The group were surprised to see Murdock standing in the window of the building, wondering just what happened to make going upstairs in a burning building a sensible decision to the pilot. It was just convenient that he was in the best location possible for what Hannibal had in mind. "Murdock, hand me that storm drain!" he yelled up. Hannibal could hear the concerned voices from the crowd but Murdock just gave a nod before climbing out onto the ledge. He reached for the drain, probably intending to pull it from the building and let it fall to the ground. It wasn't very clear what happened, but when Murdock pulled on the drain pipe he lost his balance and tumbled back along with it.
For a moment no one moved or spoke. It was almost like Murdock fell in slow motion. He hit the ground hard, a sickening 'thud' made Hannibal recoil a little. He waited a beat but Murdock didn't jump back up like Hannibal expected him to do. In fact Murdock didn't move at all. Hannibal and B.A. each took a step toward their fallen captain but Face was quicker. He dashed forward, scrambling to the ground by Murdock's head. "Hannibal the fire!" he yelled and Hannibal nodded, turning his attention back to the building. Face could look after Murdock. B.A. opened the fire hydrant and Hannibal used the drain pipe to channel the water through the burning window. After a good soaking the flames died down and Hannibal nodded to B.A. to shut the hydrant down. He tossed the drain pipe aside before turning to look at his downed man. Unfortunately he couldn't see anything. The crowed was now surrounding Murdock and Face, and the only thing he could hear was Face pleading with Murdock to wake up. Hannibal tried to get through the crowd but no one was moving.
"Hey, back up!" B.A. yelled. The group pulled back like the red sea, giving Hannibal and B.A. a better view of things. Mama Baracus was standing over Murdock who was laying on his back, looking helplessly at him due to her broken arm. Karen stood next to her, almost unsure about what to do. Meanwhile Face was moving around Murdock, doing a quick check to see if anything was broken or damaged. Hannibal could see that Murdock was unconscious with a cut across his head. That wasn't good, it indicated he hit his head during the impact. Hopefully it was after something else absorbed the brunt of it.
"How's he doing?" Hannibal asked. Face looked up, giving him almost a terrified expression.
"Not good Hannibal. He's unconscious and he's got a head wound and a broken arm." He said. Hannibal winced at that. Head wounds were never a good thing because they were so unpredictable. More worrisome to him was how Murdock fell. Trying to think back on it, Hannibal wasn't sure how exactly Murdock hit the ground. His mind was being clouded by worry for the captain. It was important that they didn't move him in a way that shifted his spine or neck.
"Hannibal, he's gonna need a hospital." B.A. said. And that there was the problem. This was going to get back to the V.A., one way or another. Even if the hospital never learned Murdock was checked into a hospital in Chicago, there was still the question of how the captain who was supposed to be in Arizona doing a study on stress got a broken arm.
"But the V.A. Hospital…" Face started, almost reading Hannibal's mind.
"Will be a problem for another time. For now B.A. is right." Hannibal said. The V.A. would have questions no matter what but it wouldn't be the first time they returned Murdock with bullet wounds or broken bones. They would come up for something to address that when it came around but for now Murdock's health was the most important thing.
"B.A., we got that litter in the van right?" Hannibal asked. Since they didn't take B.A.'s van they had to rent one and bring their own care package. Usually Hannibal ensured that they always brought basic medical equipment with them, including the collapsible litter. B.A. and Face gave him shocked looks.
"Hannibal, you're not suggesting we take him to the hospital? We need to call an ambulance…" Face started. Hannibal shook his head. With the damage those goons caused there was no easy way to get an ambulance in here. Plus a fire just happened but no fire department or ambulance arrived as standard procedure should have done. Meaning these slime-balls paid off the emergency services to ensure this fire would burn down the building.
"No, we're gonna have to do this ourselves. B.A. go get the litter from the van. Face, I need you to find something we can use for straps. And maybe a small piece of flat wood that we could use that would fit between Murdock and the liter, one that could work as a backboard." He said. B.A. nodded and left but Face hesitated. Hannibal realized he was too worried about Murdock to leave his side. "Now Lieutenant." He snapped, using his commander voice. Face nodded and scrambled off. Hannibal took the time to kneel down by Murdock and push back his hat a bit, just to get a better look at the cut.
"I thought you were all wanted by the military police. Are they going to arrest Murdock?" Mama Baracus asked, kneeling down as well. Hannibal looked at the expression on her face as she looked over the unconscious man and he couldn't help the smile that tugged at his lips. Mama Baracus was a special woman to the A-Team even though this was their first official meeting with her. She used to send them all snacks and preserved foods so they wouldn't have to eat the DFAC meals. B.A. had apparently told her a lot about them too since she knew who each of them were without an introduction. It was Murdock that she took the quickest to. When she commented about how close B.A. and Murdock were within five minutes of knowing him, Hannibal knew it was probably because Murdock was the main topic in many of B.A.'s letters home. Murdock had also lost his mom at a young age and practically imprinted on Mama Baracus within minutes of arriving. He was almost under her heels and at her back and call in the apartment. Hannibal also caught them last night, sitting on the couch with cookies and milk while Mama Baracus told Murdock stories about B.A. growing up and Murdock taking careful notes the whole time. The woman practically adopted him.
"We are. He isn't." Hannibal said. He wasn't going to explain any more and she didn't ask. A few moments later B.A. arrived with the folded litter. He began setting it up on the ground beside Murdock's uninjured arm and just as he finished Face returned with three strips of cloth in his hands and a piece of plywood that would almost perfectly fit on the litter from Murdock's head to his waist. Hannibal nodded in approval. Face set the piece on the litter and laid the straps beside it.
"Ok, Ms. Karen if you would be so kind to assist us." Hannibal called. The startled woman looked at him and gave an almost absent nod before moving to where Hannibal gestured near Murdock's head. "Now Karen, you'll have Murdock's head. B.A. I want you at the top and Face you get the bottom. We are going to roll him onto the litter." Hannibal ordered. B.A. and Face both nodded and moved to Murdock's left side, the side opposite of the litter set up. B.A. knelt by Murdock's torso while Face knelt down beside his legs. Hannibal moved up to kneel down by Karen. "Now listen to me Karen, it's very important that Murdock's neck doesn't turn at any point. I need his head to stay exactly where it is in relation to the rest of his body. When B.A. and Face turn him, I need you to turn his head as well, do you understand?" Hannibal asked. Karen gave a small nod. "I'm sorry, but I need a verbal response." He ordered. It was important to make sure she was actually listening and not just reacting.
"I understand." She said. Hannibal nodded before guiding her hands on either side of Murdock's head. He glanced at B.A. and Face to see they had already moved Murdock's uninjured arm so it was above his head. B.A. reached over to grab Murdock's far upper arm, being mindful of the break, and gripping the pants at Murdock's hip. Face had one hand on Murdock's far hip, crossed with B.A.'s, and the other near his far ankle.
"Ready Hannibal." B.A. said. Hannibal nodded and moved over to the litter.
"Alright, on my command. One…two….three." Hannibal ordered. The three moved Murdock in one fluid motion, pulling them toward B.A. and Face onto his side. As smoothly as he could, Hannibal slid the litter over and stood it up so it was against Murdock's back. B.A. and Face glanced at Hannibal, waiting for the next instruction. "Alright, bring him down gently. Now." Hannibal ordered for Karen's benefit. All four brought the litter back down to the ground, ensuring Murdock now rested on top. "Face, tie him down." He ordered before standing up and helping Karen as well. Face quickly threaded the first makeshift strap under the litter near the top of Murdock's check. B.A. began tying it as Face shifted down to Murdock's waist. B.A. moved to tie that one while Face secured the last one around, just under Murdock's knees. He tied off that one and then everyone stepped back a moment. "Good job men." Hannibal praised.
"Face, go open the back doors to the van." B.A. said after a moment. Face looked between them all then back at Murdock before nodding. B.A. then stepped up to the head of the litter, kneeling down and facing Hannibal. Hannibal nodded, realizing B.A. wanted to carry the top of Murdock's body. It made sense, the man was stronger than Hannibal after all.
"On you're count Sergeant." He agreed, moving down to the foot of the litter. He knelt down between the two handles, grasping one in each hand.
"One, two, three." B.A. called. They both stood up at the same time, making the lift as smooth as possible. Then they carried him to the back of the van, Karen and Mama Baracus following. Face held one of the van doors open, and Mama Baracus moved to the other door. As B.A. reached the van Face climbed in. He turned toward them, kneeling down and reaching out to take the top of the litter to allow B.A. to join him in the van. B.A. maneuvered to the side a bit and handed the litter off to Face one handle at a time before moving up beside him. Slowly the two pulled the litter back into the van and placed it down at the same time Hannibal.
"Is he going to be alright?" Karen asked as Face and B.A. climbed out.
"Of course honey." Mama Baracus said, putting her good arm around her friend.
"Who Murdock? That guy wouldn't die on us. Who would tease B.A. then?" Face offered. Almost a light hearted joke. The two women offered him thin smiles. B.A. moved around to the drivers seat of the van and the other four scrambled to get seats. Hannibal made to get the front seat but one stern look from Mama Baracus had him changing his mind fairly quick. B.A. barley waited for the back door to close before he drove off, being careful not to hit any bumps as they went.
After they took Murdock to the hospital, Hannibal had to find another way to bring the slimeballs down. It had just become personal though. With Karen and Mama Baracus at the hospital with Murdock, the rest of the A-Team brought a swift and extremely finale end to the hotel business. It would have gone smoother with Murdock, especially since their main sleezeball nearly made a getaway in a chopper, but with the entire A-Team out for blood they didn't stand much of a chance. They will be cooling their heels in prison for the next twenty years for what they did.
Now however, Hannibal was sitting in Murdock's hospital room, the other four asleep and it well into the night, hoping for anything to show them that Murdock was alright. The Doctor had confirmed that Murdock did break and arm and hit his head. He had a few other scrapes and bruises but other than that they wouldn't know the true extent of the damage until he woke. A loud moan from the hospital bed had Hannibal moving before he could fully process it.
"Wha…" Murdock sounded dazed and confused, and Hannibal quickly put a hand on his shoulder, wanting him to know he was there.
"It's alright Captain, take a minute to fully wake up." He suggested. Murdock gave a small nod before looking around.
"Where am I?" he asked. Hannibal almost grimaced before he realized it was indeed a fair question.
"You're in a hospital in Chicago. Murdock, do you remember what happened?" he asked. After all it was possible with a head injury that he could have forgotten what happened. Then again, Murdock did have intermittent memory loss so Hannibal wasn't sure how well that would be a sign of damage done.
"Yeah….yeah, I remember. Is B.A. and Face okay? Did the fire get put out?" he asked. Hannibal sighed in relief before letting out a low chuckle.
"Everything is fine Captain. They're right here. The fire is put out, the guys trying to steal Ms. Baracus' home are all in jail, and you're in the hospital with a concussion and a broken arm." Murdock nodded with what he said before letting out a pained cry and realizing that was not a good idea.
"Yeah, it might be best if you refrain from shaking around your head too much right now." Hannibal offered. He reached over and hit the 'call doctor' button near Murdock's head, knowing that the Doctor's would want to check him now that he was awake.
"Sure thing Colonel." Murdock groaned.
Murdock was released from the hospital the next day. Mama Baracus was practically smothering him, as was Karen and the rest of the team. Hannibal could see Murdock was getting overwhelmed by it but he knew there was nothing he could do. Even if he told them to back off, they wouldn't likely listen to him and Murdock wasn't really in the condition to fly back. They would have to find some other option for transportation since they couldn't take the van. It was a rental.
For now though, Murdock was nestled into a nest of blankets on the couch, Mama Baracus and Karen were cooking in the kitchen, making a Christmas dinner that she forbade any of them helping with as it was a 'thank you' meal, and B.A. and Face were hovering over Murdock's shoulder. Things were finally as they should be and Hannibal truly did love it when things came together. Plan's and his team.
For my whamptober fic, here's a story of what could have happened when Murdock fell from the burning building instead of just bouncing back up. Murdock seems to get injured a lot and just brushes it off, like when he had a tree fall on him, got shot, or even fell out of a chopper. I will probably write more but for now this one is alright.