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The A-Team's New Year Celebrations: 2000
"Hurry up Face, no one takes as long as you do getting ready" Hannibal banged his fist on the bathroom door. "If you're not out in five minutes, we're going without you."
"Oh bugger off!" Face moaned. His comb moved skillfully through his shiny gelled hair for the fiftieth time. He wasn't going to rush himself. Tonight was a very important night for everyone in the world. He had a reputation to uphold, and wanted to succeed in chatting up a singularly beautiful woman.
It was the second time the team had been to the UK. One of their former clients, a man named Mark Rustle had moved from the United States to start up a business in Cardiff Wales, and had invited the team over the New Year.
It was quite foggy outside, mainly because of the fireworks already, but the team had been subdued by the landscapes and the green hills. After being on the run for so long, and after Stockwell had dishonored his promise of a full pardon the A-Team were once again top-ten fugitives.
It was slightly unusual for the A-Team to spend a New Year anywhere outside the United States, but patriotism had been replaced by practicality lately, and because the team were so "hot", they had to escape the country for a couple of weeks. They were taking less and less missions to keep one step ahead of the military police.
Hannibal groaned as he rejoined Murdock and BA sitting watching the television.
"He's still getting ready in there. How can anyone take so long?" Hannibal asked.
"Oh come on, you know Faceman. When he wants to impress, he takes hours to dress. When he's out on a date, he's always late." Murdock laughed.
BA growled angrily. Murdock's silly rhymes were driving him crazy. Murdock interpreted his comrades noise as a warning and sat silently, trying not to speak. Hannibal turned his attention to the television where reports on New Year celebrations were being relayed. There were non stop programs about the Millennium.
"I can't believe its gonna be the year 2000" Face said as he emerged from the bathroom and caught the team in deep concentration, watching the television. "I can't believe we've made it till the year 2000. We shoulda been dead ages ago with all the crap we've been caught up in" BA said still watching the television.
Hannibal rose and switched off the television.
"Are you ready now, Lieutenant?" Hannibal asked, enviously looking over at the man who still looked twenty years younger than he actually was. Face nodded.
They all filed out the small flat, and walked briskly up to Cardiff's main shopping area to meet Mark Rustle who was meeting some of his friends first.
"Its a pity Amy and Tawnia couldn't come really, isn't it?" Face asked.
"They don't see it like that. They're partying together in New York." Hannibal replied.
The A-Team walked carefully among the many others, wary of anything suspicious, but soon the New Year atmosphere hit them, they relaxed fully and even shouted 'Happy New Year' to a few women walking by.
One young boy pulled his mothers arm suddenly as he watched the A-Team pass by. "Mommy, I've just seen the A-Team!!" His mother just continued walking ignoring her son. Hannibal turned around and winked conspiritively at the young boy whilst putting his finger to his lips. The young boy grinned and gave the thumbs up.
When they hit the shopping area, the fun fair immediately struck a chord of excitement among the four thrill-seekers.
"Wow, look at that big wheel! A mass of plastic and steel!" Murdock gasped. Hannibal grinned as he lit his cigar and relaxed completely. It was good to see the team happy and distracted for once.
Murdock was entranced with the huge Ferris wheel and had persuaded BA to go on it with him, even though BA harbored a secret fear of heights as well as his fear of flying. Face and Hannibal remained dazed watching a huge projected "1999" on a building move up and down, and huge animated objects swaying in the wind. There was even a huge metal champagne bottle with lights suspended above the street. In the far corner by the Castle there was the main bands playing with a massive crowd cheering them on. Hannibal and Face waved to BA and Murdock on the Ferris Wheel.
Hannibal sighed deeply, it was great to get away to a place where no one could possibly recognise them.
"Hey, aren't you George Peppard?" A young woman asked Hannibal suddenly. He smiled at her and shook his head. "No I'm not. I look like him, that's all. After all he passed away recently."
The young woman smiled, kissed Hannibal, then walked off to rejoin a group of friends who had stopped and waited for her.
"Why on earth do they always confuse you with George Peppard?" Face asked, envious of the constant attention Hannibal always had because of his resemblance to a certain late film star.
"I don't know" Hannibal mused "It must be my eyes ..."
Murdock and BA were fighting once again as they came off the Ferris Wheel.
"Damn fool started rockin' the chair!" BA complained. He grabbed out at Murdock who evaded the strike narrowly, and ran behind Face.
"Don't get me involved" Face threw up his hands, laughing as BA caught Murdock by the collar.
"What you gonna do?! Hit me and I'll sue!!" Murdock piped, looking worriedly at BA's ring covered fingers closed in a fist. Any moment, he expected to lose his teeth.
"I'm not gonna punish you Murdock." BA declared unexpectedly. He let Murdock go and clapped his hand on his back.
"Really?! That's the New Year spirit BA. Knew you wouldn't do it." Murdock breathed, relaxing slightly.
"No, I can't punish you tonight on New Year's Eve, can I. Instead you can come on a ride with me." BA was being too gentle, Hannibal knew there was a catch. He walked slowly towards the two men in case a fist fight started.
"That sounds great BA, any ride you want, I love them all. There's no ride too big and no ride too tall" Murdock claimed as BA led him over to another ride. Hannibal groaned, Murdock's rhyming was really beginning to irritate him.
Murdock's heart sank as he saw Waltzers directly in front of him. He had always been afraid of the Waltzers as they made him feel sick. Worse still, these Waltzers didn't just spin horizontally in a circle, they went vertically as well.
"Oh, come on BA. You wouldn't do that to me?!" Murdock yelped, watching the chairs spin in obvious fear.
"Its either that or my fist in your face!" BA warned. Murdock sighed, and made his way to the back of the queue. BA followed, a smirk evident as he passed Hannibal and Face. Hannibal was about to say something but thought it was better to stay silent when he saw one of BA's huge gold rings glinting at him from a closed fist.
As Murdock cautiously took his seat beside BA on the Waltzers, BA smiled a victorious smile.
"Hey, gang. How's it going?" Mark Rustle walked towards them, followed by three friends. Hannibal and Face turned and shook hands with Mark. Mark introduced his three friends to Hannibal and Face.
"Thanks for leaving the key under the mat for us, Mark" Hannibal said. Mark shrugged his shoulders.
"Well, I thought you might want to get ready before you came out. My friends wanted to make a move, so I left the key. I knew you'd find it." Mark explained.
"Well, some of us took longer to get ready than we thought ...." Hannibal looked over at Face. Face smiled innocently.
"I don't know what you mean" Face said.
Suddenly a scream distracted Hannibal and Face. They looked up to see a terrified Murdock holding the metal rail of his Waltzer grimly for dear life, and BA chuckling to himself. The carriages were now almost vertical, and Murdock had on his face a doomed expression, akin to someone who was going to have their head cut of at the gallows. As a ride slowed to a halt, BA clapped a hand on Murdock's back.
"Wanna go again, pal!???" BA asked.
Murdock shook his head in horror. "Not if you don't want my lunch to greet you face to face. One more go and it'll be all over the place!"
As BA and a slightly shaken Murdock got off the ride, Mark approached them and shook their hands. "I'd like to introduce you to my friends - Iain, Alex and Harry" he said. BA growled, and Murdock looked a little green as they shook the three men's hands.
Face tapped on Hannibal's shoulder "Its quarter to twelve, Colonel. We should make our way over to the stage where the fireworks are".
Hannibal nodded and waved over to Murdock, Mark and BA. "Come on, else we'll miss the countdown!"
The eight men walked towards the stage, talking excitedly. "So the MP's are still after you?" Mark asked.
Hannibal nodded. "Yes, 'fraid so. Stockwell let us down, he never intended to give us the pardon after all. He tried to capture us and expose us to the MP's but we got away. Been running since. Its quite boring now, its gettin' harder to stay one step ahead, you know?"
Mark nodded. "You know, you could always come here if you needed to. To stay I mean, if the heat got ever too much ....."
"America is who we are Mark. We appreciate the offer, but we know one day we'll sort out our problems." Hannibal smiled sadly. "Till then, we'll keep runnin'."
"And helping others. That means a lot, you know. Not just to me and what you did for me, but for victims all over the USA. You represent a lot, you and your team." Mark stated. "You represent freedom against tyranny and oppression."
"Well Freedom didn't do William Wallace much good, did it?" Face sarcastically replied.
"You saw Braveheart too?" Murdock asked. "That was a great film!"
Face shook his head in mock despair. "Murdock, we saw it together at the cinema, don't you remember?"
Murdock just shook his shoulders. They had come to the stage area which was swamped with thousands of people armed with party poppers, champagne and beer. The atmosphere was breathtaking, and the team felt the build-up keenly.
"Look its starting!" Murdock yelled as the countdown clock appeared at the foot of the stage.
Hannibal, Face, BA and Murdock chanted simultaneously with all the others, the emotions evident in all the men's eyes. They had seen a lot in the past, and now everyone was getting the opportunity to really start anew. At this moment, everyone was united, in all nations. It was an incredible moment.
The crowd was now all chanting. "10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 ...... HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!" Face leapt up and cheered. BA turned and embraced Hannibal and Murdock howled with delight. Fireworks lit up the place like constant lightning, and party poppers and champagne were everywhere.
"We made it" Hannibal said. He was so shaken for a moment he thought he would fall. The team joined arms and started to sing, like the thousands of others around them. Hannibal gazed up above him at the clock moving up and down now saying '2000' with a mixture of champagne and tears clouding his vision slightly. "We made it!"
A young women came up to Face and kissed him on the lips. She threw her arms around him. "Happy New Year" She cried. Face looked at her pretty features and kissed her on the mouth fully.
Hannibal looked over at Face in amazement. "I wish I knew his secret" He laughed. Another woman approached and grasped Hannibal's hand. "Could I take your picture for the local paper, sir?"
Hannibal grinned. "Sure" He said to her. As he posed with the team he said under his breath "This one will sure make Decker weep when he realises where we were!"
A little while later, after the emotions and festivities had worn out the team, Mark and his friends, they made their way back to Mark's house for some drinks and a chat.
Hannibal sank into an armchair. "Well, I'm exhausted. I was never this tired before."
Face slunk onto the couch with Ronda, the girl who kissed him. Murdock sat on the floor, trying to keep his eyes open and failing.
"I have a spare room upstairs with a three temporary beds I've set up for you." Mark said.
"Thanks, Mark. I'm heading off now. Its 2.30, and I'm beat. See you in the morning. Face you got the sofa!" Hannibal rose and left the room.
"Hannibal?!" Face cried in indignation. "Hey, I have got company here!!"
Murdock got up and followed Hannibal, waving to the others. BA followed holding the tired Murdock steady. "At least the crazy foo' has given up that stupid rhyming!".
Murdock yawned. "Your right BA, its time for bed. Time to rest my weary head".
BA pushed him along, angrily. "Get, sucker ...."
Mark was seeing his friends out of the door, and when he came back in he had time to think. He had the most notorious men of the last century staying in his house. These men had helped him when no-one else would even look at him. They had got him of out serious trouble in the past when he used to live in the United States. As he closed the door on an uncomfortable Face trying to snuggle next to Ronda on the living room sofa, and trudged wearily upstairs to his own room he realised no-one else would have had quite the same new year as he had!!!
By Georgina Ann Price (21)
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