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The Card

The Card
by Alanda

Rating: G
Disclaimer: I don't own them
Warnings: None, I think. Might need a tissue. Not sure.
Comments: Yes
Summary: Sometimes support comes from unexpected places.

The diner wasn't very busy. Not too many people ate dinner at two o'clock in the morning.

Hannibal Smith looked at the men sitting with him at the table in the corner. Six years since they had come back. Six years they had been on the run. He smiled. For once, no one was arguing with any one else. The job had been a good one. No problems. Bad guys taken care of, money in their pockets. They had stopped at this little roadside diner to get something to eat. They had a long drive back. They had left Georgia five hours earlier, and they were about to cross into Mississippi. The little diner in the small
Alabama town had advertised fresh coffee and hot food and it had sounded good.

He looked around at the other patrons in the diner. Not too many to look at. One cook, one waitress. There was a lone man sitting at the counter. Truck drivers here and there in the booths. Travelers of the night. His attention turned to one booth on the other side of the diner, and he smiled. A young lady with a little girl sat waiting for their food. The little girl was intently drawing something on the paper placemat with the two crayons she had, and the lady, who must have been her mother, was watching her with a smile on her face. The waitress asked if they would like anything to eat. Hannibal noticed the young lady looked in her purse and requested a glass of water for herself. She ordered a small glass of milk and an order of toast for the little girl. The waitress smiled and walked off.

The other three at his own table were now making jokes and laughing about something that had happened earlier. When their food came, Hannibal stopped thinking about the mother and child and turned his attention to the food. They were just about finished when they heard someone clear their throat. They looked up, and saw the little girl standing there, her hands behind her back.

When she didn't say anything, Murdock finally spoke. "Hi."

The little girl broke out into a grin. "Hi," she answered.

"May we help you?" Murdock encouraged.

She turned to her mother still sitting at the booth. When her mother had given her a bright smile, she turned back to them and continued. "I know you ya'll are," she said with a mischievous grin.

Something in her voice made Hannibal look at her closely. "Who are we?" he asked.

The little girl took a step forward and whispered. "You're the A-Team." She stepped back and laughed at their shocked expressions. "Don't worry. Your secret is safe with me."

Hannibal nodded. He wasn't quite sure what to say. Luckily, the little girl had seemed to overcome her shyness and began to speak. "My daddy knew ya'll. He wrote to my mommy about you."

"He did?" B.A. asked.

"Yep. He knew ya'll a long time ago." Then she grew silent. "Before he went to be with the angels in heaven."

The mood grew somber. "How old are you?" Face asked gently.

"I'm seven years old," she said proudly. "I'll be eight in one month."

"My goodness!" B.A. grinned. "You ARE a big girl."

"Yep," she said happily. She heard her mother clear her throat and she turned back to the men. "I made something for ya'll." she said proudly.

"What did you make?" Hannibal asked.

She grinned and continued. "Mommy said that when ya'll came home, no one was there to welcome you. That made me sad. You see, other soldiers had family to welcome them home, and Daddy had the angels, but ya'll didn't have anyone. So...", the little girl brought out the placemat from behind her back. "I made ya'll a card."

Hannibal softly took the homemade card from the little girl and looked at it carefully. He somberly passed it around to the others. They were quiet as the card was looked at. She had taken the crayons and drew a flower. Above the flower was written 'Welcome Home' in her seven year old handwriting. Suddenly, their silence frightened her.

"Don't you like it?" she asked tearfully. "I made it all by myself."

"We love it!" Murdock said brightly. "Thank you very much!"

The little girl smiled and turned to go. "I have to go now. We have a long way to go."

"Where are you going?" Face asked curiously.

"To Tennessee. That's where Daddy is. Mommy said we should have just enough to get there to see him."

Suddenly it hit Hannibal like a brick. The reason the young lady hadn't ordered much was because they had no money. He looked at the lady again and noticed she had tears in her eyes. His eyes were drawn back to the little girl. "Well, you have a safe trip. Thank you for the card. We'll keep it in a special place."

The little girl grinned big. "Okay!" She turned and started running back to her mother. Suddenly, she stopped and ran back to the men. She went around the table and gave each of them a big hug and kiss on the cheek. She then went to her mother, who was waiting.

"Do you have to go to the bathroom before we leave?" the lady asked her little girl. When the little girl nodded yes, the lady continued. "Why don't you go do that, and I'll pay the bill." The little girl smiled and took off to the bathrooms.

Hannibal looked at the others and in silent agreement, they took out their wallets. Each threw a bill on the table. Hannibal gathered them up and walked over to the lady. "Hello," he said kindly.

"Hi," she smiled. "I hope she didn't bother ya'll too much."

"Oh no! We loved for her to come over! She truly made our night." He looked at the young war widow and cleared his throat. "Look, we understand things might be a little rough right now." He put the folded bills in the lady's hand. "This might help a little."

"Oh no! That's not why I sent her over there!" the lady looked close to tears. "I just wanted to give her a chance to welcome ya'll home. She never got to know her daddy. He was killed when I was six months pregnant." She looked at Hannibal with tears in her eyes. "That's not why I sent her over there at all!"

"We know," he said gently. "We just wanted to help."

The lady fought an inner battle and finally said, "All right. I'm not going to insult your generosity. Thank you so much."

Hannibal smiled as he and the rest of the team headed out the door. "Have a safe journey."

"You too, Colonel. Thank you again."

"No ma'am. Thank you and your little girl." With that the team was gone.

The lady watched them leave and then sat down to wait for her daughter. She still held the money absent mindedly in her hand. She went to put it in her purse and gasped. Each of them had given her a hundred dollar bill. Four hundred dollars. As she looked out into the night with tears in her eyes, she softly prayed. "Dear God, thank you for angels."

As the team drove into the night, Face softly whispered, "Dear God, thank you for angels."

The team smiled silently, each lost in his own thoughts as Murdock carefully put the handmade card in their scrapbook.

For the first time, they felt like they were home.

The End


The Card by Alanda



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