"Hey, what's with the big guy, Colonel? He just walked right by me. Not even a little bitty snarl."
Hannibal didn't look up from his paper.
"Leave him alone for a while, Murdock. He had some bad news."
"Bad news? Not his - "
"No, his mother's fine. It's one of the kids from that youth center. Got shot last night."
"Oh, man! Is he okay?"
"He will be. Scared him more than anything." Hannibal lowered the paper, shaking his head. "Stupid kid was trying to rob a gas station. The owner didn't like that idea. Kid's damn lucky the guy couldn't shoot straight."
"BA thought he'd turned the kid around. Now he's bouncing between blaming the kid and blaming himself. So, like I said - leave him alone."
Murdock frowned, but nodded. He sat quietly for several minutes while Hannibal went back to his newspaper.
"Huh?" Hannibal looked up absently. "Yeah, he's out by the pool. I think he's trying to make a date with the gal in 4B."
"Blonde or brunette?" Murdock grinned as he jumped up and hurried outside.
"Red head." Hannibal chuckled. "Not that it matters now."
After a few minutes, Murdock came hurrying back through, giving Hannibal a quick "Back in a bit, Colonel" as he rushed out the front door. He was followed almost immediately by an angry Face.
"I'm gonna kill him, Hannibal."
The front door slammed, and a moment later Hannibal heard the Vette peel out of the parking lot. He wondered briefly if Face had run Murdock over, and then went once again to his newspaper.
Murdock walked slowly toward the van, leaving Face to shake his head as he headed into the condo. It had taken all of Murdock's wheedling - and apologies up the ass - to get Face to run him on this little errand, and now he wasn't even sure it would work.
BA was working on the van, although it seemed to Murdock he was just moving tools around on the small workbench.
BA glanced up. "What d'you want?"
"Oh, nothing. I, uh, I was at the store with Face and I saw these, thought you might like 'em."
He stepped forward rather gingerly, holding out the shiny red box, ready to take off at a second's notice. BA frowned and took the box.
"Chocolates? What you bringing me chocolates for, fool?"
"Um, well, they say chocolate makes you feel better, and I know you've been feeling bad, so... I... " He stopped when BA looked up at him, blank-faced.
"You think chocolate is gonna make me feel good? Man, you..." BA stopped, looking at the box again, then at Murdock. "You didn't need to do that."
"I know. Hannibal said to leave you alone, but... "
"You can't leave nobody alone."
Murdock grinned."It's the assorted kind, y'know, 'cause I didn't know what your favorite was."
BA shook his head and carefully opened the box, taking out one piece before holding the box out for Murdock. "I guess we can find out..."