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To See a Butterfly

To See A Butterfly 1/1
by Shyler

Rated:  PG

Warning:  A little sad... nothing to have a fit about :-)
Disclaimer:  I don't own the A-Team, but am willing to bid on Murdock if
he ever pops up in an auction...
Summary:  Is a continuation to the episode 'Waiting For Insane Wayne'.
Murdock finally makes it to the mental testing facility.

(c) Shyler 2000

To See A Butterfly

"Okay Murdock... here we are."  Hannibal opened the van door and looked
up at the large mental testing facility before him.  Face and B.A. were
standing next to the Colonel but Murdock hadn't moved from his seat
inside the vehicle.

Face sighed and looked back at his friend who had suddenly taken an
interest in his shoes.  "It's okay, Murdock.  You're gonna do fine on
the tests.  Just remember what Hannibal said... there's no right or
wrong answers.  All you have to do is say what you think and don't worry
about anyone else's opinion."

The anxious pilot began wringing his hands and jumped out of the van.
"I just don't get it!  I mean, what's the big deal about those stupid
ink blot tests?  Everyone else can see ponies, trees, and butterflies
but I can't."  He took a seat on a nearby bench and put his head in his

Hannibal sat down and placed his arm around the frustrated man as he
vented his emotions.  "It's okay, Murdock."

H.M. removed his baseball cap and shook his head.  "No, it's not okay
guys.  I've been taking these kinds of tests since I was five years
old.  Every year it's the same thing... some screwy doctor holds these
cards in front of my face and asks me what it looks like.  And every
time I look at one of those cards all I see is a blob of ink!"  He
replaced the now wrinkled cap and sighed.  "And when I try to guess at
what the picture might be they think I'm being discordant or

"Why you been takin' these tests since you was five, man?"  B.A.
wondered aloud.

Murdock laughed.  "Oh I've been crazy for a long time, big guy.  It just
took the pressures of war to really bring out my wild side."  When he
noticed no one else was laughing he decided to be serious with his
friends.  "My mother died when I was five and I guess I lost it then.  I
used to see and hear things that weren't there and it spooked my father
big time."

"Murdock," Face chimed in, "all kids have imaginary friends at some
point.  That doesn't make you crazy."

"I know Faceman, but some of my friends were dangerous.  For example one
guy... his name was Mr. Vister... used to push me down the stairs."  He
looked around at the bewildered faces before him.  "I know, I know--
invisible beings can't physically hurt you but these things were so real
to me that I was, albeit subconsciously, doing harm to myself."

"Geez... that's scary."  Face shuddered.

"I know.  It got so bad that my father was questioned by the police on
whether or not he was abusing me.  I finally quit hearing the voices
when I was twelve, but my dad had already split town by then.  I guess
he was tired of the accusations."

Hannibal, B.A., and Face shook their heads in disgust.

"Anyway, the voices were gone but so was my only living relative.  Which
always made me wonder if my father was triggering my psychosis
somehow."  Murdock shrugged.  "I was taken in by a pilot who got me
interested in everything with wings on it and I was finally able to lead
a normal life until my breakdown in ‘72."  He grinned at his friends and
turned to his English accent.  "And the rest, as you say, is history."

The guys were silent for awhile, each thinking about what Murdock had
disclosed to them.  Finally Hannibal took out a cigar and turned to his
loyal captain.  "Murdock, are any of your invisible buddies you see now

"Not as, but yes there are some troublemakers in the bunch.  I can
control them better than I used to and Billy helps me out a lot."

Suddenly B.A. jerked his head upwards.  "Wait a minute... you mean all
that gibber jabber you say is for real?!  You actually do see and hear
things that ain't there?"  The pilot nodded.  "Man, I thought you was
actin' like a foo' just to irritate me and to keep from being chased by
the MP's like the rest of us.  I didn't think that you were really a
crazy foo'!"

Murdock grinned at B.A.'s realization.  "Sorry to disappoint you big
guy, but I'm about as nutty as they come."

Hannibal smiled briefly before turning back to the captain.  "C'mon
guys, they're waiting for us."

"Ya know Colonel... it's odd."  Murdock walked with the rest of the team
toward the front of the massive building.

"What is, Cap'n?"

"Well, my whole life is built around seeing things that don't exist.
You'd think I'd excel in ink blot cards."

Hannibal pondered this a moment before Face broke in with an
explanation.  "Murdock, the way I see it you're always focusing on the
less rational solution to every equation.  You have an extraordinary
talent for coming up with working plans to get us out of tight scrapes,
right?"  The captain nodded.  "But the thing is-- to you... the obvious
answer is almost never the most sensible one."

"I get it... wait, I lost it."

Face sighed.  "I don't think you're crazy, at least where the ink blots
are concerned.  I think your brain just works on different levels than
most people.  That doesn't mean it's better or worse... just different..
You have trouble with the cards because your mind is looking for the
least logical answer.  When I see a butterfly... you see a dump truck,
but who am I to say that it isn't a dump truck?"

Murdock's face lit up.  "I see!  So how am I gonna convince these
doctors I need to be transferred?"

Hannibal opened one of the glass doors to let his troop in.  As the
pilot passed by to enter the air conditioned interior the colonel
clasped his shoulder.  "Just be yourself, Murdock.  If that's not good
enough for these bozos, then they're the ones with problems.  And
remember... what ever happens, happens.  We'll be in the waiting room
when you're through."  H.M. nodded and followed Peck to the front desk.

B.A. patted Murdock on the back reassuringly before turning to follow
their leader through the waiting room door.

3 hours later...

Murdock entered the waiting room looking dejected.  His three best
friends took one glance at the pilot and stood up, knowing at that
moment that Murdock had failed the tests.  The captain raised his head
and his eyes were red and swollen from crying.

Face was at Murdock's side immediately.  "Murdock, what happened?  Did
one of those stupid doctors do or say anything to you?!"  Anger radiated
from Peck's body at the thought of Murdock in pain.  B.A. looked as if
he wanted to strangle someone.

"No guys... nothing like that."  Murdock wiped his eyes and stared into
space.  "I'm just tired of always being a failure."

"Murdock... you are a lot of things, but one thing you've never been or
could never be is a failure!"  Hannibal spoke with conviction.

Murdock just shook his head and lead the others from the building.
"Hannibal... look at me!  I'm in my thirties, I was thrown into a
nothing war when I was eighteen.  Since then, I've had my pilot's
license revoked and am committed to a psychiatric ward."  He sat down on
the bench the team occupied earlier.  "I can't even think about raising
a family!"

B.A. couldn't take it anymore.  "Shut up fool!  Don't you understand...
all that stuff makes you Murdock!"  Having caught the pilot's attention,
the sergeant sat down beside his friend and lowered his voice.  "Just
because your life ain't normal don't mean you failed.  It's like Faceman
was telling you­ you're just different.  But that's who you are and you
can't change it."

Hannibal spoke up.  "And we happen to like who you are, Captain."
Looking up from lighting his cigar, Hannibal continued.  "Besides....
when you're a member of the A-Team, normal doesn't fit into the

Murdock chuckled and hugged his friends.  "Thanks guys."  He thought
about something for a moment.  "But what am I gonna do about that ogre
back at the VA?"

Face threw his arm around the captain's shoulder.  "Oh, don't worry
about him Murdock.  I have a very good feeling he's about to get

The guys were all smiles as they piled into the van and headed toward
the nearest ‘Captain Bellybusters'.

~The End~

To See A Butterfly by Shyler