BA hated getting involved in other people's personal business. He especially hated getting involved in other people's personal romantic business. And even more than that, he hated getting involved in, or even thinking about, the personal romantic business of his teammates.
What BA hated most of all, though, was watching people be damn fools.
Right now, those two facets of BA's personality were in conflict.
It had been that way for a while now, though the onset had been slow. Like the plot of one of those godawful soap operas everyone knew Face watched when he was convalescing, this situation had had a ridiculously slow reveal. BA determinedly told himself many times a week that if he'd known what it would mushroom into, he would have buried his head in the sand from the start and never got involved.
Because he was involved, much as he grit his teeth against it. He was the one who had to watch the damn thing.
It started with signs that, despite how many times BA looked back at them with a view to retroactively warning himself should he ever encounter a plutonium-fuelled Delorean, no one would have batted an eye at. Nine years ago, Face and Murdock had been the first members of the new Team to bond. BA was still shaken after Murdock's helicopter escape ("ANGRY!" he'd insisted sternly. So damn ANGRY that he never wanted to get into an aircraft ever again because he'd get so full of rage that he'd pass out). To no one's surprise, he'd wanted nothing to do with the pilot.
His first impressions of Face had been similarly unfavourable – who did this hotshot think he was, jeopardising a mission and the life of the legendary Hannibal Smith just to get some pussy? No, this kid didn't appreciate what he had, and BA thought he had his number right away. Good looking, over-privileged rich boy, probably had WASPy parents who'd funded his whole education right through to the Army, got his position on Hannibal's team because of some connections his daddy had... BA wasn't interested in getting to know Face any more than he had to in order to work with the guy.
Hannibal, of course, in his freaky mind-reading way, had seen this and thrown the new Team together in shared accommodation on base. Obviously it worked, and BA realised he'd been wrong about the brash Lieutenant, struck up a friendship with him, learned to consider him family and see colours he never knew, blah blah Disney shit blah blah. BA even had to reluctantly, sometimes, on a good day, admit that even Crazy had grown on him a little bit, like a cat that comes around all the time and one day you realise you'd be kinda sad if it got hit by a car.
Needless to say, things were fine within the Team now, even with the added stresses of being federal fugitives and often having to share one bathroom. In the beginning, though, it had been a bit fractured. During those first few weeks, Hannibal mediated between BA and the other two, who'd circled like wary dogs for a while before gingerly sniffing each other and realising they liked what they smelled. (BA had never been able to come up with a more fitting but less disgusting metaphor for the whole thing, no matter how much he tried.)
So the two fools had bonded. That was fine. Nothing unusual there. But BA couldn't help noticing things about their friendship. They were close – in a physical, touchy, no-personal-boundaries-of-any-kind sort of way. At first, it raised BA's eyebrows. He wasn't used to being around men who were so... demonstrative. It definitely wasn't anything he'd seen in the Army before. After getting to know them a bit better though, he dismissed it. Murdock was like a grabby toddler and was always getting into your space when he wanted attention, feeding, burping or whatever stupid thing he thought was important enough to come into your garage and pester you with. Face, BA chalked up to him just being a tactile guy who was used to a certain amount of physical contact that the ladies couldn't always provide when he was on base. Not that there was anything sexual about his friendship with Murdock.
Not in the beginning, anyway.
Because he was ignoring the touches, in-jokes, cuddles (he was especially ignoring the cuddles), indulgences and anything that sounded like a giggle coming from their direction, BA wasn't on the alert for when things started to change. All he knew was, one day last year he'd been watching the two of them laughing about some dumb thing Murdock said and for some reason, on that day BA saw it like an outsider would. The looks on their faces had hit him like a pellet gun to the chest. There was no mistaking it or pretending it was just friendship, camaraderie or even bromance. Those two were looking at each other, laughing, and BA saw that they were in love.
God dammit, he'd sighed to himself at the time, going back to his own work. Like they weren't already annoying enough, now he was gonna have to put up with their stupid lovers' quarrels and PDAs. If he even THOUGHT he heard a squeaky bedspring or suspicious sounding moan in the middle of night, he was throwing both of them out the window.
BA wasn't homophobic or ignorant the way people might assume from his upbringing and blunt way of speaking. He didn't think that Gay was something that only happened to other people. He wasn't looking for it, but he wasn't about to deny it when it was staring him in the face making gooey eyes at his teammates. BA knew that Face would sleep with any woman between the ages of 18 and 80 and he didn't think that was a front, but it didn't mean he and Murdock weren't getting up to stuff that BA didn't want to think about them getting up to.
It made sense. The looks, the touches that had gone from just frequent to lingering and borderline inappropriate (it wasn't normal to rest your hand on the small of your bro's back, it just wasn't). The fact that Face and Murdock spent so much time together that it had become a given, towards the end of their time in the Army, that the two of them would take vacations together during down time... Things people just wrote off as two friends who had no other family to spend time with now jumped out at BA as obvious signs of what was going on.
God dammit, he'd thought again, standing up and stomping to the cooler for a beer. He was never going to be able to hear them tell that lobster story the same way again.
After his internal revelation, BA tried to ignore what was going on between Face and Murdock. He didn't object, but he damn well didn't want to think about it. With his new perspective, though, he couldn't help but notice other things and some of those just didn't add up. Face was still sleeping with any woman who didn't have a moustache you could strain soup through (and even the verdict on that one was out thanks to poor, unfortunately-follicled Janice). BA would have thought it was just a ruse that the two of them had worked out, but it didn't fit. Face would sometimes hop from one woman's bed to another every day of the week, and BA couldn't see how that was necessary no matter what kind of reputation Face wanted to maintain.
And Face and Murdock were definitely sleeping together, but only ever fully clothed and they'd been passing out in each other's beds like that for years. Sometimes it was from fatigue after a mission or intense Mario Kart battle, other times it was alcohol or Hannibal-enforced sedatives, but whatever the reason, it wasn't abnormal to find the two of them collapsed in the same cot. Once or twice, they hadn't even made it to a bed and been found the next morning on the floor, using each other as pillows. They'd been doing that kind of thing for the entire time they'd known each other. BA was sure that if they'd been together for that long, he would have noticed before now. Subtle was one thing Face and Murdock were not.
He didn't want to dwell on it, but BA couldn't help but join all the dots and realise that even with the disturbing amount of time those two spent together, there really wasn't any time for... relationship stuff. They hadn't been away one-on-one since months before the whole mess with the plates started and since then, the team had either been separated or living in each other's shadows - "each other" being all four of them, not just those two. There just wouldn't have been any way to hide it if half of the team was having sex (DAMMIT, groused BA, because that was exactly what he hadn't wanted to think about).
When he'd realised what was actually going on – or what wasn't – BA had wanted to punch them both. He hadn't been wrong about them being in love. He was just the only one of the three of them who realised it.
Which was fine, he'd told himself. Not any of his business. They wanted to keep things at the level they were at, it was up to them. Nothing to do with BA.
Nothing to do with him, except that he had to watch it. And it was getting annoying.
It wasn't like he was seeing Face moon over Murdock or Murdock pulling Face's pigtails. This was worse. BA had to watch the damn idiots be so clearly, blindingly, obviously in love with each other and not realise it. It was worse than talking to someone with spinach in their teeth. It was RIGHT THERE and they couldn't even see it. Face kept running off with those women, Murdock would do whatever the hell Murdock did (LA LA LA! shouted BA's brain very loudly) and they kept not seeing the one thing they could do that would make them really happy.
Yeah, yeah. BA wanted his friends to be happy. It sounded corny but they'd all been through some rough shit lately and however much he wanted to smash their heads together like two coconuts sometimes, Face and Murdock were his brothers and he loved them no matter what. He couldn't think of two guys who deserved a good break more.
And so BA found himself in the unwanted, unenviable position of Reluctant But Necessary Matchmaker.