Sleeping With The Past
Archive: Yes please
Summary: In Family Reunion Murdock and Face had a big fight after Murdock hadn't told his friend he still had a father and he admitted he had done the wrong thing. But what will he do when he hears Face's mother is still alive?
Warnings: Contains violence, child's abuse and psychological anguish.
Disclaimer: I do not own The A-Team or any of it's characters. They belong to Stephen J. Cannell & co.
Copyright: Malou1337, July 28th- September 23rd 2000, Bgnefs@cs.com. Thanks to my beta-reader Diana, who was so kind to help me with my terrible grammar:)
Sleeping with the past
Sleep is like a bridge,
going from this day to tomorrow and
deep down below, a dream, the water flows
Juan Ramon Jimenez, Spain
He opened the door of the van and stepped into the sunlight. Before him lay the little white house with the blooming garden. A strange feeling went through him. It seemed so irrealistic standing here and again he thought he was dreaming. A hand was put on his shoulder and he turned to face Murdock.
"This is it, Faceman," he smiled at his friend.
"I still can't believe this, Murdock. Are you sure she's her?"
"She had your picture."
"I have never imagined this day would come."
"She's waiting, Face," Hannibal said from his seat in the van.
"Come on, Faceman," Murdock patted his friend's arm," this time it can't go wrong."
"Good luck, Faceman," B.A. said.
He looked at Amy. She smiled at him and patted his arm. "Go."
Slowly he began walking to the steps of the verandah, Murdock at his side.
"You know, Murdock," he softly said," I'm nervous."
"Nervous?" his friend stopped before the steps and looked in his blue eyes.
"What if she doesn't like the person I've become?"
"Face, she doesn't care you're a wanted criminal. That doesn't matter. Go up those steps and knock. You'll see, it will all work out."
For a moment it was silent. He looked around and saw the tree with the purple blossom. Again his dreams played in front of his eyes. But it hadn't been dreams. He saw her friendly face again, her blue eyes looking at him. And he knew it would be alright. He took a deep breath and went up the steps. Softly he knocked. He turned around again and saw Murdock was smiling at him. Then the door opened and he turned back. There she stood. Her face showed age and she wasn't as beautiful anymore as she was in his memory, but her soft blue eyes met his and at once he remembered everything again.
3 weeks earlier, Langley, Virginia.
"Fetch the stick, Billy! C'mon boy, you have to learn this before the Faceman comes back."
Murdock threw the invisible stick to a corner of the garden.
"Oh brother...," B.A. sighed as he looked up from his magazine.
"C'mon boy, you can do it," Murdock said to his invisible dog.
B.A. roled his eyes heavenward and continued reading.
"Almost did it, Billy," Murdock caressed the faint air," one more time, alright?"
He threw the stick over Frankie and B.A. The special effectsman smiled at the Captain, but caught a mad face of B.A. and wisely looked back to his newspaper again.
"No Billy! Not that way! Don't jump over B.A.!" Murdock yelled all of a sudden and ran to the Sergeant.
He jumped over B.A.'s chair and landed on his feet near Frankie.
"Got ya, Billy," he sighed relieved to his empty hands.
"Now I've had it," B.A. yelled," no more."
He stood up and walked to Murdock, grabbing his collar.
"Look fool, there ain't no dog here and there ain't no stick either. You've been talking to the air all day and now I'm sick and tired of it. So shut up about this Billy and don't bother me anymore. Got that?"
"Let go of him, B.A."
They both turned to the sound of Hannibal's voice and B.A. took his hand of Murdock. Relieved Murdock rubbed over his throat.
Then he saw Hannibal wasn't alone. Surprised he looked at Carla.
"What is she doing here? I thought Stockwell gave us the week off?"
"He did," she smiled at him.
"Oh man," B.A. sighed," don't tell me he changed his mind."
"Look lady," Hannibal turned to her," we are having a break here, that was the deal. My unit is not complete right now, so we can't go on any missions until tomorrow."
"I'm well aware of the fact that the Lieutenant is having a vacation on Hawaii," she said.
"Then what are you doing here?" Frankie said, continuing with a smile," or are you going to ask me out, gorgeous?"
She ignored Frankie's attempt and looked at Hannibal.
"I'm not here for business."
She caught their not understanding looks.
"Not the kind of business you would think."
"What are you talking about?" Hannibal looked at her, trying to find out what she wanted of them.
"I need your help."
"Y... You need our help?" Frankie stammered.
Hannibal began laughing.
"You mean hiring the A-Team?"
"It could be me being crazy again," Murdock said," but aren't we already working for Stockwell?"
"Stockwell has nothing to do with this. Not quite."
She looked at them, one by one and read disbelief in their eyes. A smile appeared on her face and little lights twinkeled in her eyes.
"I'm asking you to go on a mission, not for the general," she paused for a moment," but for your country."
Hannibal frowned his forehead.
"For our country? Look lady, if Stockwell wants us to go on a mission, we are willing to go. Tomorrow. There is no way we're doing anything today, so you can save all your excuses."
"It seems I need to explain myself better."
She smiled at him and took something out of her pocket.
"Things aren't always as they seem, Colonel Smith," she said and showed him a card," Judith Swerling, CIA."
"CIA?" Frankie said surprised.
Hannibal shook his head.
"Go back to Stockwell and tell him I don't take part in this game. If he wants me to do something, he has to ask man to man, not with all this nonsense. Tell him to come tomorrow."
"Stockwell doesn't know anything about this," she said, her face showing no emotions," I am working for the CIA." Hannibal sighed and looked at Murdock.
"Now he's carrying it too far. I can live with some of his sick games, but this goes way beyond."
He walked to the telephone and began dialling.
"I'm calling your boss and I'm going to tell him what he can do with this CIA-crap."
"No!" she said and put her hand on the phone, enabling him to dial.
She came to herself again and took the horn out of his hand.
"No," she repeated.
"I'm getting pretty tired with this," Hannibal said," you tell me what's been going on right now. What does he want?"
"Apparently you do not believe me on my word," she said," alright then." She took a cell phone out of her pocket and dialled.
"This one's not bugged."
She waited until the phone was answered.
"Blonde doll for Black Warrior. 6X5553O. I'll wait."
She put her hand on the horn and looked at Hannibal.
She turned back.
"Black Warrior, this is Blonde Doll. I need confirmation for Hell Hound about project Scrambled Eggs."
For a moment she listened to the voice on the other side of the line. Then she handed the phone over to Hannibal. Slowly he moved the phone to his ear.
"Good afternoon, Colonel Smith," a voice said," I hope you are enjoying your time working for the general."
"I don't believe we are properly introduced yet," Hannibal said," to who do I owe the honour?"
"Jim Carnell, CIA department Washington. It's a pleasure talking to you after all this time, Colonel. We have heard quite a lot about you over here." Hannibal smiled.
"It's nice to be famous. So, what can I do for the "CIA" department, Stockwell?"
"Apparently you still do not believe who you are facing, Colonel. I could have known it's hard to convince you we're really CIA."
"Right," Hannibal smiled.
"I believe your Captain did several jobs for the Agentcy during Vietnam, am I right?"
"Yes," Hannibal said as his smile disappeared and his eyes rested on Murdock.
"Can I talk to him for a moment? I believe I have some information only he and the CIA know about."
Hannibal began to get worried. They knew too much. The feeling came to him that there was a possibility they really weren't working for Stockwell. But if they were CIA...
"Murdock...," Hannibal handed over the phone.
"H.M. Murdock," he said, not knowing why the person on the phone wanted to talk to him.
"Good afternoon, Captain," the voice said," I have some information I want you to confirm."
Murdock became white as he listened to codes, names and missions he had locked away far enough to try to forget. After a minute he handed the phone back to Hannibal.
"They are really CIA, Hannibal," he said and swallowed.
"I'm glad we're on a honest base now, Colonel," Carnell continued," there should be no doubts in our co-operation."
"I am willing to believe that you're who you say you are," Hannibal said," but there's one thing I don't understand."
"And that is?"
"If the government knows where I am, where my team is, then why haven't you arrested us yet?"
"Because there is bigger fish in the sea."
"Why don't I like the sound of that one?"
"Oh, but you will, Colonel. Swerling will explain everything. Have a nice day."
He hung up. Judith took the phone out of Hannibal's hand.
"I still don't get any of this," Frankie said," alright, so they are from the CIA, what do they want from us if they're not intending to arrest us?"
"Like I said before, Mr. Santana, we need your help."
"Our help for what?" Hannibal said.
"For arresting Stockwell."
"For what?!" B.A. yelled.
Hannibal began laughing.
"This is beginning to get interesting. So you're telling me that you've infiltrated in his organization and became his ever-present assosiate just to arrest him later on? Boy, he's gonna love this one."
"So the CIA wants to arrest Stockwell," Murdock said," I can understand so far. But how do we fit in? After all, The A-Team is wanted, I don't see why the Agentcy wants "criminals" to work for them."
"Stockwell's shady business go way back, Captain. He has worked for the CIA long ago, but was kicked out of the department for fraude. He disappeared after some time, but ten years ago he contacted the Agency again, telling them he ran an organization that could be of great help for the government. He proved his use by getting us some objects back and the Agency accepted his help. But we had to be sure his organization was following the laws. So they sent me to infiltrate. It took me more than five years to gain his trust, but you see where it has taken me now."
"His assistant," Hannibal said," the one who he trusts most."
"Let's stick to business, Colonel," she said," I'm only telling you the things that are important. In the first few years he seemed to work with the system, but after I became his assistant, I learned better. He does work for our government, that much is true, but unfortunately he has done some things that we can't accept. The problem is, he always covers everything up, so we can't get him. He likes to call it working "inside" the system."
"And what kind of crimes are we talking about?"
"It's not important for you to know why, Colonel, but let's say the general likes art more than is good for him."
"He smuggles art," Hannibal said.
"Good guess, Colonel."
"I've always known there was something fishy about him," Murdock said. "We had to come up with a plan to arrest him. But he is smart. It had to be good. And then Jim saw an item about you on tv, I believe rumours about you going back to Vietnam with general Fulbright. He knew that you would be able to help us arrest him."
"Wait a minute," B.A. said," that was even before we met Stockwell. We were still on the run back then."
"We were well aware of your abilities and strenght, Sergeant, and that's why we chose your unit for this. I suggested Stockwell to make you one of his men and he thought it was a very good idea. So he put out the bait, Curtis, and waited for you to bite. And you did."
"Wait a second," Hannibal said," you suggested Stockwell to get us in his organization. Let's put this straight. If you hadn't, he wouldn't have come after us."
"Most likely, no."
"That means that if you hadn't selected us for this, we would still be out there, without any trial."
"It's not the time to place the fault, Colonel."
"That trial almost got us killed. If it hadn't been for Murdock and Frank..."
"But you're still alive at this moment, now aren't you, Colonel? Besides, the MPs would have caught you someday and if they hadn't, we would. Then there would have been a little chance you would have come through, Stockwell had arranged some things that made your escape possible and without knowing it, the Captain and Mr. Santana have used them. The CIA still needed you alive. I'm offering you a deal, Colonel Smith. You will help us get Stockwell."
"What happens to us after we no longer are of any use to you?" Hannibal said.
"When the general is arrested, you are free to go where-ever you want. We won't arrest you. Not for a few days at least. You will get a two days head start. Then you're on your own. Remember you're more wanted than before. It isn't just a case of one officer and a handful MPs chasing you half over the globe, no, this is completely else. You have to be more careful, watch your every step. But you will be independent. You can live, in somekind of way. You've always managed before, so I'm not doubting of the fact that you will survive this time too. Stockwell was never intending of getting you those pardons. Not for a couple of years more. He is using you. Work with me and get rid of him, return to your old life again. He won't keep his promise. I will."
Hannibal looked at Murdock for a moment.
"And what if we don't?" the Captain's voice sounded without any emotions. "Then I'm afraid very soon the MPs will discover where you are. You would be shot the next day."
"But dead we're not useful to you either, lady," Hannibal said, while he lit a cigar.
"You think you're quite something, don't you, Smith?"
She looked at him with angry eyes and he returned her look with a big smile.
"If we didn't need your help, you would have been arrested much earlier. Take my offer, Colonel. It's much better than Stockwell has to offer you." "It is?" Murdock said, as he stood up," seems to me you're both blackmailing us. What if we go to Stockwell and tell him you're CIA?"
"But what would it give you? He still will let you work for him, year after year. And if you're not capable of working for him anymore, or you say it has been enough, he'll turn you in. Don't you think I know what he has planned for you as his assistant? There will not be any pardons."
"So if we help you arrest Stockwell, you will give us a head start on the MPs?" Hannibal said, blowing out some smoke.
"I don't see what advantage that would give to us. We're only staying here for Stockwell and now you're telling us he won't give us those pardons. If we go now, we'll be out of the state before the day is over and we'll be in the same situation as you're offering us."
She looked at him for a moment.
"You would help your country arrest a criminal."
"This has nothing to do with this country, lady," Hannibal said," the CIA is still pissed because one of them was corrupt. They will take every opportunity to get even with the man who let the Agency look like a bunch of jerks. If this was about the country you would arrest us over Stockwell. All he did was stealing some money and paintings. But we are convicted murderers and we robbed the bank in Hanoi. The country's face is more important than that of the CIA."
"Don't you want to get rid of Stockwell?"
"Look lady, I don't like Stockwell a single bit more than you do. But I won't put the lives of my men in danger for a kind of freedom we can get ourselves."
"I see I have to raise the stake," she said.
"Stockwell offered us pardons. What about you?"
"It's not to the CIA to decide whether or not you get a pardon, Colonel. Your case is too complicated for me to do a good word for you. However..." She smiled as she looked at Frankie.
"I'm sure I can arrange something for you, Mr. Santana. You have a lot less on your record."
"Y... You could?" Frankie stammered.
"If I address the right persons, I'm sure something can be arranged." Frankie looked at Hannibal.
"I know how you think about this, Hannibal, but if Stockwell won't clear my name..."
"I understand what you mean, Frank," Hannibal patted his friend's arm, then he looked at her again," so if we go on this mission, you give him a pardon and us a head start."
Their eyes met.
"I'll think about your proposition, lady. But at the moment my unit is not complete and I'm not deciding anything without my Lieutenant's opinion. If we go in, we have to agree all."
"There is a slight problem," she said," or rather, a rule."
"I don't work with rules."
"This time you have to," she smiled.
"And that rule would include?"
"Your Lieutenant can't go with you on this mission."
They all looked at her in disbelief.
"What are you talking about?" Murdock said," Face belongs to this team. We're not going without him."
"He's right, lady. We will need him, even more when it comes to getting Stockwell."
"Stockwell is the reason why your Lieutenant can't come with you."
"What do you mean?"
Hannibal looked at her, trying to find out if she was playing a game with them.
"The general has somebody of great value to your friend."
Murdock frowned his forehead.
"Of great value to Face?"
Then a thought struck him.
"You're not telling me that he has his half-sister, are you?"
"No," she said," Ellen Bancroft is safe. All your family members are protected by us. If he gets his hands on them during this mission, it's over. We've taken care of that option. However..."
She looked at them.
"Stockwell has come across something he can hold against your friend, even against you. He knows he can't try to get his hands on your family members, if he did, the whole press would be on his tail and he can't afford that somebody discovers his operation. Still, we've taken no risks and put them under surveillance until this is all over. But there is something he can use and most certainly will when he discovers what you are trying to do."
She turned and took a file out of her briefcase.
"I'm sure you can remember the day on which Stockwell confirmed to the Lieutenant AJ Bancroft was his father."
Murdock closed his eyes for a moment.
"When the general was talking to his resources, he found out something else about your friend's past."
Murdock opened his eyes as he looked in her mysterious eyes. "This project is called..."
She threw the file on the table.
Hannibal looked from her to the file and back. Then he took the file in his hands. With big, black letters it said "Rose" on the front. He looked at her again and she nodded, gesturing him he had to open it. What could she know about Face that was so important Stockwell would use it against them? He looked at Murdock and saw he nodded too. His face showed his nervousity and worries, although he tried to hide it. He opened the folder and saw a paper full of data and two pictures, one in colour, the other in black and white. On the black and white one stood a woman. He thought she was about twenty years old. She wore a summer dress and her long hair was tied up in a pony tail, although some locks waved along her face. She smiled at the camera, holding some flowers in her hands. She looked very beautiful and in a strange way familiar. He looked at the coloured picture, which showed a woman from his age. She was standing in front of a little white house, purple blossom blooming behind her. Her fair hair had a grey glow, showing age. She was wearing a blue sweater and a black pair of trousers and Hannibal recognized her as the woman of the other picture. Again he got the feeling she looked familiar. He looked at her face, trying to find out if he had seen her before. All of a sudden his eyes were fixed on hers. They were blue, deep blue. The kind of blue he knew but all too well. Quickly he began reading the file. His eyes flew over the lines as different feelings struck him. When he finished reading, he looked up at her.
"If Stockwell finds out about this...," Hannibal said with a soft voice. "He already knows. But we can try to prevent certain things."
"What is it?"
Murdock looked at Hannibal. He could read in the Colonel's eyes it was serious. Slowly Hannibal handed the file to him. He looked down and started reading.
"Rosemary Jennings. Age: 59. Currently living in Texas. Born: September 14th 1928 as Samantha Harding. Didn't finish college. Married June 7th 1950 to the late AJ Bancro..."
He looked up.
"AJ Bancroft? But... But that's Face's father!"
"Read on, Captain."
"AJ Bancroft, who left his wife in '52. Had several office jobs. Mother of the late Richard Bancroft..."
He stopped in the middle of his sentence.
"Mother?!" he looked at Hannibal.
"She is your friend's mother," Judith smiled at them.
"But Face's mother isn't alive anymore, AJ said that she died a few years after Face was born and Face went to an orphanage!"
"No, Captain, AJ said he had lost track of her. He didn't say she was dead. He only followed where his son was going since 1960."
"But this means she's still alive," Murdock shouted," I have to tell Face!"
He wanted to walk to the telephone, but Hannibal stopped him.
"This can be more complicated than you think, Captain. There's more you have to know before you can tell Face."
"I know you want to tell him, Murdock, and so would I, but first we have to be careful. Rushing into something could mean we're putting Face's mother in danger, if she's really his mother."
"She is," Judith said.
"Read on, Captain," Hannibal said, as he softly patted his friend's arm.
Murdock swallowed. Face had to know this as soon as possible. This time he wouldn't make the same mistake as he had done with AJ. This time he would tell Face right away, without keeping it from him. But maybe Hannibal was right. He needed to know more about the reasons why, so he had to read on before telling Face.
"Mother of the late Richard Bancroft, born December 7th, died... in a fire in a shelter on April 3rd 1954?! What do they mean: "the late" Richard Bancroft?! And what is this about a fire in a shelter?"
"Read on," she smiled at him.
He looked at Hannibal, a question on his lips. But the Colonel gestured him to read on.
"A year after the accident, Samantha Bancroft-Harding changed her name to Rosemary Benton. Married Paul Jennings in '62. Has two children, Kenneth and Julie, born in '63 and '65."
He kept silence as he closed the file.
"My God...," he stammered, as he took off his cap and whiped off his forehead.
"Face has a mother and brother and sister...," B.A. softly said.
"But... How? If she is still alive, why did she leave Face?"
Murdock looked at the CIA agent they always thought was Stockwell's loyal assistant.
"There is no data about that matter," she said," but remember that Richard Bancroft is registered as deceased. The records say he died in a fire. And maybe that is what Mrs. Jennings thinks too. But maybe he could have manage to escape out of the burning shelter. Why he didn't go back to his mother, I don't know. That will remain a mystery. Your friend doesn't seem to remember.
Fact is, she really is his mother. And Stockwell knows and he knows that one day that piece of information will be very useful to him."
"And Face can't go on this mission, because you're afraid he will back out and jeopardize it, when Stockwell tells him he's got his mother."
Hannibal's voice had sounded harsh, maybe more than he had wanted to.
"Exactly, Colonel. If he gets confused during the plan, everything will fall apart."
"And what if we tell him beforehand?"
"If he sees the Lieutenant around his mother, Stockwell will suspect there is a leak in his operation. And your friend will, no matter what you say to him. It's his second and last chance, he won't let it slip through his fingers. I'm the only one who can get to this information. I don't have to tell you what that would mean."
"He would find out about your real identity and your connection with the CIA and he's gone forever."
"Exactly. And we don't want that to happen, now do we?"
She looked at Hannibal for a moment.
"But if we go without him, we have to lie to him about what we're going to do."
"I'm sure you can come up with something good, Colonel," she smiled. "But Stockwell can do something to his mother even if he's not with us and even if he doesn't know."
"He will threaten you, I'm sure, he'll do anything in his power to blackmail you. Let him talk. We'll get him after we've made him confess everything. No harm will come to her."
"And you will make sure nothing happens to her in the time we're preparing for this mission?"
"I will. Stockwell will leave her alone, until he really needs her to back him up."
Murdock patted his arm.
"This would mean we have to lie to Face. I'm not making the same mistake twice," he whispered.
"It's only temporally, Captain," Judith said," after it's all over, you can tell your friend everything and I will give you her address. Then it's upto you to decide what to do."
"I don't know if I can hold this back from him, Hannibal," Murdock softly said," he's my best friend. I've done the wrong thing before when I didn't tell him AJ was his father. Can I do it to him to keep this from him for some time? What if it's too late again? Last time..."
"That are the rules, Captain, take it or leave it. If you tell your friend now, he will do something very stupid and you will lose the only chance of getting out of Stockwell's grip. You can tell the Lieutenant afterwards, after I've disappeared out of your lives again. I'm not like the general, I keep my word."
She looked at them with the familiar mysterious glow in her eyes. At least this time they knew what was behind them.
"So, what do you say, free from Stockwell, a two days head start, Mr. Santana's pardon and Rosemary's address, you will get it all if you go on this mission. Not a bad deal, if you ask me."
Hannibal looked at Frankie and B.A. He already knew how Frankie thought about it and he didn't expect anything else than him nodding. B.A. was having a harder time with it. But after a few seconds he nodded too.
"Murdock?" he turned to his Captain.
"I don't know, Hannibal, do we have the right to keep this from Face?"
"It's for his own sake that we tell him later."
"Indeed," she smiled at him.
Hannibal put an arm on his friend's shoulder. Murdock hung his head down.
"Alright then...," he whispered.
"Lady, you've just hired The A-Team," Hannibal said.
"Good," she bared her white teeth in a smile.
Murdock sighed deeply as he threw the file with "Rose" written on it on the table. It didn't feel right, but he knew it was for the best. For now.