This is the first A-Team story I wrote and believe it or not I’m still writing it. All the other stories I write will have the character of Joanna and will either be fill in for this one or spin off on alternate endings. This story is the first one in the series. It explains where Joanna came from, how she became a member of the team and Hannibal’s daughter. It also explains how they got so close and why Joanna doesn’t want to be separated from Hannibal. This is also a story of what would have happened if they had a kid with them while they were on the run and with Stockwell. Call it an alternate universe type of story if you like with very similar things that happen in it as in the regular Universe. I decided to break it up into two parts and this is the second one.
Rated: PG-13 – R at the moment
Comments: Yes, but try to be a little gentle with this one it was my first try. I may change it.
Summary: The team was on the run and they helped out a woman and Hannibal found out he has a daughter. He promises to take care of her and raise her no matter what the cost. They are caught by Stockwell and wind up with a couple problems here and there. What will become of the family the team has created for Joanna?
Disclaimers: I don’t own the A-Team but I do like to write fiction about them. I created the character of Joanna Murdock Smith. Joanna is Hannibal’s daughter.
Warnings: I write because I like to and I will agree some of my stories may seem totally unbelievable or hard to believe but that’s sometimes what makes it fun to write. Some minor swearing, some violence, a little sex
Part 1 – The Trial
When they were on trial Murdock was taking care of Joanna the best he could. Joanna wasn’t very fond of Frankie and because she couldn’t cling to her father she clung to Murdock. She was 7 years old now and about to loose everyone she loved except Murdock but she was even worried about him. She didn’t want to loose any of them and it was all she could do to not break down crying as she watched the trial. She could tell her father was a proud man even while he sat there on trial for murder. After BA flipped out over basically being called a liar and they all got guns they were brought to court with handcuffs on their wrists and ankles. She would always make sure they knew she was there to support them and help them if she could.
The trial dragged on and everyone whom could possible take the stand took it – Decker, Hannibal, Murdock, tons of people she didn’t know. When Decker saw her sitting by Murdock he got this confused look on his face. She didn’t care about his opinion and would be damned if she would leave this court. She didn’t understand why her father pled guilty so close to winning the trial. The attorney was the one that told her what happened. Her father’s attorney called her to the stand and from the murderous glare Hannibal gave the attorney it was against his permission.
Her father’s lawyer asked, “What is your name?” She calmly replied, “Joanna Murdock Smith.” “How old are you?” “I’m 7 going on 8 years old.” “How did you get involved with the A-Team?” “When I was 4 my mother and I were constantly trying to avoid being murdered. My mother found the A-Team and asked them for help. My mother had been involved with one of them 5 years before that and knew who he was by heart. He agreed to help us and was informed I was his daughter. You can do tests if ya like because I am his daughter. My mother was killed before my father could get to her and he became the only parent I had left. He took me and legally changed my name. I have been part of the A-Team ever since.” “Which one of the A-Team is your father?” “John “Hannibal” Smith is my father and I love him very much.” “Did you know he was your father before your mother asked him for help?” “Yes, I have known since I was 3. My mother showed me a picture of the two of them and he had written something on the back of it. I couldn’t read at the time but I do have the picture here.” “If the accused doesn’t mind I would like you to read the message.” She looked over at her father and he nodded at her. She read, “To my beloved Leslie, May all your life be as lovely as you are. Love, Hannibal.” “How do you perceive your father and his friends?” “They are very loving, kind and giving. They would give their lives for each other or me. They love to beat up and get rid of sleaze balls that try to muscle in on honest people who are trying to make an honest living. They are brave and a close nit family to me. They could never kill anyone. I admit they do tend to cause some damage but no ever really gets hurt. Even when Hannibal goes on the Jazz he’s harmless to the people he’s fighting but he can tend to be a danger to himself. They are trustworthy for the most part when they can be and not have to worry about this happening. All they ever wanted was a chance at a real life without any pain, worries or being treated like this by their own people and government that they loyally served for 10-20 years depending on the team member.”
The attorney stepped down and let the other attorney ask her questions. “You are Lt. Colonel Smith’s daughter, correct?” “Yes.” “Do you love him?” “Yes. I love him with all my heart.” “You do what he tells you to, correct?” “Most of the time I do.” “Even lie?” “NO. My father has never made me lie. I have helped with a couple scams but I never lie. The closest I got was saying HM was my father. In a way that’s true. He is my father when Hannibal isn’t there or doesn’t have time to be with me. My father hates liars and hates it when he has to have any of us scam something but he has to think about the team first and the guilt later.” “The records show that Lt. Colonel Smith was insubordinate meaning he didn’t like to listen to orders. He would get an order to do something one way and do it another. He would do things he wasn’t ordered to do and claim he was told to like robbing the Bank of Hanoi. How can they possibly be trusted??!!” “You don’t know them. I know them personally. I’ve lived with them for almost 4 years now and can read each of them like an open book. I can tell if they are lying or not because they use to lie to me when they were hurt. They did it trying to keep me from worrying about them but I learned how to read their expressions, the tone of their voices and most importantly their eyes. I can read my father the best out of all of them because all of my time is spent along side of him.”
Hannibal had been watching Joanna through all of this and could tell she had learned to hide her emotions pretty well and keep calm when being interrogated. He still wished she didn’t have to be drug into this mess with them but there wasn’t anything he could do about it from where he was sitting. He was called back to the stand after Joanna had testified and questioned about them. “Is Joanna your daughter, Colonel Smith?” “Yes.” “Is your connection to her the same as she told the court?” “Yes.” “How well does she know you?” “She knows me very well. She can tell when I’m mad, upset or depressed even when I can fool my men I can’t fool, her. She has learned to read her old man very well. She is a very perceptive child and very mature for her young age. I can mask my emotion very well from anyone but her. She reads me like an open book and has a gift to be able to read my eyes. My men can do that to but it took years of learning to read each other in other ways to tell what we are thinking. She could read me like an open book the 2nd year we were together.” “Did she come with you of her own free will?” Yes. In fact she would be like a caged animal and collapse in my arms crying hysterically if I even tried to leave her behind. If I took her with us she would be a little scared but she wouldn’t go hysterical because she was lose to me and knew what was going on instead of worrying about me and my men.” “Do you love her like she loves you?” “Yes.” “Would you give your life for her?” “Yes.” “Would she lie for you?” “I don’t know. I have taught her not to lie at all. To me she has never personally lied to me as far as I know. She knows how much I hate people who lie. Well, with the exception of Lt. Peck. But I don’t even tolerate it very well when he lies to me. I’ve broken him of that habit except in certain situations like him being in pain and he doesn’t tell me. Other than that he is fairly well honest.” “Does she do everything you tell her to?” “Most of the time and if it’s something I normally would ask her to do I give her the choice to be able to turn me down. She has a few times and I understand why she did. I never made her do anything she didn’t want to do.” After that he was taken off the stand again Murdock and Frankie brought in that Vietnamese traitor and unfortunately hung them even further. When he heard the sentence read he heard Joanna repeating, “OH NO OH NO!” over and over again.
When Joanna heard the sentence of death by firing squad read she thought she was going to loose it. She held tightly to Murdock and repeated, “OH NO!” over and over again until she could say it anymore because of how hard she was sobbing. Murdock was rubbing his hand up and down her back trying to calm her. She didn’t want to loose her father. He was the only blood relative she had left. Murdock took her to a hotel with him and put her to bed. Her feelings were totally numb and she wouldn’t let go of Murdock’s hand. She felt him curl up behind her and hold her to him like her father did after he was ready for bed. She curled as close him as she could and he held her tightly to him. She felt comforted being in Murdock’s embrace and hoped they could find a way to get the team out of this mess. She soon drifted off into an exhausted sleep.
Part 2 – The Firing Squad
Hannibal was lying on his bed trying to come up with a plan when he started to think about Joanna and how this would affect her. They knew that they could be caught and thrown back in prison but they never thought they would be sentenced to death. He never planned on being killed by his own government but he had thought it might happen that he would be killed on a mission so he had put in his will that Murdock would get sole custody of Joanna once he was released from the VA. Until then Maggie had agreed to take her in as her secondary guardian. Joanna could visit Murdock at the VA and spend time with him. He knew him being put in front of a firing squad would really affect her. He didn’t want anything to happen to her and had tried the hardest he could since she was given to him by her mother to protect her and stay with her. He had tried the hardest he could not to cause her any pain and now he was going to because he got caught by Stockwell and put on trial for murder. He silently cursed himself for not seeing what Stockwell was planning and causing Joanna pain like this.
Hannibal started to quietly sob and wish he could change what was going to happen. He didn’t think they would be getting out of there any time soon. He curled into a fetal position and sobbed until he couldn’t sob anymore. He heard Face asked, “Hannibal? You OK?” He replied, “I’ll be fine, Face. I was just thinkin about Cookie and sorry I am about getting us all into this mess.” Face replied, “Hannibal, It’s not your fault that were got double crossed by Stockwell. How the hell were you supposed to know? I’m sure if we don’t get out of this Murdock’ll take care of Joanna. She’ll be all right when she gets over loosing us.” He remained silently curled in a fetal position and crying. He got visits from Stockwell that he didn’t want or need. When Stockwell told them about being able to give them pardons after they did some missions and the catch was they had to get away first they wanted pardons but had no idea how the hell to get out of there. Murdock came in dressed as a priest and was caught and taken away.
After a while Hannibal heard a commotion outside their door. He heard a voice say, “The child has a right to say goodbye to her father! He may be convicted of murder but he is still her father! What possible harm can a little 7-year-old girl do? All she wants is to see her father one last time. You wouldn’t deny a child the right to say goodbye to her father would you?” “But father I…” Then he heard Joanna crying, “I wannna see my daddy!!! I wanna at least be able to say goodbye!! PLEASE LET ME SEE MY DADDY??!!” Then he heard a sigh and the door opened. He looked directly in the tear filled eyes of his lovely daughter. As soon as she was let in she ran to him yelling, “DAAADDYY!!” He sat on the bed and put his arms around her by pulling her in toward his chest while he put his handcuffed hands over her head. She was sobbing while he gently rocked her back and forth with a hand on her head. She said, “I don wanna l-loose you, d-da-addy. I don w-want yaa taa diiee.” He soothingly replied, “I know, Cookie, I know. I wish this hadn’t happened, honey. I really wish it hadn’t. But there isn’t anything we can do about it now. I just want you to know that no matter what happens, Cookie, I love you with all my heart and you will always be my little girl.”
Hannibal started to sing to her, “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. You make me happy when skies are gray! You’ll never know dear how much I love you. Please don’t take my sunshine away.” She calmed some and whispered, “I love you with all my heart too, daddy.” He looked up and for the first time realized the priest was Frankie. He said, “Thank you for helping me to be able to see my Cookie one last time, Father.” to keep the cover going. After Frankie told them about the packets, drug and everything he left and took Joanna with him. Before they left Hannibal hugged her tightly and said, “You haveta try to be strong for Murdock. He may need you to be. Thata girl, Cookie. Remember I’ll always love you.” He gently took her by the shoulders and squeezed. He wiped the tears from her eyes and kissed her forehead. He then sent her to Frankie and they left to go to the boat.
Joanna went to the boat ahead of Frankie so he could make the bullet switch. She was sitting being held by Murdock. He was comforting her while they waited for Frankie. She whispered in his ear, “I hope this works or I’ll loose everyone I love except you. You’ll be all I have left, HM. I just hope I don’t loose you too.” After Frankie came back they started off back to land. Soon after they left the island she heard the execution shots ring through the air and screamed and curled into Murdock’s chest clutching the priest’s robe he wore. She prayed to God that their plan had worked. They would have to find out when they could.
Part 3 – Stockwell
Joanna stayed with Frankie and Murdock and watched as the bodies of her father and other uncles were brought where they were in body bags. She started to cry and the doctor checked each of them and said they were waking up. When Hannibal woke up she ran to him yelling, “DADDY! DADDY! DADDY!” He knelt on the ground and she ran into his arms. She kissed him all over his face- his cheeks, temples, forehead, and lips. He kissed her back and hugged her tightly to him. When she pulled back she saw he was crying too. She gently wiped his tears off his cheeks with her small fingers. He whispered, “I was afraid I’d never see you again, Cookie. God am I glad I was wrong.” When Stockwell got their attention he stood up. He picked her up and had her wrap her legs around his waist and her arms around his neck. She leaned her head against his shoulder while Stockwell talked. He tried to tell Hannibal she couldn’t come with them and her father angrily replied, “We’ll do the jobs for you and we’ll live where you want us to but I will NOT be separated from my daughter again unless it is absolutely necessary. She doesn’t cause trouble or take up much space. You don’t even need to give us a bed for her. She’s slept with me since she was 4 and will sleep with me until she either doesn’t want to or has to get her own bed. Until then you don’t need to worry about it. You try and take Joanna away from me and you’ll know what HELL is, General. She goes wherever I go.” Finally Stockwell gave in and said she could go with them.
That night the team moved to Virginia and Hannibal was glad he didn’t have to leave Joanna behind because if he had to he would much rather stay with her and deal with the MPs again. He noticed Stockwell didn’t have all that great of security and the team could get out of their if they wanted to. He groaned as Stockwell decided to have a little POW WOW with them. He sat on the couch and Joanna curled up beside him while he lit a cigar. He kissed the top of her head and wrapped an arm around her. She smiled up at him and he turned his attention to Stockwell. After a few minutes one of the ABELs came in with Murdock at gunpoint. Everyone hugged him and then Joanna ran up and wrapped her arms around his waist yelling, “HM! I’m so glad to see you!” The pilot picked her up and hugged her. He listened as the pilot told them he was sane and free of the VA. The pilot had gotten a job and a place to stay. He smiled and hugged Murdock. The pilot introduced them to some of his dogs he had caught for the pound.
After Murdock went back to his apartment they all went to bed. He heard Joanna ask him a question as he was falling asleep. He opened his eyes and asked, “Huh?” She quietly said, “I just wanted to know if you would hold me, daddy?” He rolled on to his side and replied, “Of course, Cookie. Com’ere.” She scooted back until her back was against his belly and her head was on his arm. He wrapped his other arm around her and hugged her tightly. He felt her take hold of his hand and say, “Thank you, daddy.” He kissed the back of her head and replied, “You’re welcome, honey.” As she drifted off to sleep she said, “I love you, Hannibal.” He whispered, “I love you too, honey.” She soon fell asleep and he joined her in peaceful slumber.
Part 4 – The First Mission
Stockwell sent them after a hijacked plane. It was hijacked by a group of Iraqi terrorists who wanted a million dollars. On that plane was a very important agent of Stockwell’s named Henry Sanders or ABEL 30. Hannibal devised a plan to get on the plane by doing basically a Beller Air routine. He would get Joanna and Frankie on the plane with BA to go in through the underbelly, Murdock would get in as a copilot, while Face and him snuck on while they weren’t looking. It worked pretty well and Joanna took out the ones that came to the back with the help of Frankie and BA. She would grab then and pull them down while BA knocked them out and tied them up. She took a handgun with a hair trigger so that she could shot it if she needed to and started towards where the passengers were. She counted how many terrorists there were left and snuck back and informed BA. She crawled up through a duct in the plane and tapped out what they were going to do to her father with Morse code. He answered and the plan went into motion. She created a diversion so they could all take out the terrorists. She used her catlike ability to evade the terrorist and then smashed him in the head with a wrench when he wasn’t watching. Everyone took their terrorists out but they wound up with an unwanted problem. Hannibal got shot in the arm and Murdock was hit against the wall so hard he got a concussion. Murdock was having a hard time because he was dizzy and Hannibal couldn’t fly with a bullet in his arm. Some how Murdock managed to land the plane and they took both him and Hannibal to the hospital to be treated. After Hannibal was treated he started to chew Joanna’s ass out for pulling the crazy stunt she did for a diversion. He told her, ” I let to come on these missions to tag along and help us if we need you but Not I repeat Not to pull a crazy stunt like that!! You could have damn well gotten yourself killed, Joanna!! That was one of the stupidest stunts you have ever pulled!! You know better than to do that!! I don’t ever want you to pull a crazy stunt like that again!! DO YOU UNDERSTAND ME???!!!”
Joanna broke down sobbing and ran into the bedroom she shared with her father. She curled up in a ball on the bed and sobbed. She heard Murdock yelling, “Dammitt, Hannibal!! Why did you have to be so damn hard on her??!! She’s only 7 years old and has very sensitive feelings when comes to you!! She has spent damn near the last 4 years trying to please and make you want her as your daughter!! She also has trying as hard as she could to make you proud to be her damn father!! You’re her hero and idol for God sakes, Hannibal!! I understand you being angry with her but did you have to do that???!! You know damn well you could have told her calmly and firmly not to do it again and she would have listened to you!! I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU DID THAT TO HER!! SHE LOVES YOU AND DAMN NEAR WORSHIPS THE GROUND YOU WALK ON!! WHAT DO YOU DO??!! YOU BLOW UP IN HER FACE AND TAKE OUT THE FACT THAT YOUR DAMN PLAN DIDN’T WORK ON HER JUST BECAUSE SHE PISSED YOU OFF BY DOING WHAT SHE DID AS A DIVERSION!! IF YOUR GONNA BLAME SOME ONE BLAME ME!! I WAS THE ONE WHO TOLD HER SHE COULD DO IT IN THE FIRST PLACE!! SHE IS NOT THE ENEMY, HANNIBAL!!” She heard the front door slam and cringed. She hoped that they all calmed down before something else happened. She felt a hand on her should and heard Murdock say, “How ya feelin, cupcake? I’m sorry about what happened out there. I should have known Hannibal would pop a cork over your diversion. I just didn’t think of it at the time. When you got me when I went to the bathroom and asked I didn’t think that much of it. I really am sorry because now I’ve gotten you in deep trouble. I hope you’ll forgive me but I will understand if you don’t.” She said, “I don’t blame you, HM. How were you suppose to know that daddy would flip his lid over that. All I did was act like I was chasing Billy up and down the isle. It did work better than his plan did that’s for sure. I just hope he calms down. I don’t want to be here tonight if he’s still angry with me. I’d much rather be with you when he’s in that type of mood.” He squeezed her shoulder and replied, “I’m sure he’ll cool off by time he gets back. I’ll tell ya what I’ll do. I’ll stay to make sure he’s calm and rational again when he gets back and if he isn’t I’ll take you with me and drop you off here when I go to work. How’s that?” She nodded telling him that would be fine and they went out to watch cartoons together in the living room.
When Joanna heard Hannibal’s car pull up outside she ran back to the bedroom and lay down on the bed pretending she was asleep. When she felt a hand on he should she was worried. She heard her father calmly and sadly say, “I’m sorry, Cookie. I just lost my temper at you and I apologize for it. I was upset because my plan didn’t work even close to right at all and took it out on you. I just snapped when I saw the stunt you pulled. I just was angry because I was afraid I’d loose you. I should have just told you how I felt and calmly told you not to do anything like that again but I was too upset to be rational. I know you listen when I tell or ask you not to do something but I think my feeling of stupidity and fear of loosing you just snapped my nerves. I hope you won’t hate for this but I’ll try to live with it if you do.” She grabbed his hand as he went to stand up and said, “I’m sorry too, daddy. I didn’t think that they would hurt me because I wasn’t a threat to them by running up and down the isles chasing after and imaginary pet. I figure they would think I was just some 7 year old kid with an over active imagination. I didn’t mean to worry you like that. I will admit I was hurt when you yelled at me like that because until tonight in almost 4 years you have never raised your voice or yelled at me because I listen to you. That’s why it hurt so much when you did. I’ll learn to live with it but I still was hurt by it.”
Hannibal had gone out for a while to calm down and realized he had probably really hurt Joanna’s feelings by yelling at her like he did. He was very upset by what she had done and his plan not working that he just blew his lid and took it out on her. As he calmed down he felt even guiltier because all he had to do was talk to her and she would listen to him. He knew he had to apologize for what he did and went home. When he got back he went to the bedroom he shared with Joanna and found curled up in a fetal ball. He walked over and gently sat on the bed. He put a gentle hand on her shoulder and apologized to her. He felt horrible about yelling at her like he did but there wasn’t anything he could do about it. When she forgave him he sat back against the headboard and gently pulled her into his arms. He gently rocked Joanna back and forth while she cried. After she cried he scooted down on the bed to lie on his back. He felt Joanna curl into the curve of his side and put her hand on his belly. He wrapped an arm around her and held her close. After a few minutes he felt her move and opened his eyes. She was looking down at him and smiling. She lightly kissed him on the lips and told him, “I love you, Hannibal.” He caressed her cheek with a finger and replied, “I love you too, Cookie.”
After a few minutes Hannibal felt her settle down again with her little hand in the V of his shirt. He let her do that because she felt safer when she was touching his skin instead of just his shirt. He smiled as he felt her breathing slow into sleep. He soon joined in sleep because of all of the stress he had dealt with during the day had finally took it’s toll on him.
Part 5 – An Unwanted Visitor
A sinking feeling waked Hannibal up and when he opened his eyes he saw a gun pointed at his head. Joanna was clutching at his shirt and shaking. The man holding the gun told him to get up and take the kid with him into the living room. Joanna had her hands clutching his shirt right above his belt and was staying as close to him as she could. Joanna was a brave girl but he could tell she hadn’t expected anything like this to happen in her own home. When they got in the living room he held her closely to him and looked around. He saw Face, Frankie and BA were all sitting on the couch at gunpoint while he was told to sit in the chair. When Joanna hopped into his lap and clutched at his shirt one of the goons went to pull her away from him when he heard a voice tell the goon, “Leave her. What harm can a child do? Besides I know this one has to be her guardian if not her old man. Out of all of them I never would have thought this one would be a father. I always thought he was too old. He’s gotta be damn near 60 and he’s also gotten kind fat since we last ran into each other. Remember me, Smith?” He looked at him and responded sarcastically, “If it isn’t crazy old Dougie Kyle. What rock did you crawl out from under this morning or did you have to dig your way out of the dirt?” He got a hard slap to the face that gave him a split lip. He just smiled and said, “I guess you did dig out of the dirt. Otherwise you wouldn’t be so short tempered. You know that doesn’t mix very well with being psychotic. I guess your old buddies couldn’t handle you psychotic temper. Oh well that’s the breaks.” He got hit in the head with butt of a 9mm for that wise assed sentence. He was feeling dizzy but he wasn’t about to give up that easily. He felt a hand on his temple and looked down to see Joanna’s concerned blue eyes looking at him. He saw her palm had blood on it and knew why she was worried. He used his eyes to tell her he was all right. She remained quiet but he could tell she was trying to warn him to watch his step and be careful not to push Kyle too far. He was starting to wonder where all the ABELs were that were supposed to watch them. He could really use their help at the moment.
While Kyle and his men weren’t watching the team BA broke his ropes while Joanna had wandered over to Murdock without anyone noticing and cut the pilot’s ropes with a knife she had gotten out of Murdock’s flight jacket pocket. Then she cut Face’s ropes. While BA, Face and Murdock were fighting off Kyle’s buddies Joanna cut her father loose. After about 15 minutes or so Kyle’s gang is tied up and the ABELs show up. Hannibal sarcastically said, “Gee it’s nice to know we’re able to get help when we need it. You could have showed up a little earlier though guys.”
After all of Kyle’s men were taken care of Hannibal sat down on a stool in the kitchen to take care of the cut on his head. He saw Joanna get up on a stool and she started to take care of his cut. She washed it off and tried not to hurt him very much in the process, put some alcohol on it to clean it out well, and bandaged it for him. He asked, “Are you all right, Cookie?” She answered, “Yeah, I guess so. You really took a chance being as arrogant as you were. If I had lost you over something stupid like that I don’t know what I would have done. I probably wouldn’t care what happened to me any more. You’re all I have, Hannibal. I know I have the team too but you are my father and they are not. I don’t want to loose you until I have no choice but to accept it because of old age. I can understand if you get killed on a mission because you or the team couldn’t help it or a freak accident happens but not through you mouthing off. You should know from experience all that does is get you deeper in trouble. Sometimes I think you’re askin to get killed.” He hugged her and replied, “I’m sorry, Cookie. Sometimes I just can’t help it. That’s part of who I am. It’s what happens when I’m on the Jazz. I get daring and don’t fear anything. It just comes naturally for me. I’d rather die on the Jazz than scared. I accepted dying a long time ago even though I still don’t like the idea that much.” She had started to cry and he held her close to him while she cried on his shoulder. After she stopped crying she got off the stool and went into the parlor. He followed her and found her sitting on the couch. He sat down next to her and she curled up against him. She put her head on his shoulder and her hand on the curve between his belly and his ribs. He wrapped an arm around her shoulders and hugged her. They fell asleep together in that position for about an hour.
Part 6 – Disaster
About a month later Stockwell asked Hannibal to go on a mission to China without the team. He had agreed and went on the mission but got caught and injured. When the team found out they all flipped and Joanna started to close off everything and everyone. Murdock was the only person who could get through her haze and sometimes he couldn’t get through anyway. She wouldn’t eat, sleep, or talk. She just sat on the bed rocking back and forth holding a picture she had of Hannibal holding her. Hannibal was sitting in his customary seat in the van with her on his lap. He was wearing his maroon shirt with it open and unbuttoned to the 3rd button down, ivory jacket and brown pants. She was wearing her typical black skirt, sneakers, tennis type jacket and a white shirt and socks. They both were on the Jazz and had that Grin on their faces while Hannibal held her closely to him. He was holding a cigar in one hand while he held her and her hands were over his around her waist. She just wished Stockwell hadn’t split them up like that. She was determined to get even with Stockwell if they didn’t find her father. That jerk of a General would pay for this. She had hated the general from the beginning and now she wanted him to disappear forever. He had brought nothing but trouble to her family and now she may have lost her father because of this evil man.
Murdock didn’t know what to do for her to try and cheer her up. Hannibal was everything to that little girl and with her father missing and possibly dead he was really worried about her. He had never seen her react to anything like this before and knew until he could get to talk to him there was no way to snap her out of it. It looked like she was having the same type of reaction he used to have all the time when he wanted to block out the pain and pretend what had happened wasn’t real. After arguing with Stockwell about the whole team going to find Hannibal he saw Joanna walk into the living room and stop in front of Stockwell. He heard her calmly and coldly say, “If my father is dead, Stockwell you will regret it forever. I will not let you forget how you tore this family apart. You knew we work better together and sending one alone was a stupid idea. You will pay, Hunt Stockwell. I swear it.” He saw a flicker of something cross Stockwell’s faced and then it was gone. He went over to Joanna and led her to the couch. He let her sit in his lap and cry on his shoulder. He looked at the others as if to ask if they agreed with Joanna and they nodded at him. He said, “That goes for all of us, General.”
The next day everyone took off for China to try and find Hannibal. Joanna stayed with Murdock and would not let him go anywhere without him. She may have lost her father but she’d be damned if she was going to loose her guardian as well. Whenever she noticed Murdock and Face disappearing she would follow them. After a few days they found out what was going on and finally found Hannibal. When she saw them bringing Hannibal to the truck she started to cry. As soon as they had him in the truck she was kissing him all over his face and had her arms around his neck.
Hannibal was glad when the team found him. He was asking about Joanna even though he was weak from blood loss and dehydration. He really didn’t need to ask because as soon as he was in the truck Joanna was all over him and ecstatic. She was kissing his face everyplace she could and wrapping her arms around his neck. He used his good arm to hug her and she cuddled up next to him with her head on his shoulder. He kissed the top of her head and quietly told her, “I’m happy to see you too, Cookie. Don’t worry about me because I’m fine. I’m just a little weak. I think after this disaster is over if the General tries to split this team up again I’m gonna tell him to shove it. We are a team and only work well as a team.” After they finished the job they went back to Virginia. Stockwell gave them some time off and promised he wouldn’t try to split the team up again unless there was a very good reason.
Part 7 Ç The Pardons
As the years went by the team did a lot of suicidal type of missions. Joanna had quickly learned how to use a pistol and protect herself while she was helping the team on missions. Hannibal and Murdock had taught her well. She would help cover a team member’s back on a mission. It also normally her father’s back she was helping protect and watch out for because he had this habit of ignoring a lot of things when he goes on the “Jazz” and normally got himself and the others in a lot of trouble.
The latest mission Hannibal had managed to get them caught and some of them were hurt. Face had a lot of bruises, Murdock had gotten a broken ankle, BA was his normal grouchy self, Frankie had a minor concussion, Joanna had a broken arm, and Hannibal had a broken wrist. All of them wanted to give Stockwell a broken nose for the mission. After they were healed Stockwell came to see them. As the general walked into the room everyone said, “Not again!” They all sat on the couch and listened to what Stockwell had to say. Everyone’s jaws dropped when he handed them their pardons.
When Stockwell left and the team snapped out of it Murdock jumped up and kissed everybody happily congratulating them whether they wanted it or not. Joanna hopped onto her father’s lap and gave him a bunch of hugs and kisses. They all sat down together and talked about what they were going to do now that they were free men again. They all agreed on going back to being Soldiers of Fortune for a little while until they found a better job. After they had decided on what they were going to do Hannibal chuckled and said, “I love it when a plan comes together!” Everyone just looked at him with that crazy grin and replied, “He’s on the “Jazz” again!” All they could think of was that they were all in for it now because Hannibal on the “Jazz” meant a lot of trouble. They all got packed and left Virginia to go back to LA to start their lives all over again without having to fear being caught and shot by the Military.