BA herded the last of the henchmen into the back of the van and locked the door. He double-checked his ammunition before turning to face Smith.
Hannibal glanced from his watch to the warehouse and back again. "It's been fifteen, let's go."
"Right."BA replied as he broke into a jog.
Murdock kicked open one door after another. He hadn't run into an resistance along the way which meant Hannibal and BA had held up their part of the plan. When the last door swung inward Murdock's heart froze at the image that greeted him.
Colleen lay sideways bound and gagged her back resting against the far wall, eyes closed.
"Colleen!"Murdock called as he raced forward and skidded to a stop next to his friend's still form.
Murdock quickly felt for a pulse praying that they hadn't hesitated too long. A beating under his fingers answered him and Murdock gently turned Colleen onto her back so he could begin to untie her.
Under his touch Colleen began to come around but not enough to stand on her own. Murdock tossed away the gag and ropes and gathered her into his arms before turning and exiting the small room.
Once Murdock was gone Terli inched away from the wall but Face instantly shoved him back.
"Don't even think that you've bought your freedom."Peck growled as he pressed his forearm against Terli's windpipe. "If she's dead so are you. If she's not then you're going to jail for the rest of your life."
Despite the pressure on his throat Terli chuckled. "That's an interesting threat coming from a fugitive."
Templeton's eyes narrowed sharply. "Don't even think of comparing us. I didn't do what I was convicted of."
Terli studied him. "And you think I've done what you and your friend have convicted me of?"
Face glared at the older man. "You may not have been the one who physically planted the bomb but you ordered it. Same difference."
Hannibal and BA had just entered the main room of the warehouse when they saw Murdock scurrying toward them carrying a human bundle. It took Hannibal a full minute to realize the bundle was Colleen.
"She alive?"BA asked before Hannibal could open his mouth.
Murdock nodded a slight smile on his face. "Yeah, just knocked out."
Baracaus jogged over to the pilot arms outstretched. "I can take her."He offered.
"Thanks BA, but she's not that heavy."Murdock replied as he came to a stop.
"Where's Face?"Smith asked with concern when he saw that Peck wasn't coming up behind Murdock.
"He's with Terli."Murdock replied gesturing with his head toward the hallway. "Third door down."
"Terli have any goons with him?"Hannibal asked.
Murdock shook his head. "No he was in there alone when we knocked on the door."
Smith nodded as he glanced at Baracus. "B.A.?"
BA hefted his gun as he nodded and started walking toward the corridor. "This won't take long."
Hannibal grinned as he glanced down at Colleen's still form. "The van's a little crowded but let's get her out of here."
Murdock nodded and quickly followed Smith out of the warehouse.
B.A. entered the room Murdock had indicated and found Terli pinned against the wall by Face's gun.
"It's over, Faceman."Baracus stated quietly as he came to stand next to his friend. "Let's go."
"What did Murdock find?"Peck demanded not being able to say her name just yet.
B.A. smiled as he clamped a hand down on his friend's shoulder. "She's alive. Murdock's got her out in the van."
"Thank God."Templeton murmured as he closed his eyes briefly.
Barcus gently placed a hand on Face's forearm. "I'll take care of this scum."
Peck nodded jubilantly as he instantly dropped Terli causing the older man to land in a heap."Thanks B.A."
Colleen was instantly aware of the pain in her head as she slowly regained conscienceness. Terli's henchman had slugged her good during the last visit and now her head hurt like hell.
The reporter groaned as she slowly opened her eyes. As her eyes adjusted to the sunlight the first face she saw was Murdock's anxious one.
The next thought that registered was that there was only one other concerned a-team members standing near by, Hannibal.
Colleen reached up and gently touched Murdock's right shoulder. "H-Henry?"
"You're okay, Bonns."Murdock assured her gently as he reached down to touch her face. "Just got a knock on the head is all. You'll be up and around in no time."
"Bonns?"Smith asked as he knelt next to Murdock.
Murdock grinned wistfully. "We used to play Bonnie and Clyde as kids."
"Face?"Colleen asked as she struggled to sit up.
"Whoa."Murdock stated firmly as he gently pushed her back into the passenger seat of the van which they had reclined as far back as they could. "You're not going anywhere. Face is fine....he's tying up some loose ends with B.A.."
"Glad you're okay, kid."Hannibal replied quietly as he gently patted her shoulder.
Just then sirens split the air.
Hannibal glanced toward the sound. "That'll be the boys in blue to pick up our trash."
Colleen was up and around the next day busy calling her editor and filing her first story of what happened. But it was another day before Face could get her out of 'big brother' Murdock's clutches long enough for them to have a long talk. He invited her over to his place for dinner that night.
Murdock leaned against the wall of the hotel room that Colleen was temporarily staying in. He watched with amusement as Colleen tried on four different dresses in preparation for her date with Face later.
"What about this one?"Colleen asked as she turned to face her friend holding up a strapless red dress.
"I like it."The pilot replied as he folded his arms across his chest.
Colleen glared at him slightly. "That's what you said about the others."
Murdock moved toward her and gently touched her right shoulder. "That's because I liked those too."
Colleen sighed in frustration as she tossed the dress onto the pile with the others. "That's not helping me pick one, Henry."
Murdock grinned as he motioned for her to sit on the bed. "I don't think Faceman is going to notice what color you wear, Bonns. He's too wrapped up with the person you are."
"You're right."Colleen replied as she stood and plucked the first dress off the pile. "He said it was casual."
Murdock stood and gently caught her arm stopping her. He'd debated about interfering in the budding relationship. He knew how short and precious life was not to grab whatever happiness you could along the way. But he also knew Face's track record with women.
"Colleen....I know you and Face have this special thing and that's great."Murdock began quietly as he met her gaze. "Don't get me wrong, I love Face like a brother but I've seen him date a lot of women over the years and...."
"You don't think he's serious about me."Brown finished as she reached up and touched his face. "You're sweet to worry about my broken heart, Henry, but I'm a big girl. I can fight my own battles."
By six o'clock Face was nervous and he couldn't figure out why. He'd had her favorite foods catered from a nearby restaurant and the table was set up beautifully by the catering staff.
Face had even made sure the beach house where he was currently living was clean from top to bottom.
Colleen arrived on time and Face placed an arm around her waist as he led her into the living room.
"I'm glad you could come."Face stated as they sat down on the blue sofa. "I know you have a lot to catch up on."
Colleen grinned. "Actually not as much as you think. It's amazing what getting kidnapped will do to your boss's disposition. He's bent over backwards to make sure I'm up to speed. I might even get a front page article out of this."
Face stood and walked over to the small kitchen counter where a bottle of wine was sitting. He began to pour the red liquid into two goblets.
"I'm glad something good came out of this mess."Peck replied as he picked up the glasses and walked back to the sofa handing her one before he sat back down.
Colleen hadn't missed the flash of sadness that had crossed Peck's face. Henry had told her of the events that had occurred during her absence. She hated the rift that had occurred between Henry and Face....
"Hey."Colleen called as she put the glass on the coffee table and took Peck's hand in hers. "What happened with Terli was not your fault."
Face's blue eyes clouded over as he shook his head. "No, Murdock was right I got distracted and it put you in danger.....nearly got you killed."
Colleen reached up and touched his left shoulder. "I wasn't exactly making it easy for you to do your job either. I enjoyed your company.......with my crazy hours at work it hasn't been easy to build a social life."
Face glanced down at their entwined hands struggling to find the right words for what he wanted to say. He didn't miss the irony of that fact.
"Colleen,"Peck began softly as he met her gaze. "I don't know how much Murdock told you about my childhood. But it got very lonely at times and with other children constantly being adopted there weren't too many solid friendships.
But when I met you there was an instant connection that was much more than friendship. And when we thought you had died....I felt like part of my soul had died with you."
Peck broke away from Colleen for a moment as he reached into the right pocket of his suit jacket and pulled out a medium sized square red jeweler's box.
Colleen's eyes were bright with unshed tears as Face handed her the box.
With slightly trembling hands Colleen lifted the lid and as she looked at the item inside her breath instantly caught in her throat.
Nestled inside the folds of red velvet was a small diamond heart attached to a gold chain.
"Oh Face......its incredible."Colleen whispered as she met his gaze.
Face smiled as he took the box from her and removed the necklace Colleen turned slightly so he could put the necklace on her.
"I thought it would symbolize what you've already captured."Peck replied as she turned back to face him. "My heart."
"I love you too."Colleen whispered just before Templeton's lips captured hers in a passionate kiss.