Return to Obscurity

Summary: Murdock returns to reality... sadly. X-over, but I can't tell you anything more without giving something away.

Warnings: None. This is short and sad, but no one dies or has graphically described sex with anyone else. Sorry.

Disclaimer: I don't own any of these characters, and I'm making no money off of this... I say this in the hopes that those who do own them won't mind me borrowing them for my own use and won't sue me for doing so... and also because it's true, damn it!

"Great job, guys." Hannibal commented as he puffed contentedly on his cigar. He picked up his small bag and turned to look at the sun just beginning to set over the ocean. The wind ruffled his short silver hair as he turned back to watch Face and Murdock tugging at the bulk of a man who was their unconscious Sergeant, B.A. Baracus. The tiny hatch of the airplane they were hauling him from made the task all that much more ridiculous. Ridiculous that it resembled an elephant being maneuvered through a doggy-door. Ridiculous that two grown men, strong in their own rights, struggled so hard to move just one. Ridiculous that such an enormous man could have fears just like any other man and need to be drugged to get him within one hundred feet of said airplane. Ridiculous that if not for those drugs keeping him unconscious, B.A. just might forget the friendships and start "bustin' heads," as he would say.

Just as the thought entered the Colonel's mind he regretted it. Throwing such a challenge into the face of Fate did not appeal to him in the slightest. Proving that there was reason behind the superstition, B.A. began to moan and growl softly in his sleep.

Face locked eyes with Murdock in panic. "Oh, shit, Colonel! He's waking up," they spoke simultaneously.

Hannibal dropped his bag and moved quickly to help them get to the car that was waiting with Amy Allen behind the wheel. With all three of them laboring under his weight, they managed to bundle B.A. into the back seat of her convertible.

"Hurry... hurry..." Murdock mumbled more to himself than anyone else. Face ran back to the plane and grabbed Hannibal's bag. The rest of their luggage had already been loaded into the trunk.

"Everything in order, Colonel," he reported as he took his place on one side of B.A. and behind Hannibal's seat. Wedged between him and Murdock, the big guy's growls became more noticeable. "Uh... Hannibal? I don't think that we have very much time left and I don't really want to see what will happen if he comes out of it at an airport, next to a private jet that we've obviously just abandoned, so could we please get out of here?"

The Colonel grinned around the cigar that had never left his mouth through all the struggle to move B.A. "Where's your sense of adventure, Kid?" Even through his flippant attitude, the others could read his nervousness as well. All of them relaxed a little once Amy finally got through the airport traffic and onto the highway before their angriest compadre had completely regained consciousness. After just a little while on the road, however, the ruckus began.

With a loud snort, B.A. jerked awake suddenly, and he was not pleased that he didn't remember how he'd gotten into the back seat of Amy's car... again.

Murdock immediately began to improvise a distraction... "And the Black Knight swings his sword at Arthur and goes charging past him. Arthur cuts off his other arm! So the Knight is standing there, arms (not weapons arms, but arms arms) lying on the ground, and Arthur says, 'Victory is mine!' He kneels down and starts praying... 'We thank thee, Lord, that in thy mercy...' and it's at this time that you see this boot come in from off screen and just kick Arthur in the head and knock him down!" Everyone but B.A. laughed at Murdock's accurate and highly enthusiastic portrayal of Arthur's lines, and his attempt to turn around in the cramped back seat and get his foot up high enough to demonstrate with B.A. "It's one of the funniest damn movies I've ever seen!"

The laughter died off and a tense silence started to grow.

"So...?" Murdock asked.

"'So' what, fool?" B.A. barked after successfully getting Murdock to put both feet back on the floorboards.

"Well, can we rent that one or what?" He looked at the blank faces around him and elaborated... "You know... popcorn, movie, Amy's house, celebrate our latest victory? What d'ya think?"

Hannibal grinned and finally lit his cigar. "I think that's a good, solid plan, Captain."

They were still laughing later that night as they pulled up outside of the V.A. hospital that Murdock called home. He smiled at them as he, full of an energy that they all admired, jumped out of the back of the car. His smile turned a little sad, though, as he started to back away from the car full of his friends. He sighed and waved wordlessly at them.

"You know, Murdock," Hannibal began to speak knowingly, "if you don't want to stay here, you don't have to. I guess we could put up with you for a little while longer, couldn't we, guys?" He winked at the Captain, as B.A. began to grumble about invisible dogs and talking socks and coconuts.

"I'll be fine, Hannibal. Thanks for the concern, but I really do need to come back here even if I don't feel like it sometimes." Murdock was serious and his thoughts had become very stable all of a sudden.

"But when you need to get away from it, son, (mission or not) you can always call us. You don't have to wait for a job to turn up to spend some time with us."

"I know, sir, and, again, thank you so much for that. I don't know what I'd do if I couldn't get away from everything with you guys... at least once in a while."

Everyone was quiet for a moment, savoring all that had been said. After a moment more, Murdock burst out in a grin that lit up his entire face. He waved at them again and ran off toward the front of his building. "See ya!" he yelled back over his shoulder as he rounded the corner and headed off on the familiar path through the trees. He slowed to a walk as he heard Amy gunning the engine as she rejoined the traffic on the street. He felt that wave of sorrow again and tried to brush it off. It came every time he had to say goodbye to the guys. He stopped next to the door of the Veteran's Administration and leaned against the brick wall. After a few seconds of gathering his thoughts, he looked around to see that there was nobody nearby and then spoke quietly, but clearly.

"Computer, freeze program."

Suddenly, the wind stopped blowing peacefully through the trees, rustling the leaves no more. The birds no longer sang and the hum of traffic was immediately silenced. Murdock straightened up sadly and took off his leather coat, folding it neatly over his arm. He also removed his baseball cap, sliding it between the folds of his jacket. He straightened his hair a bit. Strangely, it seemed shorter and less wild than it had sticking out from under the familiar blue cap.

"Save Barclay program nine. Exit." he spoke again. Before he walked out of the holodeck to return to the real life on the Enterprise, he said quietly to himself, "I may need to come back to the real world out here, but I always will love you guys for letting me be me while I'm in there with you." He sadly stroked the black wall with it's yellow grids, then briskly walked through the hissing automatic doors and toward his quarters to change for his upcoming shift in Engineering.