Protectors of The A-Team

A/N: Protectors of the Plot Continuum was founded by Jay and Acacia. Excerpts taken from Deserved Payment by facefreak. This mission was chronicled by IndeMaat.

Deserved Payment

Allison strolled casually into her office her hands deep in her pockets. Tasmin was on the floor packing her bag.

"Where have you been?" she demanded. "You can't just run off whenever it pleases you. We have a job to do."

"Well, I can't be on call 24/7. On occasion I need to take a break and inspect what is left of my social life."

"PPC agents don't have a social life. Get used to it." Tasmin got up and closed her bag in one smooth movement.

"That explains why you're so grumpy," Allison said under her breath. Tasmin threw her a glare. "I'll take it into consideration," she added. "Where are we going?"

"San Diego."



The two agents stepped through the portal Tasmin had opened, and Allison was glad to note that this time casual meant loose fitting jeans and a T-shirt.

"What do we do now?" she asked glancing over the Words.

Many people came to her house claiming to be the Ateam.

She saw several vans in the street: some GMC, some Volkswagen, some Ford; but all of them black with tainted windows.

"What's going on here?"

"The Sue placed an add for the A-Team, and now all kinds of nutters are coming to her house claiming they are the A-Team." Tasmin sat her bag down by a low wall. "She will send them all away. She knows they're not the real thing. She has done extensive research on the Team."

It always puzzled Allison how Tasmin was able to say such things in the same matter-of-fact tone a presenter of nature documentaries would use to talk about the mating habits of hamsters.

"Shall I write her up for that?"


Tasmin sat down on a low garden wall on the opposite side of the street from the house of the Sue and took a book from her bag.

"Er, excuse me, are we gonna be here long?"

"Could be a while. Didn't I say? You should have brought a book."

"Great. I thought fanfics had unexpected time rifts. You didn't say anything about time loops."

Tasmin looked up from her book. "It's not really a time loop. It's a time stretch. It is no where stated when the event started, how long it lasted or when it ended. We just have to wait and see."

"Can't we use the portal to go ahead?"

"Not much sense. It could be five minutes till the next action happens, or five hours. Besides, using portals takes a lot of energy, and we got a memo from Upstairs to try and conserve energy. We just have to sit out the time stretch."

"Great." Allison sat down on the wall next to Tasmin. "Couldn't you have told me before we left? I could have taken a book or something. You don't happen to have brought a second book?"

"I just started this one," Tasmin replied sweetly. "It will be a while before it's finished, so I didn't think I needed a second one."

Allison growled. There was nothing left for her to do than fold her arms and fret. Tasmin refused to let her go back to the office to get a book, claiming that the action could kick in any moment. So as the fake A-Team vans started pulling out of the street, Allison started plotting all the ways in which she could try to kill the Sue. Her adrenaline thus pumped she almost didn't notice Hannibal walking past her in the guise of Mr Lee. She nudged Tasmin to start paying attention. Tasmin placed a piece of paper between the pages and closed her book. From their position on the opposite side of the street they saw Hannibal knock on the door. A moment later the knock was answered.

"An enormous house and she can hear a simple knock?" Allison asked.

"She has been expecting that knock, so she probably was just in the next room."

"I like what she's wearing though. That nightgown really brings out her figure." Allison snickered as the red dress the Sue was wearing turned into a long salmon colored nightgown, with a low cut and matching robe.

Tasmin rolled her eyes. "Stop playing with the characters' clothes."

"What? I'm not using canon as dress up dummies."

"Don't do it with the OCs either; it's making me nauseous. Start paying attention."

She couldn't turn him away because she knew who he was. She continued to play his game, though.

"She sees through Hannibal's disguise? I thought that was a privilege only viewers had."

"Yeah." Tasmin sounded uncharacteristically happy. "I told you already: she did research. She knows all about Hannibal's disguises."

"No, she doesn't. She claims Hannibal's Mr Lee wears a beard. Mr Lee does not have facial hair. Other than eye brows."

"Yeah. Isn't it great?"

"Is there any particular reason you're so damn cheerful?"

"I just enjoy my job."

Allison shook her head. The job of a PPC agent was not that much unlike that of pest control. With the difference that pest control had to drive around in an obnoxious van, and they had a portal. "What kind of story is this?"

"Face Romance."

"Good story?"

"Course not, we wouldn't be here if it was."

"And the cheerfulness?"

"Guess I've taken up your advice to think of Sue stories as humorous."

The old man removed his fake beard and wig and introduced himself. "I'm Hannibal Smith and you've just hired the Ateam".

Allison jumped up. "What? This quickly? Hannibal usually gives people the run around for a couple of days or even weeks. Now he just has a five minute chat and he knows she's okay?"

"Sit back down." Tasmin pulled Allison on her arm. "Write her up, and shut up."

Allison wrote the Sue up and glared at Tasmin.

By the way, where are Face, B.A. and Murdock? I need the team not just one member.

"She knows all their names?" Allison jumped up again. "No one but the Team knows Murdock is a member of the Team."

"I said: sit down." Tasmin jumped up too and pushed Allison back onto the wall. She pushed a little harder than intended and Allison ended up on her back in the garden the low wall lined. "And stay down." Tasmin quickly made the most of the situation. Allison snarled at her. "Don't snarl at me."

"If you treat me like your dog that is exactly how I'm going to behave."

"Get back up. We're not finished here yet. The rest of the Team is just walking up to the house."

Tasmin sat back down on the wall. She took a bottle of water from her bag, opened it and put it to her lips. Allison scrambled up, padded the dirt off as best as she could, stepped over the wall and sat back down again.

"So where did your cheerful mood go?"

"It turned out to be powerless against the antimatter created by your mood."


They walked through the door and were introduced to their new boss.

"I've always like the image of someone going through a door," Tasmin chuckled. It seemed her cheerfulness had returned.

"It's an expression. Everyone knows what is meant." Allison took off her T-shirt and beat it against the wall to get the sand off. With the door to the house closed there was no one in the known world that was going to notice her little striptease. Except Tasmin, and she didn't really care about her opinion. "What bothers me, though, is that they have started to call their client 'boss'."

"What are you doing?"

"Cleaning. Thanks to you I will have an itchy back for the remainder of this mission."

"There's a clean T-shirt in my bag if you want it."

"Really?" Tasmin nodded. Allison dove straight into her bag to get the T-shirt. She put it on and looked at the picture of a pink teddy-bear in the front. "Not really something I had expected of you."

"Stick with me, kid. I might still surprise you."

"How did you manage to say that without it sounding ominous?"

Tasmin flexed her brows in reply and turned her attention back to the Words. Christina, the Sue, was telling the Team her life story. Tasmin and Allison both found it rather confusing. A long lost brother, cousins who knew about it, but no legal guardians around. The brother kidnapping the sister and leaving her somewhere. Years later coming back to try to kill her to get her inheritance.

"Why doesn't she just write her will, living the possession to a good cause or something?" Allison asked.

"Her brother could contest that will, couldn't he?"

"He also could have contested their parents' will that left her all and left him bupkes."

"Yeah, doesn't make sense this story, does it?"

"No, it doesn't." Allison wrote down 'confusing backstory' and 'shook her head yes'. "Nodding is yes, shaking is no," she muttered. "And you don't make much sense either." She put down the notepad and gave Tasmin a good stare. "Why are you so happy?" Then it suddenly hit her. "You already know when you're going to kill the Sue."

Tasmin beamed a smile at her.

"Doesn't it bother you that we first have to struggle through 4000 words of prose to get there?"

"4160, give or take a few."

"How far in it are we now."

"About 1300. So less than a third."

Allison rolled her eyes and nearly fell of the wall again.

"Careful there. I only brought one extra T-shirt."

Allison decided to sit on the ground where it was safer for her to sit. She breathed in deeply; at this speed they would be in this fic for many hours more, and she was starting to get hungry. She looked at the words.

You can stay here as long as you like. There are enough rooms for everyone.

"Aw, no. The Team is going to live with her? She should have placed an add in the Lonely Hearts column," Allison moaned. "At least tell me there is going to be some shooting soon."

"I'm afraid I'm the only one doing any shooting." Allison let out a loud whine. "But if you're in luck, a car will drive by and backfire."

"I can't wait for that car."

"All you have to do is imagine it. But first imagine Christina's floor plan. It might be useful."

Christina led the Team around the house and Allison tried to sketch a floor plan from her instructions.

"This is incredible. How did you manage this?" Hannibal asked. "It was just a lot of imagination." Christina replied.

"Me too," Allison chuckled. She turned a page on her notepad to sketch the other floors too. "She does have a lot of baths in her house."

"I guess she likes to be clean. And the advantage of each having your own bath is that you never have to wait for someone else to come out of the shower."

"Yeah, but the charm of living with other people is arguing over who used up all the hot water, and whose hair that is in the drain."

"Your idea of charm is very quaint."

Now it was Allison's turn to flex her brows. She leaned back against the wall and kept half an eye on the Words.

"Can I do the cooking?" B. A. asked.

"Is that a good idea?" Allison asked, putting a hand on her stomach to keep it from rumbling. "I though BA could fix anything, but dinner."

"Where did you get that idea?"

"Season two, first episode."

"Ah, been doing your homework. Keeping doing it, and you'll find out more about BA's cooking."

"Can we sneak into the house later, and sample the leftovers?"

"No, there won't be any leftovers by the time we go into the house."

"Bugger. Can we go somewhere else for a bite to eat? There's a time rift coming and I thought we might want to skip that."

"Have an apple from my bag, hold on to the fence and quit complaining."


After the time rift most of the A-Team went to bed -- Allison noted that 'moving in' did not actually mean moving in their stuff -- only Christina and Face stayed behind. Allison started rummaging through Tasmin's bag again.

"What are you doing?"

"Did you bring any popcorn? Or other cinema snack food?"

"I should have, shouldn't I? It is like watching a movie here."

"A sappy movie," Allison replied.

It was dark, save for the street lights and the Words that lit up. Tasmin dug a flashlight up from her bag to give Allison extra light for writing down the charges.

"I've done tons of research on the Ateam trying to find something that would clear you of all the charges brought against you." Face couldn't believe what he was hearing.

"Neither can I," Allison replied. "I also can't believe that she actually managed all the research."

"Well, some of the stuff is known. Amy and Tawnia did write about the A-Team in the paper."

"Unless she can actually time travel and go back to Vietnam, she's not going to find anything on the charges that Amy or the Team hasn't already found."

"She doesn't know that."

"If she knows everything on the Team, she knows that too."

"Again, you apply a logical that is not known in Sue universe." Tasmin snickered as she returned to her book.

The wind started to pick up from a mild breeze to something quite a bit stormier.

"What is this?" Allison asked. "Did we miss the weather forecast?"

"Oh dear," Tasmin got up and quickly put all her stuff that was lying about in the bag. "Time rift coming, and a big one."

"Portal?" Allison shouted over the bellowing wind.

"No time," Tasmin shouted back. "Grab hold of something that can withstand a hurricane and don't let go."

Allison considered for a moment to grab hold of Tasmin, but also realized now was not a time for joking. She grabbed hold of the stone column from which a gate hung, closed her eyes and called upon the gods of fanfiction to be merciful.

When the storm subsided a month had past in the fic. Allison let go of the column and fell on to her back on the sidewalk.

"Never, never again," she whispered.

"Ah, you're just saying that," Tasmin replied. She retrieved a comb from her bag and started putting her hair back into style.

Allison just lay on her back. Her arms in the same angle as when she held on to the column. "I can't take these kind of beatings anymore," she muttered. "I come from a civilized country. We don't have weather like this. We just have a bout of rain."

"Oh, grow up. Get up. We're already halfway to our target point."

Allison groaned. "That better not mean another time rift."

Tasmin gave a wry smile. "There is a few more of them."

"And we're gonna use the portal to avoid them?"

A car drove by and backfired.

"They're too close together," Tasmin said, frowing for a brief moment at the car. "Every paragraph is set at a later time than the one before."

"That's because author forgot to double space before she uploaded."

"That, and because there's really not that much happening in this story. Take a look at this."

Allison turned her head so that she didn't have to look at the Words upside down.

"They're sitting by the pool and all that happens is that Face tells the Sue that she is beautiful and that they kiss. This is not a story; this is diary entries at best. In fiction: if there's no conflict in the conversation, there really is no point for the conversation."

"I guess that's why we talk so much."

Tasmin ignored that remark. "Grab hold of that fence; there is another time rift on the way. Small one this time."

Allison managed only just to scramble up and wrap her arms around a few of the bars of the gate before the storm picked up again.

"This could maybe work as the subplot somewhere, but not as a story on it's own," Tasmin shouted over the storm. "You should write that down."

"Sure." Allison nodded. "As soon as I get the feeling back in my hands. That's the first thing I'll do." The first thing she did after the storm subsided was fall back on her back.

Tasmin stood studying the Words. "I think we can skip a few of these paragraphs."

Allison took in what those words meant. "Couldn't you have thought of that before this last storm?"

"Probably. But I just love the sight of you all cramped up. C'mon, get up." She grabbed Allison by the shoulders and pulled her up. Then she opened a portal.


The two agents stepped through the portal and onto the balcony at Murdock's bedroom later that night. The door stood slightly ajar to let in fresh air. This was advantageous to the agents as they now could listen in and not only had to go by the words.

"I'm sorry," Tasmin said, "but I think we're a little bit early." She pointed at Face and Christina walking towards the car.

Murdock's room was at the front of the house with a good view of both the front door and the driveway. Tasmin opened her bag and retrieved a stopwatch from it.

"What's that for?"

Tasmin pointed at the two people by the car.

Their lips met as they kissed for at least two minutes.

"Two minutes and ten seconds," Tasmin said and showed Allison the time she had recorded.

Allison rolled her eyes. As the car drove off she scanned the words. No time rifts in sight, just a time stretch of several hours. Behind them they heard curtains being closed. Both agents startled and turned around.

"Do you think he saw us?" Allison asked in a whisper.

"If he did he hasn't said anything."

"That's probably because he first wants to get a gun to point at us or something."

"Murdock, dinner." They heard the distant voice of Hannibal call.

"Coming," Murdock replied. He neighed like a horse and a moment later galloped out of the room.

Allison pushed the door a little further open and looked inside. "I'd like to have some dinner too."

"I've brought some rations."

"A proper dinner." She stepped into the room.

"What are you doing?"

"I'm going on a scavenger."

"If you get caught, you're on your own."

"I'll bring you back something nice too." Allison snuck to the door -- Murdock had left it open -- and carefully peered into the hallway. She heard voices in the distance. Murdock was apparently galloping around the kitchen because BA was shouting at him to stop it.

Allison made it down the stairs without a single creak from the stairs. She pushed open the kitchen door to a small crack. She got just enough view of the kitchen to see Hannibal feeding Murdock a lump of sugar and padding him on the flank.

"You're only encouraging the fool," BA grumbled.

"I think we should eat outside, BA. Murdock needs to run around free." Murdock replied to that with some more neighing. "Bring the dinner things, BA." Hannibal opened the door to the patio and let Murdock out. Growling BA gathered their dinner on a tray and followed them out to the picnic area in the garden.

When she was sure all had gone out into the garden Allison walked into the kitchen. She looked into the pots and pans on the stove to see if there were any leftovers. Apparently BA had decided to come back for seconds later because there were two handsome servings left for two starving PPC agents. Allison found a bowl in one of the kitchen cabinets and loaded it with spaghetti and meatballs. She took two spoons and forks from one of the drawers and went back upstairs.

"Dinner is served." She put the bowl of food on the floor of the balcony and gave Tasmin half the cutlery. She got the dirty T-shirt from Tasmin's bag to use as a bib. Allison knew herself: red sauce meant spilling.

"You forgot to bring a knife."

"You don't eat spaghetti with a knife. You roll it around your fork."

"Well, I can't eat it like that. I always cut it up."

Allison hit Tasmin in the head with the back of her spoon. "You do not cut up spaghetti. If you can't eat it properly, don't eat it at all. American Philistine." She pulled the bowl closer to herself.

"Eurotrash," Tasmin replied. She studied the way Allison rolled the spaghetti around her fork for a while and then decided to give it a go herself. A fresh cooked meal, even if difficult to eat, was much better than rations. She found it wasn't entirely impossible to eat spaghetti without a knife.

Halfway through their meal they heard shouting from downstairs. BA was upset about missing food. The agents couldn't hear what the reply was, but it didn't take much to imagine it, as the next thing BA said was: "There's no such thing as pixies, you crazy fool. And if you don't stop galloping in ma kitchen I'm gonna cook me some horse meat."

After dinner Tasmin made herself comfortable on the balcony with her novel. Allison went back into the house and searched Murdock's room for some reading material. Several hours later Tasmin heard car doors slam shut and foot steps walk up to the house. She nudged Allison to wake up. It took Allison a moment to realize where she was, but she managed to figure it out without shouting 'who? what? where?'.

The balcony door was still ajar. It had given Tasmin quite a startle when Murdock had stepped onto the balcony earlier that night. She had managed to jump up and hide behind the door. Allison however was asleep in plain view. Murdock didn't seem to see her. He saw the bowl though, and the comics Allison had taken from his room.

"I told BA it were the pixies who had taken his food," Murdock had said. He had picked up the bowl and the comic books and gone back inside. Tasmin hadn't dared to breath again until she heard a light sonar snoring coming from Murdock's room. She wanted to beat Allison over the head with a heavy object. But she didn't carry one of those and she was also afraid the noise would wake up Murdock.

There was a knock on the door and they heard Murdock scramble out of bed.

Murdock came to the door rubbing his sleepy eyes. "Faceman, is everything alright? It's after midnight."

"I hope we're not just here for Face needing a nightcap and a bedtime story." Allison yawned.

"You've not been reading the Words, have you?"

"I usually just skim through them." Allison rubbed the sleep out of her eyes and tried to focus on the Words.

Face turned to face Murdock on the bed. "I want to marry her, Murdock."

"Aw, man!" Allison uttered. Tasmin quickly jumped on her and put a hand over her mouth.

"Did you hear something?" Murdock asked. "I think it came form the balcony."

"You're probably just imagining it, Murdock." Face wasn't really in the mood to talk about Murdock. He wanted to talk about himself for a change and about Christina.

I want to make her my wife.

Murdock tried to talk him out of it by reminding him they were still fugitives, always on the run. Allison tried to get Tasmin to remove her hand from her mouth. So that she could at least say: 'What do you mean "always on the run"? You've been stationary for a month.' Tasmin, however, did not move her hand, and Allison's comment was reduced to a groan.

Face was determined to marry Christina, and all Murdock could do was persuade him to talk to Hannibal first. Face agreed and left Murdock's room. Tasmin let go of Allison.

"Please, please, tell me we are going to kill the Sue before he proposes?" she whined.

"That's the plan."

Murdock closed the balcony door muttering: "I already got voices in my head, don't need 'm in my balcony as well."

Allison grinned. Using the remote activator Tasmin opened a portal and both agents stepped through.


They were back in the street. Early in the morning this time. Tasmin suggested going up the drive way and seeing what was going on in the garage. As they ran across the street Allison glanced over the Words. Christina was explaining to Hannibal about the secret passage ways she had made in the house. Squatting down by the garage window Allison pulled her notepad from her pocket and wrote down 'secret passages' as a charge and turned the page to write down just exactly where they were. That could be useful if they went into the house later to catch the Sue.

Tasmin stretched herself from her squatting position and looked through the window.

"If you ever get cornered in the garage, just press this button on this support beam. There's one on each beam."

"Very useful," she muttered. "All we need to do is get into the house."

"We could try Murdock's balcony again."

"I'd rather get into the garage."

"Direct portal."

"We're trying to save energy, remember?"

They both ducked as Christina and Murdock entered into the garage and got into one of the cars. A moment later the car drove off.

"I think she left the garage door open."

The two agents walked around the corner and saw Tasmin had been right. They walked into the garage without problem.

"Now where to?" Allison asked.

"We go down. Get into the van."

They got into BA's van and Tasmin pressed a button on one of the support beams. The floor started to lower and a few seconds later they were in a cavern underneath the house. They got out off the van. Tasmin pressed another button and the van went back up to the garage. They took the staircase on the left to the basement and waited for the Words to reveal when Murdock and Christina came back from their little trip. Tasmin continued reading her novel. Allison kept herself busy jumping on all the beds in the basement hide out.

It was a few hours before Christina and Murdock finally returned. Tasmin heard the noise of a car pulling into the garage. She closed her book and nudged Allison, who was watching cartoons with the sound turned off. The agents quietly snuck to the kitchen where the A-Team and Christina were having lunch.

They just heard Hannibal tell her that her brother had been arrested and wouldn't be bothering her anymore.

"It took a month to take care of Christopher?" Allison asked in disbelieve. "Hannibal doesn't do problems that take more than a couple of days to sort out; he gets bored and starts to stir up the bad guys if they take more than an hour to come to him."

"If you'd have had an opportunity to point your Character Analysis Device you would have found that Hannibal was quite out of character in this story. He hasn't even lit a single cigar."

"I'm afraid my Character Analysis Device would go 'boom', like yours did, if I were to point it at anyone."

Christina was thrilled to hear the A-Team had sorted out her problem, and was even gladder to hear they had decided to move in with her permanently.

She got up from the table and said "Wait right here. I'll be back in just a second".

The moment Christina had left the kitchen and the door had closed behind her, both PPC agents jumped her and had her bound and gagged before she could have made a single sound. Allison hoisted the Sue onto her shoulder and they quickly made it back to the hide out room in the basement. Allison threw the Sue onto the bed.

"And you said there weren't any short Sues. This one is barely taller than me."

"Yes, but you're not short, are you?"

Allison growled in reply. The Sue muttered something.

"Can you make that out?" Allison asked.

"I think she's saying: who are you? what's happening?"

"Well, let's tell her." Allison flopped down on the bed next to Christina. She looked at her with frightful eyes. Allison returned a big grin.

"We're Protectors of the Plot Continuum, agents Tasmin and Allison, and we're here to save you from a hernia," Tasmin introduced them.

"Huhmmm?" Christina replied.

"You were about to carry four boxes each containing one million dollars in cash. Do you have any idea how heavy that is?"


"I think that means no."

"Well, presuming they were all C notes and knowing that those weigh about one gram each, one million dollars weighs over twenty pounds. You would have put your back out carrying four of those boxes at the same time. Allison, the other charges."

"I'd be pleased to." Allison bounced on the bed retrieving the notepad from her back pocket. "Christina Duke, may I first compliment you on your excellent spelling and punctuation. Too bad you forgot to double space, but your story was very well readable. So kudos to you. Charge one: writing an A-Team story without much A-Team in it. Hannibal was out of character; BA was out of character; Murdock didn't even have character. You might as well have written a story in the Battlestar Galactica fandom. Charge two: Inviting the A-Team to come and live with you. Third: your house. It has too many bathrooms and too many secret passages. You know we got lost on our way from the garage to the kitchen."

Christine mumbled something in reply.

"Of course it's your fault: you put them all in. Charge four: having a backstory that doesn't make sense. Charge five: knowing everything there is to know about the A-Team. If that were even possible Decker would have long since caught them. Anyway," Allison flipped through her notepad for more charges. "It all comes down to one thing: you are a Sue. The punishment for this is death. Do you have any last words?"

Allison removed the gag so that Christine could speak.

"Face! Hannibal! Help!" she shouted.

Tasmin popped her one between the eyes.

"That went smoothly," Allison commented as Tasmin unscrewed the silencer and put her Beretta and the silencer away in her bag. "What do we do now to get the Team out of the house before it starts to fold in on itself?"

"I have an idea." Tasmin took a little address book from her bag, picked up the phone and dialed a number. "Yes, let me speak to Colonel Decker. I know where the A-Team is."

Tasmin was quickly put through. She gave Decker the address and told him about the secret passages. All the time Allison was staring her down. When she put the receiver back down Allison spoke.

"I find you very, very scary."

"Hannibal would have wanted it this way." Tasmin started to chuckle and it wouldn't have surprised Allison at all had she also put a cigar between her teeth.

"You have Decker's direct number?" Tasmin shrugged. "Are you going to warn the A-Team Decker is coming?"

"Yeah, I think I should." She picked up the phone and dialed an internal line to the kitchen. BA answered it. "Quick! You've been betrayed. Decker is on his way. He knows about the secret passages." BA transferred the message to the rest of the Team. And because he dropped the receiver, rather than hang up, a moment later Tasmin could hear the Team rushing out off the kitchen. Chuckling some more she hung up. "Let's go back to the office. Our work here is done."

With some pruning (cut out the research on the A-Team, the secret passages in the house, the confusing backstory, and the A-Team moving in) this Face romance could be a subplot to another story. Although I do think the guy deserves a love interest that is less dull. The only exciting thing Christina did was open the door in her nightgown; and I had made that one up myself.

Previous  ::  Next

Tell me what you thought of this story and send me a message.