Ezra Standish allowed himself to sigh once he had locked his door behind him. Keeping up this pretense of not caring what people thought of him was exhausting. The Internal Affairs investigation had cleared him of all allegations, but the rumors and mistrust persisted. Hell, the only person in the office today that didn't seem to have it in for him was the new lab tech who dropped off their evidence reports. She had winked at him and said, "They just hate you because you're beautiful."
How much that small show of support meant to him was a shock to Ezra. He hadn't realized how depressed he had become. Which would explain why he didn't notice the two people in his apartment.
"Hey there, Crazy E! How's my favorite FBI agent?" Strong arms swept Ezra up into a ferocious bear hug. Ezra began to fight the stranger off until he recognized the voice.
"Murdock?! Why are you here? How did you get into my apartment?" Ezra found himself smiling at the frizzy-haired man. "And it's former FBI agent now." Murdock made a sympathetic noise and hugged Ezra harder.
"We came to get you to work with us. If you're interested." A match lit up the darkness in Ezra's living room, illuminating the features of the second man as he lit his cigar. Ezra brushed Murdock off. The quirky man pouted for a second and then got distracted by the spider plant on top of Ezra's refrigerator.
"Uncle Face? Work with you? Doing what?" Ezra stepped into the kitchen, snagging an ash tray off the counter and setting it beside his mother's brother.
"We heard about your work problems. Shitty situation, sorry we couldn't help, but the team and I figured that since Hannibal's retired and I'm now in charge, we could use a new Face-man." Templeton Peck leaned forward, studying Ezra. He noted the dark circles and slumped posture. He really wished he could make the men who had done this to his nephew pay. And maybe save a smack or two for Maude, who had to have known how it would look for Ezra to suddenly have a Jaguar.
Ezra frowned, "I thought the A-Team was cleared of all charges. You guys had gone legit. Are you saying that the A-Team is still active?"
Peck shrugged and puffed on his cigar, "People still need help. And we still want to help them."
Ezra looked skeptical, "So it's just altruism that motivates you?"
"We got bored. The thrill of the hunt! The lure of the chase! Come with us, Crazy E! The game's afoot!" Murdock came dancing into the living room, holding the spider plant in his arms.
Ezra looked back at his uncle. Peck smiled and shrugged. "Helping people with their troubles keeps us out of trouble. You in?"
"Yeah, come on, Ezra. It'll be fun! I'll teach you to fly!" Murdock patted the plant's leaves, "And we can bring Little E with us."
Ezra thought about it for a minute. He felt more relaxed in the presence of these two men than he had in months. He remembered the summer he spent helping the team with their adventures. The camaraderie, the feeling of using his 'god-given talents' to help people, and, to be honest, the thrill were all some of the reasons he had gotten into law enforcement in the first place.
Ezra smiled, "I'm in."
Peck reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out another cigar. "I love it when a plan comes together."