It was nearly check-out time when Murdock slung his duffel bag and jacket over one shoulder and proceeded down the hall. The A-Team had rented a cabin while on their latest mission, and thanks to a generous retainer, it'd been large and luxurious enough to provide them all with their own rooms. The doorway Murdock strode past now led to the room Face had occupied during their stay. Murdock did a double take and then stared from the doorway when he realized Face had crawled under the bed far enough that only a fourth of him was still visible. Dropping his belongings in the hallway, Murdock turned his hat backwards and stepped into the room.
"The bed! It has DEVOOUURRED him! Oh, cruuuell wooorrrld!" the pilot cried out with the usual level of theatrics (and an overblown English accent), before diving under the bed like somebody testing for the Coast Guard. He wriggled his way into the low space and grinned into the beam of a small flashlight as Face made an indignant noise in the back of his throat and inadvertantly pointed the beam at the pilot's eyes.
"Murdock, what-" He pulled the light away, exasperated.
"Whatchya doin'?" the pilot interrupted cheerfully. Face semi-scowled, but the effect was diminished somewhat on account of bits of his hair were standing up and static-clinging to the underside of the bed's fabric-covered box frame. Murdock's grin was rapidly approaching Cheshire Cat proportions.
"Come on, Murdock, you're blocking my light-"
"We lookin' for treasure?"
Face sighed patiently and then coughed in the freshly stirred-up dust. "Well if you consider a ridiculously expensive cuff link to be treasure, then yeah, I'm looking for treasure."
"Well four eyes are better than two, right?" Mudock pointed out enthusiastically, beginning to scour the carpet for cuff links. Unfortunately, it was hard to move without either catching his hat on the bed frame or elbowing Face. "Ain't too much clearance under here, is there?"
"You probably crawled right over it on your way under here," Face replied with a mild level of irritation, renewing his own search with the flashlight.
In the hall, B.A. paused, blinking at the sight of the two of them half disappeared under the bed. "Man, I ain't even gonna ask," he muttered, and kept walking. "Crazy fools..."
"Oh, don't be so whiney, Faceman," Murdock continued. "I'm just tryin' to help. You know it's almost check-out time, and Hannibal's expectin' us to be outta here pretty much now." He inched forward, patting the stretch of carpet previously out of his reach in search of the cuff link. "You know he's gonna be all like," Murdock schooled his features to his approximation of a typical Hannibal expression, "'While we're young, Lieutenant! And don't forget the cigars!'"
Murdock's impression of Hannibal was so accurate that Face just stared at him for a moment, in awe, before sputtering out a laugh he could not contain. Murdock held the expression for a heartbeat longer before breaking into laughter himself.
"That is just creepy," Face wheezed, coughing has he laughed through all the dust. "I hope he didn't hear that-"
Like clockwork, the colonel's voice sounded down the hall. "Face, Murdock! You guys planning on walking to the airport, or what?" Hannibal's timely summons only highlighted how well Murdock had mimicked their CO, sending the two of them into a fresh fit of laughter. Face clapped a hand over his mouth after realizing how loud he'd just gotten. Hannibal was going to be able to hear Murdock parroting him if he decided to walk down the hallway anytime soon.
"Secure that, Lieutenant!" Murdock persisted, in Hannibal mode again, and then snorted loudly when he tried to hold back a laugh and continue talking at the same time.
"Ssshhhhhh!" Face could hardly make the sound through his own laughter. He whacked one hand at the pilot, who had rolled over onto his back and was cracking up into the hat he'd shoved over his own face to stifle the sound. "Shhh! He's gonna hear us, damnit!"
"Ow….ow!" Murdock all but shouted through his hat. His exclamation was way funnier than it should have been.
"Shhh!" Face reiterated in between laughs, whispering shrilly. "What is it?"
"I think I found your dang cuff link! No, don't laugh, Faceman, I'm tryin' to downgrade my gufaws to low-level chuckles!" He wasn't having much success with that even as he wrenched an arm under his back to retrieve whatever was trying to gouge him in the kidney.
The two of them were practically giggling when Hannibal Smith stepped past the room. Much as BA had done moments earlier, Hannibal did a double-take and returned to the doorway. Staring down at the argyle socks and high-top Chucks that stuck out from beneath the bed, he wasn't sure whether to be annoyed, amused, or generally weirded-out.
"Dirtball!" he heard Murdock say-or try to say, anyway. The word dissolved into wheezing laughter. It was only one somewhat garbled word, but Hannibal suddenly had the feeling that his ears should have been burning for the last couple minutes. His eyes narrowed slightly.
"Um," the colonel began. His voice startled Face enough that he smacked his head on the box frame and yelped. Murdock gave up all attempts at restraint at that point and broke into a new round of plenty-audible laughter. Hannibal had taken a breath to continue in a conversational tone, but abruptly changed gears.
"On your feet gentlemen!" he barked sternly. True to training and perhaps a bit out of simple loyalty (or guilt), Face and Murdock shimmied out from under the bed and got to their feet with all due haste, standing at attention. Some of Face's hair was trying to defy gravity, and Murdock appeared as though he was trying to keep from laughing by widening his eyes beyond what was humanly possible. Years of practice was the only thing that kept Hannibal in Serious Colonel mode for the moment.. "If you boys are quite finished with the hysterics, we have plenty of supplies that need loaded into the van. Now, move out!" They marched out of the room, Face apparently oblivious to the fact that he still wasn't wearing any shoes.
Hannibal waited until he was out of their line of sight before allowing the suppressed grin to finally spread across his face. Murdock waited until they were out of Hannibal's field of view before trying to swat the gravity back into Face's hair.
Ten minutes later, Face slid the door shut behind him as he boarded the van with his shoes under one arm. He sat down and tried not to make eye contact with Murdock as he tugged on one of the shoes. He'd kept the team waiting in the van while he ran back to retrieve them.
"Lieutenant, I certainly hope you didn't forget the cigars," Hannibal chided.
Face squeaked out one of the weirdest coughs the colonel could ever recall hearing, and Murdock suddenly seemed excessively interested in the aircraft magazine he was currently hiding his face behind.
"Uh, they're in the glove box," Face answered, voice wavering after the apparent coughing fit subsided.
Murdock leaned over slightly toward him. "I hope they're secured," he said in a hushed voice, the last word mostly a laugh. "Ow!" There was a rustle as the pilot tried to fend off a whack from Face's other shoe with his magazine.
Hannibal looked over his shoulder at them. "You guys are the very definition of bizarre today, you know that?"
The two officers looked back at him with pseudo-innocent expressions so similar that Hannibal finally had to chuckle. He turned and reached for the glove box. "It's like babysitting teenagers."
"Yeah, well the *kids* better not mess up my van throwin' they shoes around," B.A. grumbled threateningly.
"He started it," Murdock piped up, pointing.
"Oh, thanks, Murdock," Face said dryly, then looked confused as he realized Murdock was pointing out the window. He shook his head. "Uh, Hannibal, so what's our next mission?" It wasn't exactly his smoothest subject change ever, but B.A.'s glares were practically lowering the ambient temperature of the van.
"Oh it's a real interesting one for you two," Hannibal spoke lightly, punctuating the statement with a few clicks of a lighter. He leaned around toward the back seats again.
"Really?" Murdock lowered the magazine. Hannibal nodded. After successfully lighting his cigar, he held it with one finger and thumb, gesturing with it as he spoke.
"Oh, it's a good one, all right." He took on the tone of someone trying to advertise the best thing since sliced bread. "See, you guys get to moonlight as overly confident comedians who do barely passing impressions of their CO." He paused for effect. "Oh, I'm sorry. I meant boss, of course." The deer-in-the-headlights look his officers were giving him at this point was beyond priceless. Busted.
Face was the first to railroad himself into a poor attempt at recovery.
"Uhh, that is, Colonel, can I just say that-"
"Oh there's more Lieutenant, there's more. See, their boss, wounded by their lack of due respect, decides to give them *latrine* duty." Face looked like he wanted to die. "For 6 months."
Now it was B.A.'s turn to laugh. "Sounds like a good plan to me, Hannibal." Hannibal was grinning like a kid on Christmas morning.
"I love it when a plan comes together, Sergeant."
"Good thing we aren't in possession of any latrines," Face pointed out hopefully.
"Good thing your CO is a creative man who can come up with a comparably hideous alternative," Hannibal replied, emphasizing the word "hideous" with raised eyebrows. He placed his cigar back in his mouth, sitting comfortably back against his own seat once more, supremely satisfied.
Mudock and Face turned to look at each other.
"Doghouse?" Murdock spoke.
"Yeah, we're in it." Face confirmed grimly.
Murdock howled as they merged onto the interstate and proceeded out of town.