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Katie J. (And
a Knight's Tale)
by Georgia Bentz
Disclaimer: The A-Team doesn't belong me, and neither does Murdock Or the Movie A Knight's Tale. Katie J. Murdock is my own creation.
Summary: Murdock's a divorced dad of a thirteen year old. She likes the actor Heath Ledger and owns the movie A Knight's Tale. Also her uncles, the rest of the A-Team make an appearance and tell her about how they got free from Stockwell's grasp, and how they finally got their pardons. Be warned Katie J., might be a little *too* sweet. I apologize for the sugar content before
A/N: Today Katie J. is sick and staying at home. Again watching her favorite movie, and the rest of the guys come over as well and keep her entertained with a story....Enjoy!
"And we'll keep on fighting until the end...." Katie J. Murdock hummed for the fortieth time that day. She was star struck. She
loved the movie 'A Knight's Tale but who she really liked and who she really watched was Heath Ledger. He'd starred in other roles but no other role for her would be then the brave squire knight who outwitted all the nobles and won the lady of his dreams.
"Katherine Jocelyn Murdock have you been watching A Knight's Tale again?!" Came the astonished exclamation from her father. She turned her deep brown eyes, eyes she'd inherited from him onto her father. He was wearing his cap still and he was all greasy from fixing yet another plane. She nodded excitedly.
"It was Heath Dad. He's sooooo....." Before she could finish he finished for her rolling his eyes at her. "Dreeeeeaaaammmmyyyy."
"Yeah I know. I know. This's what I have ta put up with when you're sick? Watchin' Heath Ledger for the fortieth billionth time.
You 'bout made this tape go all warped too. Watchin' an' watchin' an' watchin'."
She hummed back at him.
"We are the champions my friends. And we'll keep on fightin' until the very end. We are the champions we are the champions, no time for losers we are the champions of the world. Sounds kind of like you Dad and the A-Team. But I still like you. It's just that Heath he's so cute."
She laughed lightly and he kissed her on the nose.
"You're a pixie Katie J., a pixie and that's all you'll ever be."
He turned to go and she stopped him with a, "Daddy why did you name me Katherine Jocelyn?"
"Well Katie J., it's a long story." He paused. "Your mother had seen the movie and she loved the name Jocelyn, and she had a grandmother named Katherine. So when we found out what you were gonna be, we'd settled on Katherine Jocelyn. And that's what you've been for 13 long years." He pulled off his cap. "And you've been givin' me gray hairs an' loss of it too by the way my head's nearly bald."
He laughed again, and exited to change his clothes and cook his daughter some soup. She sobered at the thought of her mother.
Her mother had had an affair, with of all people their bank teller. Now this particular bank teller had been one her father's closest
friends. Her mother had filed for divorce giving her father full custody of Katie J., and she'd preferred it that way.
Now her mother was married to the bank teller and they had four children. Not once had her mother contacted her or anything except for birthdays and trivial gifts. She sighed and snuggled back into the covers as she settled down again to watch her favorite movie. She smiled a little.
She couldn't help it, and as her eyes closed, she dreamed. She dreamed she was Lady Jocelyn, falling in love with Sir William
Thatch. She dreamed he hurt himself because she'd told him to prove his love to her.
He'd done so and had gotten hurt in the process. She'd come to see him, he'd smiled and just as they were about to kiss again, she was startled awake by her father.
"Oh Daddy. I was just getting to the good stuff." She'd mumbled sleepily.
He asked, "To the good stuff? Should I be concerned? What've you been dreamin' 'bout?"
She sleepily turned to gaze at him and mumbled. "As if you didn't know Dad."
He grinned a lopsided grin and she knew why all of her friends said that her father was cute. At 55 he was still 'cute' and a 'hottie'. Her friends often swooned at his grin or a twinkle in his eye. She smiled as she remembered when she'd brought her best friend Brenda Cummings to her house for the first time, and her friend got all jelly-kneed when he smiled big at her. Katie J. grinned back at him. Their identical eyes and grins resting on each other for a moment, and Katie J., was glad that she looked like him, rather then her mother. She sat up and brushed her long brown hair out of her eyes.
"I'm coming Dad just let me get up first."
He held out his hand and asked. "May I M'lady? I'twould be an honor to have a fine lady at m'court table. I am but a poor thatcher man."
She grinned at this game. A game of their own they'd made up long before Heath had ever entered the picture. Though he'd modified the game a little and had included thatcher.
"As ready as I'll ever be M'Lord. But what's this? A poor thatcher? Are you sure the pigs haven't come in for the winter yet? I wouldn't want my fine dress ruined by those animals."
She affected a high pitched British accent. Which she executed fairly well. Her father had lived in Britain for a year. In fact that was how he'd met her mother. Lily Adora Archibald. She was lovely. Katie J., had some of her mother's features, but all in all
she was her father's daughter inside and out.
She smiled as he reproachfully looked at her.
"M'lady 'tis summer and the pigs are galavanting out in the field the shepherd is watching the sheep, and I, a poor thatcher seems to have caught your eye. So to do my heart good, I would that you would deign to eat at my table and eat of my simple meal. To drink of my simple nectar."
She bowed again. "For a thatcher I would perceive you to be a man of education. That is why I call you m'lord instead of just 'thatcher' or 'servant'. You are but my servant are you not?"
"I would be, but a thousand servants. However I am only one. One who wishes you to dinner....Or else it's gonna be cold an' yucky an' you ain't gonna like it one bit." He added in his own Texan accent.
She smiled and curtsied at him with her long nightgown. She looked down at her bunny slippers and whispered.
"Away my fine horses to M'lord's table. Away make haste, for I do not want this man's fare to be too cold to eat, or for his nectar to be ruined."
She giggled all through the saying and affected a slight blush when her father kissed the top of her hand. "Then lead the way m'lord."
Holding onto his daughter's hand he led her to the table and brought her a steaming bowl of chicken noodle soup. In her regular voice she complimented her dad on his cooking. She wasn't that good at cooking and was a little bit jealous of his accomplishments in the kitchen. She silently ate her soup and her father ate his out of his own steaming bowl full.
After lunch and before they could catch their breath, there was a knock on the door. Katie J. jumped up and raced for the door. She looked through the peep hole and she squealed with delight.
There standing outside the door were all three of her uncles. Uncle Hannibal, Uncle BA, and Uncle Face. They were still single and not quite ready to settle down, and occasionally her father would go on jobs with them.
She opened the door and soon they all stepped inside giving her a hug. Murdock stepped into the living and seeing his commander and his friends and Team mates he smiled at them all. After their pardons they'd still decided to help people and not to retire until
they all felt sure they'd not be needed anymore.
So far they were still in great demand. Hannibal spoke first looking at Katie J. all the while.
"How you feeling Kid? Got any more sniffles?"
Katie J., nodded a little. "A few more left Uncle Hannibal. But I'm feelin' a little better. Especially since I got to watch my favorite movie."
At the mention of that Face had to speak up. "Oh no. Not Heath Ledger again?" He turned to Murdock. "You're still letting her watch it? I'd have thought this fascination would've gone away by now?"
Murdock shrugged. Indicating he didn't think it was that much of a big deal. BA just shook his head, walked over to Katie J., and
handed her something. She opened up the package. She smiled really big. Inside was a poster of none other then her favorite actor. She squealed with delight and wrapped her arms around his neck. She said, "Oh thank you thank you thank you thank you Big Guy."
She always called him Big Guy. Instead of the traditional 'Uncle'. Coming from her BA didn't mind at all. He really enjoyed Katie J.. She was the first kid in the A-Team circle everyone took extra precautions with her. Every time they would go on jobs they would leave her with either Maggie or Kelly who were both very good friends of the Team still.
To her they were her aunts.
"So Uncle Hannibal? Uncle Face? Big Guy? You all staying for a while or are you coming to get Dad? And if you are getting Dad are you letting either Aunt Maggie or Aunt Kelly coming over? If they ARE coming over does that mean they're gonna stay for a week or two? If they are staying a week or tw....."
She never finished her sentence because Hannibal held up his hand.
"Slow down Katie J., it's nothing like that. We heard you weren't feeling so well, so we came to cheer you up. I got something for you from the newest Aquamaniac film. It's called 'Goo'. I thought you'd like it. You take after your dad a lot in the sense he likes to collect weird things. And that certainly hasn't changed a bit over the past few years."
All the while Murdock was sitting quietly and listening to what his friends were saying to Katie J., he remembered when the Team had just been pardoned, after his stint in the UK. He'd brought home his wife had introduced her to the Team and a few months later they'd announced their impending bundle of joy. The Team had rallied around him, even if they hadn't particularly liked his wife.
They'd tried to tell him there was something 'off' about her. He'd ignored it of course and look where it had ended up for him. He was glad of course that he'd gotten custody of Katie J..
But nonetheless he was sad that his marriage had ended. He shook his head and tuned back into what was happening with her and her 'uncles'. Picking up the 'Goo' Katie J. squished it in between her fingers.
She grinned. "It feels funny. They actually make you wear this stuff over the Aquamaniac suit?" She questioned.
answered. "Yup. Great feeling isn't it?"
She nodded. Then Face held out something.
"It's not much and don't worry it's not breakable. I promise."
Katie J., grinned at him. "Oh now Uncle Face it wasn't my fault that I tripped."
Face sighed dramatically yet he handed his present over. She opened it up revealing a porcelain doll.
"Not breakable?" She asked raising her eyebrows.
Face answered, "No. Because I'm helping you take that doll to your room."
She nodded. "Fair enough Uncle Face. "
Murdock spoke up. "What? No presents for me? Everything goes to Katie J.?" He grinned as he said it and the others grinned back.
"Now now Murdock. No need to get all jealous." Face answered.
Murdock grinned. "I ain't jealous. I was just hopin' since I gotta live with this hooligan an' I gotta listen ta 'A Knight's Tale' for the rest'a the day I cou'd get a little somethin' ta take m'mind offa things." He was still grinning as he said it.
"Next time Captain. I promise. Next time she's sick and you 'have' to listen to the movie all day we'll bring you something too. But right now we're giving Katie J. some presents." Hannibal answered.
"Fair 'nough Colonel. I don' mind at all. I'm jus' glad y'all are all here." Murdock said and continued. "Well since you three are determined ta spend time with m'daughter and not with me I'm goin' back to fixin' one'a m'planes."
Katie J., turned to him and nodded as he walked out the door and back to their huge hangar out in the field that was behind their house. She liked to fly but just not today. Besides she was getting a headache again. Involuntarily she stifled a yawn. She led the way to her room carrying the doll.
It was in Victorian styled clothes her hair was in sausage rolls. Very fashionable doll. Leave it to Face to get her an expensive
gift. She put the poster under one arm, handed the 'Goo' back to Hannibal and started for her room. The three men followed her to her room, or what she affectionately called 'The Shrine'.
They opened it up and saw that her walls were covered in Heath Ledger posters.
"Where are you gonna put this one?" Hannibal asked. His eyes almost bugging out from her floor to ceiling poster covered areas.
Katie J. announced pointing to an empty spot a little above her bed. BA went to find some tape, and Face meanwhile held out his hand for the doll. Which she gladly gave him. He put the doll on the shelf he and BA had made for all her breakables.
She unrolled the gigantic poster and soon it proudly hung. She smiled at them all as she literally hopped off the bed. She put the 'Goo' on her dresser, and then they all turned to go. She again tried to stifle a yawn, but this time all three saw her yawn.
Hannibal smiled indulgently at her then spoke up. "I think someone's tired out. I think we should all go so she can get some sleep."
This time Katie J., was yawning again and not caring who saw. But she nonetheless protested at the thought of them all leaving. "Oh no Uncle Hannibal. Please don't go. I want you all to be here with me. I don't want to go to sleep. Just let's play with me a little? Cause Dad's gotta work on the planes for a little bit more, and I'm sure that he'll be done soon, but I don't wanna go back to sleep until he's done with the planes. I know! Let's play a game."
They all nodded and she went to the 'Game Closet'. She closed her eyes and pulled out the first game she could find. Monopoly! She loved it when they played Monopoly. Face was always the banker, since he liked numbers.
She got the horse, Hannibal got the top hat, and BA got the car, while Face got the dog. They played several rousing rounds of
Monopoly and Hannibal soon realized it was getting late. He was about to insist that they go again, when Katie J., rolled again.
"Ooo Doubles. I got doubles!" She exclaimed.
"Good goin' Katie J., ya did good." BA gruffed.
"Thanks Big Guy. I only hope I don't land in jail again." She sighed.
smiled triumphantly and held up the money. "If only this were real money
I'd be rich! And famous!!!" Face said.
Hannibal grinned at Face. "So deep and intellectual always thinking about money Face."
Face grinned all the more. "That's what I like. That and expensive clothes."
That set off a round of laughs elicited from the other two men and a small giggle from Katie J. "Oh Uncle Face you don't ONLY care about money and clothes do you? I mean aren't there OTHER important things to worry about?" She questioned.
Face opened and closed his mouth a few times. "I....uh....well....I guess there are...." Face stammered. Trying not to look like a goldfish.
"She got you there Lieutenant." Hannibal exulted.
said something. "Oh Faceman that look on your face's priceless...."
Katie J., stared at them all with a puzzled look on her face.
Face replied. "There are other important things, like you for instance Katie J. I'm glad we've got you to protect."
Face seemed to have recovered from his little slip-up, but Katie J., figured that they wouldn't let him live it down for quite sometime. For the time being they played Monopoly. Soon as they were finished playing Monopoly, Murdock still hadn't come in, and so Katie J., jumped up from her place.
She gathered all the pieces of the game and put it back. She tried stifling another yawn. This time Hannibal put his foot down when he spoke.
"All right Katie J., say good night to your two other uncles. And we're going to tuck you back into your nest." He said indicating the blankets strewn on the couch.
you need your sleep." Face intoned.
"Go 'head 'L'il Mama. We gonna tuck ya in. An' you can dream good dreams." Said BA.
"Awww okay Uncle Hannibal, Uncle Face, and Big Guy.... I'm....(yawn).....not....(yawn)....All that tired....(Yawn)." Answered Katie J.. Yawning in between her words.
"Yes you are. Now go to sleep and dream of your dream guy." Answered Face soothingly.
Katie J., replied with a, "Please tell me a story? A story of you and the A-Team back in the eighties? Please? I'll fall asleep. I promise cross my heart and my toes even."
Hannibal of course couldn't resist her. In fact she had all her uncles wrapped around her little finger.
"All right a quick one." Face promised looking at Hannibal for Hannibal's agreement. Hannibal and BA both nodded silently.
Katie J., replied. "Okay. A quick one. What about when you all were working for Stockwell?"
"All right but then that's all." Answered both Hannibal and Face.
Katie J., smiled a little. She loved the part about how they had gotten their pardons finally.
"Please tell how you got your pardons?" She asked before they could ask her what she wanted to hear.
Hannibal chuckled that was her favorite story. It was his favorite story and he was the one who had made up the plan. Hannibal nodded. "Okay fair enough Katie J. But then you really need to get your sleep. We'll probably be with your dad when you wake up. And then we'll all tuck you into bed when you're asleep for the night. How's that sound?"
Katie J., nodded and settled back into her blankets. She watched as her uncles got into a huddle.
"How we gonna start this one out?" BA gruffed.
"I don't know. We could always embellish." Answered Face.
"No. We tried embellishing and since she knows every single part of this story she caught us out last time." Hannibal said. He turned to her and started the story. "Okay. Well...I was tired of Stock...."
Katie J., interrupted. "No Uncle Hannibal that's not how it goes. You and the Team had a meeting...."
Hannibal waited 'til the snorts and chuckles of the other two died down, and after Face had said, "She got you there Hannibal."
"All right All right the Team and I were having a meeting out in the garden on one of our off days...."
"No. Now Uncle Hannibal.... I know for a fact you blew off a briefing with Stockwell. On purpose just for the Team meeting."
Hannibal sighed and rolled his eyes. He asked, "When did you get so smart alecky Katie J.?"
She giggled and answered, "I learned from the four best smart alecky men in the world?" She gave him an innocent Murdock-like look.
Hannibal sighed and spoke again. "Fine. Let me back up or this 'short' story will only get longer. Sit back on the couch and put your head on your pillow and please....No speaking until *after* the story is finished." Hannibal said emphasizing the word after.
"All right I promise that I'll be good. And I won't be talking 'til you're done and correcting the words you missed." Katie J., promised raising her eyebrows to match his own raised eyebrows.
"Quit being smart alecky. Hmmm?" Questioned Face. He was just as eager to add his own tidbits into the story as much as Katie J., was as eager to start it off.
"Fine. I'm being good now. See? I'm good...." She settled herself back down onto the couch one more time and remained there for the time being. Hannibal started again.
"As I said the Team and I had blown off Stockwell who was about to debrief us and held our own meeting. We'd decided we needed to get out of this deal, and make Stockwell pardon us right away. To do so we needed to embarrass him beyond anything. So we decided to break loose. A few Abels who weren't satisfied with their positions much less within Stockwell's presence had asked our help on a few occasions to get out of the compound. Of course we didn't think it could be done. But Face here had come up with a brilliant add-on to my plan. It was something I couldn't refuse to do. It was so perfect. It was so ridiculous it might work."
Katie J., asked, "What about Frankie? What'd you do with him?" She hadn't meant to interrupt but this was a part she hadn't heard
before. Usually it just ended up with them in Stockwell's presence.
"Frankie? He was the pawn used in the game of 'Let's See How Long We Can Hassle Stockwell." Said a new voice from behind them.
"But didn't he do it willingly Daddy?" Asked Katie J., from her spot on the couch. She was on her side her legs tucked up underneath her. Murdock sat down beside her on the couch and reached over to stroke her hair, and listened as Hannibal
First though, Murdock held up his hand and went to change his clothes. He returned twenty minutes later in a fresh set of khakis,
a shirt that had a picture of a cardboard box on the front with the words "Careful With This Box, A Fragile Mind Is Held Inside". He had on a clean pair of Converse hi-tops on and of course his hat was on top of his head. Again he sat next to Katie J., on the couch, while the three others surrounded her in a semi-circle.
Hannibal next to her head, and BA and Face near her feet. Once everybody was settled, Katie J., again broached her question. "Soooo what happened to Frankie? That special effects guy? Why wasn't he with you?"
Hannibal heaved a sigh and sucked on the unlit cigar. "We set him free. Way before the Abels. We used our funds from our secret stashes, stashes from rewards we'd gotten and we set up his family far away. Down in Mexico. Of course Stockwell found out and demanded that we meet him in his office. We didn't though. He'd of course tried to lure us to his office by saying he wanted to brief us. We totally 'blew' him off as you youngsters say. And we devised the greatest plan there ever was. I still don't think that Stockwell's forgiven us for that act. Last I heard though he was carted off to a looney bin and Carla was 'running' 'The Organization'. Don't know if that's true but I'd sure like it to be."
Her father and her other two uncles nodded their agreement.
"Soooo What happened?" Katie J., asked. "What was the plan? Who said what? Who did what, and what was my dad's involvement in all this?" She was practically bouncing with anticipation.
"What'd we say about being quiet?" Asked Hannibal. Giggling she 'zipped' her lips. She again laid back and listened to what else he had to say.
"I'll get to the part about your dad's involvement. Although I'm pretty sure now that he's here, he'll want to tell you. In fact I'll let everyone add their own little side adventures. But....Now....Where was I? I'm not as young as I used to be and I'm losing my concentration a lot faster. Now where was I?"
He frowned. "Oh right. Now I remember. We were in our 'compound issued' house and we were huddled together having a 'briefing' of our own. We couldn't stand Stockwell anymore. Well your uncles and dad couldn't, and they brought their concerns to
me once again and I felt that I had to intervene. This is WAY before we packed Frankie off to Mexico to be with his family. Frankie was homesick. Hadn't gotten over his homesickness and we were worried about the young man. At least I was the most concerned. So saying everyone brought their problems to me, and we huddled together and put our heads together. Finally after discussing things, we got cash out of our secret funds, and packed Frankie and his family off that very night. Again blowing off a 'briefing' with Stockwell we again huddled together and discussed various options....Anybody else care to add anything?"
All three heads shook no, and Hannibal continued. "I was stumped. But not for long. All of a sudden I was hit with an idea. An idea someone'd planted in my brain a long while ago when I was niggling with the idea of running away from Stockwell and becoming on the run again. You know....Chasing bad guys in the....Park!!!!" Three voices chimed in at once.
Hannibal nodded. Not seemingly affected by their interruption. "Right. And just getting rid of bad guys in general. Uh, no pun intended.... So we went through the whole operation and gathered all the Abels together. Well most of them anyway. Abels we'd heard complaining about Stockwell's unfairness. This struck us as odd, since we'd thought that the Abels were totally and forever loyal to him. But we were wrong. VERY wrong. The 50 that we'd gathered had all been blackmailed, just like us, and were wanting to go home or just be left alone in peace. So we did all we could and with some more of our funds we sent them packing as well. As soon as Stockwell found out he blew a gasket, and that's when we decided to make our move. Our biggest scariest move ever...."
He paused. Soon Murdock jumped in. "It was terrifyin' at first. We'd been workin' with Stockwell for nigh on four years. Four years an' numerous times he'd nearly gotten us killed. He'd even sent us on a few solo missions. Missions that were sometimes a trap or a trick to get us killed. All those times we survived and he was mad. When Face got shot in the restaurant....Inadvertently we'd found out that Stockwell was behind it. When BA got shot in the arm that one mission, again it was Stockwell....Everywhere we turned, everything we did Stockwell was behind it, an' we'd had enough."
He settled back onto the couch and muttered some more. "He and I didn't like each other at all and Stockwell seemed to have
the most pleasure in makin' me suffer. Even had Carla try an' kill me once. 'A'course the guys came through, an' for that I'm etern'lly grateful for that."
Face added his two bits in. "Oh yeah. Your dad and Stockwell would stare each other down all the time. Your dad wouldn't be crazy then. He was very unlike himself. Too sane for his own good it seemed."
BA groused. "He wasn' the same an' I didn' like it."
Hannibal nodded and continued. He waited for everyone to stop talking and he started speaking again. "I was worried about your father's well being as well. I knew we had to get out of this situation and soon. Or our lives and mental situations would be in ruins."
Katie J.'s interest was piqued. She was wondering why all their mental well beings would be in ruins. But wisely she didn't open her mouth and soon Hannibal continued.
As if reading her thoughts Hannibal continued with history. "Stockwell was a mind bender waving our pardons in front of our
faces. Whenever we balked at doing a mission. He'd always mention our pardons. It was as if he enjoyed the power he had in making us do the dirty jobs."
Face snorted at that and so did the others. Face spoke up again. "Of course he enjoyed the power he held over us. You could see it in his eyes."
BA continued to nod still not saying a word because he hated all the memories being dredged up. Especially concerning Stockwell. He still was afraid Stockwell would pop up and kidnap Katie J. or something.
was also afraid of that fact and wished that Hannibal would get to the plan.
Finally he had to say something. "Okay Colonel. The plan? Please? We gotta
get m'daughter to sleep."
Hannibal nodded noticing the discomfort that Stockwell's name brought to his friends' faces, besides he'd promised this was going to be a short story. He cleared his throat and began again. "Right. The plan. Who wants to hear the PLAN?"
Katie J., raised her hand and indicated that she was ready for the plan to be told. She had been waiting and waiting for the plan to be mentioned and she was getting a lot more tired. Her headache was back. But she didn't say a word since she'd promised not to.
Hannibal chuckled and started to speak. "Okay. Here it is the Plan. I'd brought it up as we were discussing strategies. We'd been stumped. And soon this idea popped out."
Face spoke up. "Needless to say it was fool hardy and shouldn't have been done. I tried to warn him....But...."
BA said. "Hannibal didn' lissen an' it was cause he was on the Jazz an''most got his foo' head knocked off b'Stockwell....."
Murdock grinned and said.... "Well it was sorta fun. Til the shots rang out an' we was runnin' for the hills. Wouldn' have traded it for the world."
Katie J.'s eyes brimmed with excitement as the tale was being told. It seemed as if they'd done a dangerous thing and come out unscathed. She wished they'd hurry up and explain the plan.
she couldn't take it anymore. She had to speak.... "Soooo what was the
plan? That part's not been explained just yet." She settled back down into
the couch as soon as she caught Hannibal's warning glance. She couldn't help
it. She'd been curious and curiosity was getting the better of her. She
couldn't help it that she'd been so curious. They were taking too long....
Murdock grinned. That's one thing she'd gotten from her mother innate curiosity. Curiosity that could only be filled with details and lots of them. But she'd also inherited his impatience. Wow! She was a complicated child. He grinned. But he loved her anyway. He kissed his daughter's forehead and watched as she settled down and listened to the rest of the story.
Hannibal spoke again as he smiled at the father and daughter exchange. "The plan was this....We'd escape the compound, we'd do it as a slap in the face to the general. He knew we escaped anyway, but now he was going to actually catch us in the act. And boy did he catch us in the act. Like your dad said shots rang out and we ran for the hills. But we weren't afraid. On the contrary things were shaping up quite nicely. Except for a few complaints...."
At that he glanced at his teammates, and they glared back at him. All three remembering the events that had taken place. Soon Hannibal spoke again. Revealing even more of the plan. Chuckling he restarted. Hardly fazed by the fact they were glaring at
him. He continued....
"So we'd escaped, had of course taken the van, and went into hiding. We knew some people and they hid us. It was sort of like the underground railroad. Finally a week later we went on with the next phase of the plan. We started advertising our services again. Totally disregarding the fact that Stockwell would and could still indeed be after us."
Katie J.'s face puckered into a frown. That had been his great and wonderful plan? She thought it was *too* simple for him. Noticing her look Hannibal smiled and as if reading her thoughts continued.
"But that was only part of my plan. I wasn't finished totally humiliating Stockwell yet. Not only were we helping people in need but we bided our time. We hid ourselves in plain sight. And then it happened.....Stockwell traced us to one of our host houses and all the Abels rushed in. Man it was a glorious sight to see. Stockwell's face all beet red...."
He paused and grinned at his friends again. Sucking on the still unlit cigar reveling in the memories and getting a certain glint in
his eyes. The Jazz was in his eyes and he was on a roll. He had so enjoyed making Stockwell's face go all red. Seeing that Hannibal was lost in the glory of the Jazz, Face spoke up. And he rolled his eyes.
"Oh yeah very glorious when those thugs grab you and push you into chairs and make you talk. Then have Hannibal stand face to face with your supposed employer and tell him in no uncertain terms are we ever coming back even if he's mad. Then have your leader knocked nearly unconscious by the employer. Uh GLORIOUS was not the exact word I would've used thank you very
Murdock put his two cents in again and grinned. He spoke up. "Well it was glorious cause Stockwell got what was comin' ta him.
He didn' deserve ta have your uncles in his employee 'specially after he blackmailed 'em. I don't regret doin' what we did. And after that little talk with Stockwell he left inna huff...."
Katie J.'s eyes drooped and she couldn't help but speak up again in between yawns. "But....How did you get your pardons? And was there anymore to this grand plan? It seems to me that the plan was just an ordinary one Uncle Hannibal."
Hannibal chuckled at her. And he finally spoke again. "That's what made it so grand and illustrious it was soooo simple. You think if I'd wanted it complicated I would've used the front door technique. But you know me I only use that technique if none other's available."
Katie J.'s face was still worked into a frown and she spoke again. "That's not all of it. You just want to cut it short so I'll go to
sleep. I know this story forwards and backwards. Daddy always made it longer...."
Hannibal shrugged and patted her head. He spoke up again. Seeming to challenge her. "Well when you're awake again and feeling better I'll have a longer version for you. Maybe. If I can get your dad to tell me what lies he's been telling you."
Murdock chuckled. He'd not embellished at all and knew that his commander was cutting it short because Hannibal and the other guys had noticed that Katie J.'s eyes were starting to droop, and she yawned frequently as she struggled to stay awake.
Hannibal kissed her cheek, and rose. The guys all did the same. And they left her to sleep. As soon as she was asleep the guys all went into the kitchen.
"So what's been happenin' guys? Any new jobs I ain't heard about?" Murdock asked as he busied himself in the kitchen and got the guys all drinks.
Hannibal looked at Face, Face looked at BA. And BA? Well he just grumped. Murdock grinned sure it'd been about twelve years since they'd been pardoned, and kept up their lifestyles. But the guys hadn't changed a bit. He settled at the kitchen table and listened to what they had to say. Hannibal spoke up.
"Not too many jobs. Been sort of busy helping out others in the Los Angeles Underground. You remember how it was when we first got into the underground, or rather the first time you were there."
Murdock nodded. He had been a little surprised at all he'd seen. People were hiding out in all different places. Yet hiding in plain
sight. The people had banded with the new Team, helped the Team get their van and had helped them to advertise. There'd been a couple to help Face get the fake credentials for Hannibal to hide out as a movie monster. A couple had even helped them set up Hannibal's alter ego. Mr. Lee as the correspondent. They'd all been very helpful. It seemed fitting that the Team return the favor.
He nodded so it wasn't something he'd have missed. No action or anything. Though he preferred not to get shot. Katie J., wasn't
particularly fond of when he came home after missions and saw that he was shot.
Murdock spoke again. "So nothin' particularly dang'rous or needin' a pilot or nothin'? No gettin' shot up? No 'real' action then?"
Hannibal chuckled. Then he glanced at the others. "Nope. Nothing too harrowing. Sorry we've not been including you. But it's all been fluff."
Face nodded and so did BA. Just as they were talking about new things Katie J., appeared in the kitchen. Rubbing her eyes, she went straight for her dad. She cuddled into his lap, and immediately Murdock put a hand to her head. After he'd kissed it of course. Still a slight fever. He kissed the forehead again and spoke to her.
"Hey there Katie J. How's my fav'rite daughter this aft'rnoon?"
Katie J., sniffled a little. And she replied just as sniffily. "Hot. Still tired, but I can't sleep Daddy."
She again curled up on his lap wrapping her arms around his neck. Not letting him go for one minute. She yawned a little but Murdock knew that if she couldn't sleep, there'd be no persuading her to go back to bed.
"Okay Hon. I'monna get'cha a li'l somethin' ta drink. How's that soun'?"
Katie J.'s head nodded in agreement even though she was still halfway asleep. She still needed sleep, but she seemed to perk up a little as soon as she realized her uncles were still there. She greeted them groggily. They greeted her back, and each felt her forehead. Even though they'd seen Murdock do it a few seconds earlier.
She of course still felt hot and they all felt much better as soon as Murdock came back with some juice and some medicine. Murdock made her stand up because she was in his chair and she did so. He slid underneath her and she sat back on his lap. She rarely did so unless she was sick.
He spoke up again as he handed her the juice. "Here Darlin' drink this an' I got some medicine for ya. It's some juice an' I got Tylenol for ya. Don' drink it too fast. Sip it. That's right. Sip it. Okay Katie J.?"
Again she nodded and put the glass up to her lips and sipped. She took the Tylenol and again laid her head on his chest. She felt safe and warm and didn't want to move an inch. She spoke. "Okay before I went to sleep you guys said you'd finish the story. Since I'm up again how about you finish? Please?"
Hannibal chuckled. He spoke too. "Now Katie J., you know I don't remember saying we'd finish the story. Besides I thought the story was finished?"
Katie J., stubbornly shook her head. She countered.... "No. You hurried it up because you wanted me to go to sleep. I'm up now. Pllllllllleeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaasssssssssseeeeeeeee can't you, Dad, Uncle Face, and Big Guy finish the story?"
Her big brown eyes begged and she added the extra twinge of a whine into her voice. As Face had taught her to do. Of course Hannibal knew that trick and he sort of laughed it off. He grinned some more and spoke.
"Well I don't remember. Any of you guys remember me making that promise?"
The others played along and shook their heads in agreement with Hannibal. Hannibal shrugged an apology towards Katie J., but his eyes twinkled and she knew he would tell her the story. Sitting up a little straighter she listened to what he was going to say.
spoke up. Fine. You caught me out. I did cut the story short so you'd fall
asleep. But does that mean I've got to retrace my steps and tell you the WHOLE
Katie J.'s eyes twinkled again and she shook her head at him. Of course he wouldn't need to go over every single detail, but it would sure be nice if he told her the plan before getting off the beaten path. She spoke again. "Of course you don't have to go over Everything Uncle Hannibal. Just the WHOLE plan. That's all I want to hear. Honest I do."
Hannibal grinned. He chuckled a little. Shrugged his shoulders and plunged right back into the story. "Okay the whole plan? Starting from after we were caught out in our host's house? Or as we were at the house before Stockwell arrived with all of his
Katie J.'s eyes sparkled. She spoke again. She leaned back onto her father's chest and sighed. "Just the whole plan? That's all I want. It doesn't matter."
"Women. You're all the same. When you say it doesn't matter it really does matter." Hannibal playfully grumped at his niece. His eyes twinkled however and he settled back down into his seat before answering her question.
"Okay we were sitting in our hosts' house when all of a sudden a couple dozen Abels rushed through the house. Stockwell came behind them along with his secretary Carla. He of course was smirking. He stood me up, then he had his Abels push Face from his chair. I stood up just then and put my face into his face. That's when Stockwell's veins started bulging from his neck. And for once he was starting to lose his icy cool exterior. I wasn't finished with him yet. I told him that we were free men as of then. We could do whatever we wanted to. And that we were leaving his services forever. Unless he could show us in no uncertain terms that he really had pardons for us."
Hannibal looked over at the others to see if they wanted to interject again. But all sat still holding their tongues. Except for Murdock. He raised his hand and Hannibal nodded for him to go on. So Murdock spoke. Murdock grinned and continued from where Hannibal had left off.
"Well there was screamin' and yellin'. Stockwell was screamin' that Hannibal was bein' unreasonable. And Hannibal yelled that Stockwell was bein' the unreasonable one. It was like another Civil War was goin' on. BA an' I hadda break 'em up at least once."
BA nodded then he spoke too. "Finally Hannibal and Stockwell stopped screamin'. Stockwell finally leff th' house an' soon we was he'pin' people ag'in. We was formulatin' a good plan. How ta make Stockwell madder...."
BA looked at Hannibal and gave him his cue to start talking again. Hannibal grinned and still sucking on the non lit cigar he began anew with his tale. Suddenly he stopped grinning.
"We put our heads together and came up with something else dastardly. This is of course before we started helping people and we were just hiding in plain sight. We decided to help people. And to start advertising again...."
Katie J., frowned. Hannibal was backtracking. Hannibal noticing the frown stopped in mid story. He spoke. "What? What's wrong?"
Katie J., sighed and let out a huge breath before speaking again. "Uncle Hannibal you're back tracking I heard all this before I went to sleep the first time. I know you helped people. I know Daddy was sort of s....a....n....e....But I want to know what happened *After* you helped people. After Stockwell stormed in and stormed out. I wanna know...."
She was stopped from talking as Hannibal held up a hand bemused at Katie J.'s observations. He nodded and continued again.
"Okay so we helped people. To make matters worse Stockwell came to the house everyday. Threatening to call the law on us and have us *really* executed.... Including your father whom he said he'd turn in state's evidence that he'd helped us all those years. One of the days he 'paid a friendly visit' your dad strode up to him punched him. Stockwell stumbled backwards and that's when the Abels came in again. They all glared at Murdock and me and that's when I knew we could do something else. We tied up Stockwell and we took him with us to show him how we'd really done things. After being our 'guest' he finally drew up our pardons. Glaring at us the whole time."
Hannibal paused looking over at his niece. Wondering if she believed him. Of course that hadn't been the whole story but he hadn't wanted to go into too much detail. Besides she was getting tired again and she was curled against Murdock's chest while he stroked her hair.
"And that's the whole story. Isn't it guys?"
Catching on to what he was doing the others nodded. Knowing that he'd not gone through all the details, but enough to where Katie J.'s curiosity would've been satisfied.
leaned against Murdock's chest and spoke. "Is that all? Are you sure
you're not keeping anything else from me?"
Hannibal smiled and so did the others. Face finally spoke. "Yes. That's it. The whole story from beginning to end. Even if it was confusing for me."
BA only nodded and grunted a little remembering other events that had taken place. Katie J., merely nodded and went back to the couch. But the guys all helped her into bed and tucked her in. They all kissed her forehead and soon she was again peacefully asleep, as she dreamt of knights.
Four knights in particular. Modern knights who defeated a modern dragon. It was pleasant and soon the others went home leaving Murdock to ponder the events in his life all leading up to the most wonderful even in his life. His Katie J....
She was the most wonderful thing to the world to him. More then the Nighthawk Commandos, more then golf balls and more then Billy even. He sighed and picked up their visible puppy Billy off the floor and thoughtfully stroked the dog. He mused and pondered then he shut off the light and headed for his room and for bed.
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