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This page last viewed: 2017-07-23 and has been viewed 1788 times
Hitchhiking with Strangers
By A. Jewels
Summary: A very young Templeton Peck has just found out that the love of his life, Leslie Becktall, has left him and gone away forever. Deciding to leave college, and join the service, he has an interesting trip on the way to the Army Recruitment Center. Story takes place before Templeton joins Hannibal's unit and becomes the A-Team's Faceman.
Warnings: Off screen alluded to prostitution by a minor; off screen alluded to multiple rapes of a minor; suggested drug use.
Disclaimer: I don't own the A-Team, I just love to write about them. No money is received for this work. Any similarity to persons living or dead is purely coincidental.
Note: This is my first A-Team fanfiction story, but I have read over half of them in the Archives and on other fan sites. I love the slash stories, as well as the 'regular' kind. Jullian Grey, Jes Parker and Elizabeth Kent are some of my favorite authors here.
1625 words Story complete
Templeton wiped his eyes and sniffled, vowing never to cry again. He was 16 years old, and his life was over.
At least the life he had dreamed of…
Leslie had left him, never saying where or why. The ring he had bought for her (with winnings from cheating at several card games) twinkled in the palm of his hand. Templeton tossed it into the park fountain, not bothering to make a wish, since he knew his would never come true now.
Leslie hadn't even had the courage to tell him herself, a girlfriend of hers had done the difficult task. No why, no goodbye. Just another abandonment by someone he loved. And who he had thought loved him.
He was alone again, as he always had been.
Templeton brushed his long sun blonde hair out of his face, and stood up. He didn't have much to pack, that was certain. He would say good bye to Father McGill, at least. After he had done what he had to do. The Army would take him-and he didn't care if it killed him- in the jungles of Vietnam.
What did it matter? It didn't. His life, his plans for college, a home, a wife and family… None of that mattered anymore.
He packed his one bag, and slipped out of the college dormitory. He had been so proud about getting a scholarship to a decent school, despite his orphan status, (or perhaps because of it). His good grades had allowed him to finish high school two years early. That, plus an ability to find out some of the test answers prior to the exams… Hey, to get ahead in this world, a guy had to give himself some advantages.
He never looked back at his onetime future Ala Mater, as he walked out into the cool California winter sun. He was a free man, to live and die as he chose.
He had no car, and wasn't in the mood to hotwire one. The Army Recruitment Center was several miles away across Los Angeles, so Templeton decided to thumb it.
He already had the fake ID to get by, several in fact, stating he was 19 years old. His attitude and ability to con would serve him well, and get him by the recruitment staff.
He'd been pretending to be older for so long, it was second nature by now, anyways. It didn't do for people to know you were a minor in so many of life's situations. His over 21 ID cards worked for that, but Templeton decided not to push his luck this time.
His physical size was not really suited to it, not yet. And his damn baby face (hey, pretty boy) wasn't even ready to shave yet. He just wished his voice was a little deeper…
He walked along the L.A. streets, thumb out and at the ready. It never took too long for someone to stop for him. Despite his long hair and jeans, his sweet face and pure good looks always had people ready to trust him.
Whether he could trust them was another matter.
More than once, an honest looking man had picked him up, only to solicit him for paid sex. Or even attempt a forcible assault, when Templeton had not been forthcoming enough.
That's why he kept the slim butcher knife he'd ' borrowed' from the Orphanage kitchen years ago tucked in the lining of his boot. No one had forced him into a situation he couldn't handle since. He'd learned the hard way, but had taken the lessons to heart.
A Volkswagen van slowed down to a crawl beside him.
Through the window, Templeton could see the occupants were nearly all young girls. Hippie types, two brunettes and a blonde, plus a slightly older man driving. They smiled and waved him over to them.
"Hey, where ya headed, boy?" the man asked him, grinning with a wide welcoming smile.
"Army Recruitment Center, downtown." Templeton replied, not automatically trusting that smile
The van door slid open for him. He scanned the interior for signs of danger. But they just looked like Love Children, fresh from Haight-Ashbury.
The girls beckoned to him. "Come on in. We'll take you where you want to go." They giggled, whispering to each other, looking Templeton over.
He was used to that though, so it didn't bother him. Templeton looked up and down the street, but didn't see another ride with only one driver stopping for him. Or any ride, for that matter.
He knew better than to take a hitch with multiple people in the car, unless it was an old couple going to church. Even then, you could never be too careful…as he'd found out a few times before.
He sighed. He could handle three girls. And the driver was short and skinnier than Templeton was, kind of a shrimpy little fella. Templeton had a good five inches in height over the guy, from what he could see.
He leaned down and got in the van.
The pungent smell of marijuana mingled with the stench of body odor inside the trashy van. Templeton sat down on the floor, since there were no seats, placing himself next to the sliding door just in case he needed a hasty exit.
"So, hey man, why are you joining the Establishment Army?" The driver asked, giving Templeton the once over in the rear view mirror.
Templeton had been stared at all his life by girls, women…and men. He knew when he was being sized up, better than most people. But what their ultimate motives were had all too often involved a desire to touch or invade his body.
But this guy didn't look at him like that…not that he could tell, anyway. He caught Templeton's eyes in the mirror and held them, brown on blue. The driver's gaze was intense, reminding Templeton of a hypnotist he had seen once in a nightclub act.
He looked the driver over, noticing that he was shorter than even most of the girls. He had shoulder length brown hair, a mustache and scrubby brown beard. But he had an air of authority that most hippies didn't. He was obviously a leader, not a follower.
Templeton noticed he had a Buck knife sheathed at his waist, half hidden under a grimy fringed leather jacket.
The driver noticed Templeton looking at his knife, and smiled cunningly.
"Protection," he winked,"Gotta watch out for the pigs!"
"So why is a good looking fella like you joining the Army?" one of the brunette girls asked, running a grimy finger through his long blond hair.
"No where else to go, I guess," Templeton replied, not wanting to get into his reasons.
The hippies in the van exchanged looks between themselves. The driver nodded silently at one of the girls, giving her a signal. This boy was perfect, his looks could help them. And he would certainly add to the entertainment value of their evenings.
"Well, you could come stay with us," the blond girl said, caressing his shoulders invitingly. "We have a great place out by Death Valley. It used to be an old movie studio ranch, but now we have it all for ourselves. We live like we want to, and take care of each other! We're a family together."
"That's right, man." the driver assured him eagerly. "All the girls, drugs and fun you could ever want! We live free, and nobody owns us. And there are plenty of women there, to cook, sew, whatever you need." He gave Templeton a smug conspiratorial grin.
For half a second, Templeton was tempted. In a way, it sounded better than the Army…at least he wouldn't have some drill sergeant screaming at him during boot camp.
But then he looked into the glazed eyes of the girls, with their stringy hair and unkempt clothes. He could smell the van, with it's stink of uneaten food, weed and sour sweat.
If there was anything that mattered to Templeton Peck, it was good personal hygiene. "Cleanliness is next to Godliness." Father McGill had taught them. And while he made no pretenses to the latter, Templeton had always hated anything that was dirty or disorganized around him.
He brushed his teeth four times a day, had his own personal manicure kit, and washed his hair with baby shampoo, every morning during his shower. He even had a secret preference for bubble baths, not one which he got to indulge that often. And while his clothes were not expensive, they were clean and pressed by his own hand.
He looked out the window. "That's my stop." He said, sliding open the van door as the driver braked in the street.
"Hey, it's cool, man. Good luck." The driver called out to him." If you ever change your mind, you can find us out at Spahn Ranch."
Templeton was already on the sidewalk, waving his thanks at them, headed towards the Army Center.
"Aww, Charlie, why'd you let him go? He would have been great in our orgies!" the girls sighed, seeing the gorgeous blond walk away from them.
"Yep, well, you can't win 'em all…" Charlie told them, watching wistfully as Templeton's slim rear end disappeared into the Army Recruitment Center.
Once inside the Center, Templeton congratulated himself on one more successful hitchhike. He was getting better at spotting the dangerous types. And those hippies weren't anybody to be scared of…
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