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This page last viewed: 2017-12-15 and has been viewed 1270 times
DISCLAIMER: I don't own the A-Team and gain nothing from this but some writer's pride
SUMMARY: Lillian is an A-Team-fan and finds out her Daddy's got to tell her quite a story ....
"It's not that old, Daddy. They've been active for sure till I was ten."
"A few years more, even."
"How do you know?" Lillian looked surprised. She'd always thought her Dad was absolutely ignorant about it.
"Forgot? I'm watching the news, reading the papers. I've been doing that for quite some years now. I got some information on them myself."
"Which?" Lillian was all ear. She didn't expect him to tell her any news, but who knows?
"Oh, my God, what have I done?" He sighed. But knowing his daughter wouldn't give up before he told her everything, he sat down. Of course he wouldn't tell her everything. "So, what do you want to know?"
"Everything you know." Was her extremely helpful answer.
"They were good guys. I ....." Or should he tell her?
"I've met them in Vietnam", he said.
Lillian was knocked off her shoes. "You were in where?" She'd never even known about that one!
"I've been in Vietnam. Your Mom never told you?" Lillian shook her head, speechless in her amazement. "And well ....." He had no idea if and if yes, what to tell her. Or how.
"And you've actually met them?" Lillian found her words again.
"Well, they weren't the A-Team then. Just four guys, having as much fun as possible during a war."
"Oh, Daddy, you really got me this time!" Lillian was angry.
"What?" Now he was knocked off his shoes.
"It's ok, if you don't like what I'm doing. I can live with that. But don't go and make fun of me!"
"I'm not making fun of you!"
"The A-Team were only three, Daddy, not four!" Lillian was still angry and enraged even more, when she saw her father start laughing.
"That's not quite right, baby. They were four. A Colonel, a Lieutenant, and a Sergeant, who I think you know about, and then there was a Captain."
"No, Daddy, no." Lillian glared at her father. He was still shitting her. ñ Strange though, shitting was not his style.
"Lillian, believe me. They were four, all along. They were four, robbing the bank. But only three had been found guilty. Murdock had been assumed to be just the pilot." He grinned. Murdock. The crazy Howling Mad Murdock.
"Daddy, you are ...."
"I'm not shitting you, it's true."
"So, if it's true, can you describe them?" Lillian still wasn't sure whether to believe him or not. But she would listen now and decide later. She saw her father struggling with himself.
"BA, I'll start with him. He's easiest to describe. Broad, very broad and muscular. He's the strongest man I've ever come across. And he had that most peculiar hairstyle." He broke into laughter.
"Daddy, are you gone crazy?"
"Ah, not anymore." And he giggled. He just hadn't been able to stop himself. This joke had cried out for being made.
"Never mind. He loved gold. He simply loved it. All the money he got, he bought gold. Rings, necklaces, earrings. He had masses! He ..... he always tried to play the ever-so-cool. But he had one of the biggest hearts. He loved children and he hated flying. When it came to flying, Hannibal always had to put him to sleep." Again he laughed.
Lillian saw her father in a new light all of a sudden. He was like a stranger to her. A mentally deranged one.
"Well, so Hannibal. He ....." To Lillian's biggest surprise tears seemed to form in her father's eyes. "Hannibal was like the father they all missed. He cared for them all, scolded them, if they were silly and rewarded them, when they were good. ñ Ok, the last bit isn't true. He never rewarded them. They never rewarded each other. Except with love and loyalty, that is."
"But what did he look like?" Lillian insisted.
"He grew white rather early. Maybe it was the war. He'd seen some nasty things over there. He loves thick cigars and risky plans. His plans often look ridiculous at first sight, but they always work. Next we have Murdock. He's the best pilot this world has ever seen. He flies just anything and loves it. You can tell why he and BA always fought. ñ Not seriously, though. When things got tough, they were always there for each other. And when Murdock was in danger, or just probable danger, BA worried sick." He smiled sadly.
"You sad something about mad .....", Lillian dared to interrupt.
"Yeah, that's his nickname: Howling Mad. I never found out what H.M. really meant. Sometimes I think he even forgot it himself. And, yes, he was crazy. Big time crazy. He had an invisible dog, Billy." Again tears formed in his eyes. This time Lillian was sure.
"Billy." He said dreamily, then paused. Lillian held her breath. She had the feeling, she'd miss something very important if she made just the faintest noise.
"He was really good looking. Brown hair, big brown eyes. A very even face. The kindest person I know. And always eager to help. Anyway, he couldn't cope with 'Nam. He freaked out and they put him in the VA. Guess, why he was hardly dating."
Lillian stared at her father expectantly with eyes so big they nearly fell out of their sockets. Either what her father told her was true, or he was just one hell of an actor! But he didn't go on.
"Dad?" She dared to whisper.
"What? Oh, yeah, the fourth one. ñ Face."
"How did he look?" Lillian was eager to find out that one. All the articles said he was best looking of the three ñ four, if her father was telling the truth ñ and very charming. He was the one Lillian was most interested in.
He made his decision. He'd tell her all. Lillian was old enough after all.
"Look in the mirror", her father said. "Take away your long hair, make them a little lighter, make the chin a little stronger, your lips a little thinner: You're looking at him."
Lillian hesitated. "I'd look at you, Dad."
"Exactly." He smiled at her sadly.
"Daddy, you really had me believing you." Lillian jumped off her bed, all rage. "How can you do that? Why are you doing it?" She circled her room. "Mom was right. You are a bastard!"
"Mom had thirteen years to tell you what ever she liked. I'm not a bastard."
"Ah, are you not? So why are you making fun of me, then?" Tears ran down her cheeks. "Don't you understand, that I love this work? That it means a damn lot to me?"
"I do. Understand please, that the A-Team means a lot to me too. More than you even imagine." He stood up, took her by the hand and dragged her along to his bedroom. She fought vigorously but he was stronger.
"Sit down", he ordered. She kept standing.
"Well, keep a stand then." He unlocked a cupboard and produced a huge trunk.
"So, what was the name of Face again?"
"Templeton Peck, Daddy. Lieutenant Templeton Peck. But I thought you know that so well?"
"I do. I just wanted you to say it." He opened the trunk. Inside lay military stuff. Lillian's eyes widened once again. Why had Mom never told her?
"You remember that I was barely around when you were younger?" he asked, taking out a uniform.
"Sure, you had better to do", Lillian said, giving a perfect impersonation of her mother.
"Well, you might in fact say so." He handed her the jacket. "I've been busy running. ñ Read the name." Lillian took it. 'PECK' it read on the jacket.
"This is his jacket?" she asked flabbergasted. "Where did you get that from?"
"Lill, this is my jacket."
"Lill, I'm Templeton Peck. I'm Face. I've robbed the bank as a member of the A-Team. I've been on the run for years. And that's why I was hardly ever there for you."
"Why don't you believe me?"
"You can't be. Your life is so boring!"
At this Face had to laugh. Miserable as he felt, he couldn't stop. "Boring, eh?" Laughing. "Boring, good lord! Thank god it
finally is." But it wasn't quite the truth. A part of him missed the chase. Missed the adventure, the never-knowing-what's-next. Part of him hated his life being so boring.
Lillian was unaware of that part and still didn't get him. "Dad?"
"Here, that's the four of us." Face handed her a photo. Four men smiled into the camera. On the left, white hair, ergo Hannibal Smith, then a good looking, broadly smiling, young man, presumably this Captain Murdock, next to him BA, undoubtedly, as the only black one. And on the right: Her father, very young but unmistakable.
"Wow, Daddy, you did look good."
"Still do, I guess. For your age."
"Thanks a lot, brat."
"What became of you?" Lillian asked, finally prepared to believe.
"The team? I resigned. When your mother died, I had to take care of you. Suddenly I was responsible. Maybe your Mom was right: I was a bastard. I let all the work to her. But I felt like I couldn't leave the team. They are my closest friends."
"So why do they never show up here?" Lillian thought she'd found another hole in her dad's story.
"To keep you safe. The MP could find us, because we always stuck together. So I left the team. It was the hardest thing I ever did. I broke contact, I changed my name. They understood, though. I had to do it for you." And as he finished, he cried, silently.
Lillian was shocked. All her life she had been convinced, her father didn't really love her. The tears running down his cheeks proved her otherwise. "Oh, Daddy, you love me!" She was crying too now. To feel loved after so many years ...
"Of course I love you, baby. I love you more than anything else. Didn't you know?"
But Lillian couldn't answer. She was crying and sobbing heavily. He took her into his arms and rocked her as if she were a little baby.
"You know, I think I've got something for you", he said. He went over to the trunk, searched for a while and returned with another photo. "Here." Lillian looked at it and gasped. The photo showed her as a little girl, two years of age, sitting on the lap of her father. He smiled proudly into the camera. Behind him stood Hannibal, grinning happily and looking a little like the proud grandfather. Crouching on the ground was Murdock, holding her teddy. And BA stood beside him, smiling at the little girl, who heartily smiled back and even stretched her little arms out for him.
"You had a real crush on him. But well, all children have."
"Daddy?" Her voice was still unstable. "Daddy, can't you invite them over some day?"
"I'd love to. But though it may appear different, I'm still on the run. Maybe it takes me away from you."
"Never mind. I know you love me. Now I know. That's all I need. And you know, I'm terribly interested in the A-Team, wouldn't that be a birthday present for me?"
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