. The niece was screaming for help, but no one came. "Two against one old man…real tough villains here." The Colonel was at his most sarcastic but Murdock heard him sit down on the sofa.

"Sh," Murdock said again as the camera was suddenly off the old man and on four men getting out of a car and heading into a small café. They looked tired and two of them were bickering.

"We're lost on account of you," T.K.O was close to shouting. Murdock grinned as Tripwire pushed up his thick glasses to glare at him.

"You got us lost. I merely tried to correct our position, following the advice of one James Tiberius Kirk…follow your instincts…"

Murdock laughed happily at the furious look on T.K.'s face. He hated Star Trek.

"Now, guys," Angel interrupted soothingly, then stopped when Spartacus clapped a hand on his shoulder.

"Been a long drive…let them let off some steam." His words were quiet, but it was clearly an order.

"Now who is that?" Hannibal wondered. Murdock heard the clink of his Zippo being opened. Cigar smoked filled the room a second later.

"That is the squad's leader," Face filled him in.

"Seems to know his men…" Hannibal's compliment seemed reluctant. "What exactly is this show about?"

"Sh!" Face shushed him as Angel noticed a commotion down the street. A car peeled out and sped down the street past them.

"What was that about?" he wondered with a sight frown.

"Man's gonna ruin his tires peelin' out like that all the time," B.A. threw in disapprovingly.

"Car's gotta peel out. Always does." Murdock turned his head without taking his eyes from the screen.

"Why?" was Hannibal's immediate question.

"Sh!" Face seemed irritable. Murdock smiled to himself. He could just picture the Colonel's raised eyebrows at that. Sure enough, he heard Face whispering an apology in the next second.

The young thing came out, yelling after the men. Her uncle stumbled out after her. He looked pretty bad; Murdock scowled in concern until the squad ran over to help. They would step in and take care of everything, they always did.

He smiled.

"What seems to be the problem here?" Spartacus asked the uncle as he helped him to stand. The uncle looked down without saying anything, but the girl stamped her foot furiously.

"We're here to help, miss," Angel spoke up courteously, smiling warmly at her. T.K. and Tripwire exchanged a look that Angel saw. "What?"

"It's all because of that monster Mendoza!" she started.

"Monster Mendoza! MGM 1967. Doug McClure I think," Tripwire mumbled. Murdock giggled, remembering that film too.

"Shut up, fool!"

"Now, now," Spartacus tsked onscreen. "Why don't you start from the beginning…?"

"Why should we?" the pretty young thing demanded. That only made Spartacus and the other guys laugh.

"Because…" Murdock joined in with the famous phrase that someone, usually Spartacus, said in every episode. "…we just might be in a position to help you." Spartacus grinned into the camera just as a commercial started.

"They work for free?" Face seemed shocked. Murdock rolled his eyes before turning his attention to Billy. "No one's that nice…risking their lives for nothing…"

"Cute little show," Hannibal said dismissively, then the only sound in the room for several minutes was the ads on TV. "So…who exactly are these guys?" He cleared his throat. Face filled him in loudly, making sure his disgust and disapproval were very evident. Murdock fidgeted impatiently, annoying Billy. The dog went over to sit by B.A. But Murdock decided not to share that with the Big Guy.

When the show came on again the squad was introducing themselves and Murdock quickly shouted for Face to be quiet. These introductions happened every time. It was Murdock's fifth favorite part. (Though actually it was a tie with the times when Tripwire would make Angel go with him to comic book stores and sci-fi conventions. But that didn't happen in every episode.) The people would always ask the squad about their what T.K.O stood for and why they didn't give their real names. The squad never answered though. Very mysterious.

"Nice names," Hannibal snickered, making B.A. laugh. But they got quiet a moment later. Murdock wondered if it was his fierce glare that did it, or if it was because the girl was revealing that Mendoza was a businessman who had come into their town and scared everyone into selling out to him. Either way, only a few businesses, including her uncle's, were left in this town. But they weren't even sure that Mendoza had legally bought all the properties. Half of the owners were in hiding.

Spartacus' face grew serious. Murdock waited breathlessly for his words of wisdom. Spartacus always had the answers.

"What do you say, men?" He put his hands on hips and stood tall like George C. Scott in that old movie.

Hannibal made a rude noise in his throat but pretended to be clearing it when Murdock frowned at him.

The squad members all exchanged a look, making Spartacus nod. "Have no fear, ma'am," instructed the girl and glanced down the street. "Now, the first thing we need is…some strategy." The rest of the squad groaned dramatically.

"Well, that's not too bad," Hannibal mumbled slowly. Face cleared his throat several times.

Murdock hopped in place excitedly as Spartacus began issuing orders in his usual cool tone. Nothing ever disturbed the squad's leader, except when one of his men was in trouble. Murdock loved actually seeing the team in action; it was his fourth favorite part of the show. First they had to get some equipment. That usually ended up being Trip and Angel's department, just because Spartacus liked to keep T.K with him in case T.K. lost his temper. And actually, it was usually Trip's responsibility to get stuff, since Angel was usually scouting ahead and gathering information. He was very good at getting information. Hannibal and B.A. seemed to notice that too.

Angel was working on getting the county records from a young clerk by leaning over the counter and smiling at her when Hannibal started laughing.

"Sloppy technique…" Face was complaining nasally. "How would that even work?"

"Maybe he could take his shirt off, man," B.A. joked. Hannibal giggled. Murdock shushed them all, pressing his nose flat against the glass.

Onscreen, T.K. and Spartacus- in disguise as repairmen- were infiltrating Mendoza's house and slowly beating up his thugs one by one, working their way to Mendoza himself. Spartacus was going to threaten him to get him to expose himself. Murdock grinned at the thought and corrected himself. Get him to expose his plan.

Hannibal was making disgusted noises.

"That's a horrible plan," he announced loudly, waving his cigar around. "Look how he's putting everyone in danger… And only an idiot would fall for that." He seemed to be considering it carefully. Murdock shook his head slowly and returned his attention to the T.V.

"Murdock, get away from the screen, man!" B.A. shouted. Murdock moved back an inch reluctantly as T.K. expertly knocked out his opponent with one punch. "Man, you can't knock out a guy with one punch unless you're lucky!"

"Dramatic effect?" There was a smile in Face's voice like he wanted to laugh.

"Sh!" Hannibal ordered as Spartacus threatened Mendoza, holding a gun to his head and taunting him. "He's a dangerous guy to have around," he commented about Spartacus when Mendoza recovered himself enough to make threats back. Mendoza was sweating like pig though; Murdock just knew he was scared.

"It'll work, trust me," Murdock reassured the rest of team. "It always does." And sure enough, once the squad had hightailed it out of there, Mendoza got on the phone and called a distinguished looking man in an expensive looking suit. The big boss immediately yelled at Mendoza for being scared of two little guys.

What neither of them knew was that Spartacus had planted a bug near the desk—one of Trip's creations no doubt. Murdock chuckled appreciatively as the show returned to the squad listening in. T.K. and Spartacus were laughing at how well things had gone. Angel seemed a bit more cautious. Tripwire wasn't even listening; he was watching Buck Rogers on the little TV in the guest room of the girl's house. Eventually Angel would get tired of their talk and would disappear off with the girl.

Murdock grinned when Angel slipped out a minute later.

"Where's he going?" Face asked right before the camera showed him and the pretty young thing (Murdock couldn't quite recall her name) in a passionate embrace.

Hannibal laughed. Face was groaning.

"What kind of girl acts like that?" Face asked almost puritanically. Murdock had to turn around to stare at him, and smiled to see Hannibal and B.A. also had raised eyebrows. Face took a sudden interest in his towel.

Commercials came on again and Murdock sighed in disappointment.

"Now what?" Hannibal asked, not sounding too interested. But he didn't get up and leave either. Murdock shook his head sadly and called Billy.

Now was the part where the squad would get careless, or someone would betray them, and they would get captured by the bad guys. Murdock hated this part, even though he knew that the squad would find their way out of the situation and come out grinning. He pulled Billy into his lap.

Angel was still kissing the girl when the show came on again, clearly unaware of the men with guns surrounding the house.

"How did Mendoza know where they were?" B.A. wondered.

"That does seem odd," Hannibal agreed.

Murdock shook his head again. You were just supposed to ignore stuff like that. He really loved the other guys, but sometimes they could be pretty clueless about how things really were. But he sat up abruptly when he realized that Mendoza had the squad in his clutches and had called his boss to determine who they worked for and what they knew. In the meantime, he was holding them in a room without a guard.

"A mistake he won't make again," Murdock pronounced evilly, laughing to himself.

"This is worse than a Bond film." Hannibal snorted. "Why would he leave them alone?

They're obviously trained professionals."

"Guess it's lucky for them," Face offered. B.A. only grunted.

The squad broke out of course, using something Trip and T.K. had pulled together, arguing all the while since Tripwire claimed he got the idea from an old episode of Battlestar Gallactica. T.K. hated that show too. Then Angel and Spartacus ran to confront Mendoza as he met with his boss. Angel, Murdock noticed, somehow managed to get three buttons of his shirt undone, but Angel bravely ignored that inconvenience and worked on covering Spartacus as their leader ran across an open area under hails of gunfire. The scores of other gunmen still missed him though.

Murdock relaxed once he realized the brave leader was going to be ok. You never knew when one of those hundreds of bullets might actually hit the guy. Then he clapped his hands and wiggled his fingers. He was grinning from ear to ear throughout the following fight. The confrontation at the end was his third favorite part. Even Tripwire would suddenly became quite deadly. Well, deadly if they had ever actually killed anybody. He and T.K. were hurling spare explosives at the big boss' fleeing car until it finally flipped over in spectacular slow motion. They smiled at each other and headed over towards the wreck, guns ready.

"How come they didn't get hurt?" B.A. asked with a frustrated growl as the boss and his henchmen crawled out unharmed and gave themselves up.

"B.A.!" Murdock howled as B.A. had made him miss his second favorite part—when Spartacus laughed down into the evil criminal's face and shared a victorious grin with his men. The darn commercials came on again during Murdock's attempt to stare B.A. down. Luckily, B.A. looked away irritably before Murdock had to admit defeat and the last five minutes of the show came back on.

"So Mendoza was really working for the congressman…who'd seen the survey for this district and realized that we had rich mineral deposits under the town?" The pretty girl, with Angel's arm around her shoulder, was asking. The squad, standing around her and her uncle in the center of the street, smiled proudly. "And now we're all rich?"

Murdock nodded. He'd just known there was a bigger plot afoot. There always was.

"Amazing isn't it?" Face inquired sarcastically.

"Thanks, you guys," the uncle said warmly. "Why don't you stay here for a while?" His niece nodded her agreement. For a moment, a sadness entered Spartacus' eyes.

"We'd love to, but I'm afraid that…" he paused as a man in a dark suit and glasses slipped into an equally dark car and drove off with a screech of tires. "Peckerwood," the leader sighed heavily and nodded to T.K. who ran to get the car.

"Peckerwood!" Hannibal giggled. "Who is Peckerwood?"

"The government agent chasing them," Murdock tossed back impatiently, waiting.

"If you see him, be sure to tell him his mother wears combat boots!" Angel called out as they headed away. The squad was gathering together by the car, staring out at the town they had saved but had to leave. Then Spartacus grinned at everyone. "Come on guys, at least we've got each other…" He looked around him slowly. Murdock held his breath in anticipation. "All for one?"

"One for all!" Murdock answered with them as they exchanged a look at their leader's dramatics and got into the car. That was his favorite part. When the day was saved without any harm being done and the team was still together. Nothing could ever break them up. They needed each other, though T.K.O. and Tripwire were bickering before the car had gone two feet.

The last sound was Angel trying to break it up over Spartacus' laughter. Then the theme music started up again. Murdock sighed in contentment and leaned back from the screen. The people behind him were silent for several moments. Then Hannibal cleared his throat, making Murdock turn around.

"Why don't they ever try to somehow cancel the order to terminate them?" Face asked quietly. Murdock rolled his eyes again. Cuz then they couldn't be together anymore and they could never stand to be separated, even though they didn't know it. It was so obvious. He sighed again.

"Cute little show, Murdock. Complete fantasy, of course." Hannibal dismissed it and stood up.

"Ah, yes," Face stood up too. "Even if the characters were a little exaggerated."

"Action was unbelievable, man," B.A. growled and stood up. "I've had enough of your fool show." He shook his head. They all got quiet as the theme music faded away. Then Face changed the subject.

"There's food in the fridge. Did you want to order a pizza, B.A.?"

B.A. perked up at the mention of food and hurried out of the room behind the other two.

Murdock watched them go and scratched Billy's tummy absently. And he waited. A moment later they all poked their heads back in the room.

"Comin', Fool?" B.A. scowled as he asked. Murdock smiled and stood up. He'd just known they'd come back, they always did. Always.

He flipped off the TV as he passed it. A moment later he came back and switched it on again before running back to the kitchen. Didn't want to hurt its feelings.

The End