Disclaimer: I do not own The A-Team. All characters, apart from any OCs, belong to Stephen J. Cannell, Frank Lupo, and Universal Studios. I make no profit from this story.
Author's Note: This story is actually inspired by a video I saw on the Dwight Schultz Fansite YouTube channel. In the video, Dirk Benedict and Dwight Schultz explained why The A-Team was canceled and Schultz states that the show should have gone for seven years. Before seeing this video, I had read that season 5 was supposed to have 22 episodes, but the show had been canceled after 13 episodes. So, I got to thinking about continuing the story of our favorite crack commando unit, then I decided I would try it. Seeing as how this is fanfiction, I am planning to take this story to a completely different level. At least for me. We'll continue about a few months after 'Without Reservations', and go from there.
Interested in the adventure? Well stick around, because so am I!
Please enjoy! I hope you like this story/chapter, and I'd love to know what you think, so reviews are more than welcomed!
The A-Team: Running Again, Prologue.
0630 hrs, September 4th, 1987. Friday. Location: Langley, VA.
John 'Hannibal' Smith stared at the ceiling, the early morning light barely illuminating his bedroom. From what he could tell by the light, it was going to be a cloudy day. And likely windy, possibly some rain thrown in there as well. Not too different from the weather over the past month or so, but there had been enough excitement and errands to keep them occupied until now. Face had just made a full recovery from his wound, and had loved being spoiled by his teammates while it lasted. Unfortunately for him, things had recently come to an end, and now he was forced to go out and do things instead of lounging on the couch. Hannibal had to deal with another injured man alongside Face for a few weeks after Murdock slipped in the mud and sprained his ankle while helping B.A. with a few boxes, on top of that both B.A. and Murdock had gotten colds from being in the cold rain for so long. So Hannibal and Frankie spent most of their time getting pain meds and cough syrup for their friends. Now that everyone was in good health, Hannibal had decided it was time for some spring cleaning. An Frankie's bedroom needed it the most.
Hannibal chuckled to himself. He thought he sounded like a parent with that way of thinking, but it was true. Frankie's room was awful looking, as if a hurricane and a tornado had gone through it. Glancing towards his bedroom window, Hannibal could see the sky was now a clear white, likely covered with clouds. Getting out of bed, he walked over to the window, opening the blinds and letting out a sigh. Indeed, the sky seemed to be nothing but an endless sea of white, dark gray, light gray, even a few black clouds scattered across the sky. Hannibal squinted to see the almost invisible drops of rain as a slight drizzle watered the earth.
Not bothering to change clothes, Hannibal walked across the room and opened the front door, making his way down the hallway and stairs, each footstep silent, save for the occasional squeak from the stairs as he walked down into the Living Room. The house was dark, for the most part, except for the faint light creeping in from the windows. It would seem that Hannibal had the house to himself until his team awoke and started the day.
After making a fresh pot of coffee and pouring himself a cup, Hannibal sat down at the table, sipping slowly on his drink. He began to think back to what had happened recently. Murdock had decided to move in with the rest of the Team, mainly out of growing concern for his friends. When Hannibal had asked about the reason for his sudden choice, the pilot had simply stated that he had an odd feeling things were going to be changing soon and he wanted to be close to everyone in case of an emergency. That had been at Christmas and Murdock had lived there ever since.
The sound of a door opening upstairs shook Hannibal from his muse. Looking up curiously, he was greeted by the tired looking form of Face as his Lieutenant made his way into the kitchen without a single word, poured himself a cup of coffee, and then sat down across the table and sipped contently on the hot drink. Hannibal, still waking up himself, said nothing to Face and both men sat in silence.
The silence made Hannibal wonder if their life was too boring now. After all, now they got the job done faster than you could say 'I love it when a plan comes together', and it had honestly started to bore the Colonel. He was used to a challenge, and if anything he welcomed one. But now Stockwell chose their jobs. Stockwell offered them supplies. All of the Team's skill was going to waste. Face couldn't really scam supplies for them. Murdock couldn't really fly. Stockwell offered them transportation, whether Murdock was the pilot or not. Hannibal didn't have a real adrenaline rush anymore. Things were dull, uneventful. They weren't actually helping anybody except the government, and no real people were benefiting from their assistance. The governmsnt could handle themselves, but no. Instead, Hannibal and his men were locked up like animals, forced to hunt for people who could catch their own prey just fine without them. And rescue people who could just as easily be rescued with a SWAT Team. Caught up in his thoughts, Hannibal couldn't prevent himself from muttering, "A pardon isn't worth this..."
"Huh?" Face asked suddenly, his voice a bit drowsy sounding as he raised an eyebrow at Hannibal.
"I said, a pardon isn't worth this." Hannibal decided Face should know what was on his mind. "This comfortable life style. I don't like standing still for too long, you know that. We've been in the same place for over a year now. I suppose I've grown to somewhat enjoy this life, and I'm not complaining, but I miss the way things were. I miss Amy, and Maggie. H*ll, I even miss Decker!" He blurted out, earning him a briefly confused expression from Face, but after a few minutes, the conman processed the words that had been said to him.
"I know, Hannibal." Face, his tiredness beginning to fade away, ran a hand through his dirty blond hair and sighed. "We're used to living on the run. Never staying in one place for to long, and sudden changes can affect you. I wouldn't mind forgetting this whole pardon business and helping people who could actually benefit from our help. Instead of working and offering loyalty to a bunch of people who could send a SWAT Team in our place if we accidentally screw up and blow ourselves into a tiny million pieces. Treating us like we're garbage if we don't get them what they want and they have to lift a finger for once. And if we succeed we don't even get a thank you." Every word was dripping with venom as Face spat the words out, and Hannibal narrowed his eyes. Somehow, Face seemed to hold almost identical, if not the same, thoughts.
"We should tell Stockwell that." Hannibal smirked as a thought entered his mind. "I'd love to see the look on that snake's face when he realizes he's losing his favorite puppets. I'm tired of being controlled by him."
Face gave a surprised glance at his commander. "You'd risk the wrath of General Stockwell? Why? The Jazz?" He scoffed, taking a long sip from his coffee.
"Yes, actually. Do you have a cigar on you by any chance?" Hannibal said, watching as Face choked on the dark brown liquid and quickly spit it out in his cup, coughing. Of course Face would be a bit shocked, but Hannibal suspected he was just worried. His suspicions were confirmed when Face shook his head. "No, Hannibal I don't. Not right now, at least. And even if I did, I'm not giving it to you!"
"Because I'm not insane!" Face snapped, lowering his voice. "Do you want Stockwell to murder us?!"
Hannibal crossed his arms. "You said you wouldn't mind leaving?"
"That doesn't mean I'm going to!" Glancing around cautiously in case Stockwell's men were nearby, Face leaned closer to Hannibal. "I said I missed the way things were, Hannibal. Why would we leave?"
"Because it's clear that we aren't getting our pardons any time soon." Hannibal hissed. "I want to be free, Face."
"If we're on the run, Hannibal, we aren't free!" Face pointed out, and Hannibal rolled his eyes.
"You know what I mean, Face." Hannibal told him. "You said it yourself. That you'd rather help people who could benefit from it. If we escape, this would be the perfect opportunity to do just that!" Hannibal saw a spark of interest in Face's eyes, the drowsiness gone, and he could tell that his second-in-command was greatly considering his leader's words. But before Face could reply, Murdock came trotting down the stairs, wide awake, B.A. following close behind more slowly than the pilot, looking exhausted. Instantly, they both picked up on the seriousness of their two friends and stopped. "What's going on?" Murdock asked.
"Murdock, B.A., wake Frankie. I want to talk to you guys." Hannibal ordered, then searched his pocket for a cigar. Turning to Face, he quickly added, "And all of us need to get dressed."
1345 hrs, September 4th, 1987. Friday. Location: Langley, VA.
General Hunt Stockwell stepped out of a long black car, his black, graying hair groomed neatly to match his professional look. Sunglasses fell over his dark eyes, making the world possess an orange-yellow glow. Although there was no sun to shield his eyes from, he still insisted on wearing them. His assistant, Carla, was walking beside him as usual, curly blonde hair bouncing on her shoulders as she walked in step with him. Soon enough, they were at the front door of The A-Team's safe house. Without bothering to knock, Stockwell turned the door knob. As the front door swung open, he entered to find his two guards knocked out and tied up. Fury crept its way up his throat.
Stockwell marched to the other end of the house, stepping into the backyard. Without much searching he easily found The A-Team, lounging around the pool and talking. "Ah, Colonel Smith! No girls today? I would have figured after you took out Abel 2 and Abel 6 that you'd be sipping on martinis with a few bikini clad women." His greeting was pleasant sounding, but far from friendly. He could tell from the shocked and hurt expressions he earned from Smith and his men that they had not been expecting the General to show up. "What's the matter? Surprised I paid you a visit this fine, rainy afternoon?"
Smith stood up, taking what was likely his millionth cigar of the day, out of his mouth and crossing his arms. "Well, it'd be nice if you would ring the bell next time." Turning to Lieutenant Peck he shrugged. "Told ya we should start locking the doors."
Peck shook his head sadly. "Gee, Hannibal, I'm sorry, I forgot. You told me to do that last night, didn't you?"
Stockwell flashed an annoyed glare at Peck, and then turned his attention back to Col. Smith. "I expect your ready for your next mission?"
"Well, actually Stockwell, we've got to talk to you about something." Smith had a defiant glitter in his eye that made Stockwell suspicious of what was coming next. "You see, General, we're tired of these missions. We don't want to rescue some CIA agent that was stupid enough to get caught in the first place. We want to help people that need our help."
"Actually, your rescuing four CIA agents this time." Stockwell tried to play it cool, attempting to ignore Smith's words.
"What we're trying to say, Stockwell, is that we want things to go back to the way it was before you blackmailed us into working for you."
Something inside Stockwell snapped, and he allowed his voice to grow dark and menacing. "Really? You want to go back on the run and live as a group of outlaws 'helping' people with their problems? All while destroying their land and homes?" He seethed, and Smith narrowed his ice cold eyes.
"If that's what it takes, yes." Smith said steadily. "You could care less what happens to us, and you know it. You act like we're so precious, but you're only using us. Were we ever going to get our pardons, Stockwell? Huh? Were we?"
"That is for me to know." Stockwell replied. "And if you decide to forget this foolish idea, you might get to find out."
Smith curled his hand into a fist and lifted it up as if he was going to hit Stockwell, but instead he flicked two fingers in the air and motioned towards Carla. In an instant The A-Team all rose to their feet, pulling out weapons and pointing them at Stockwell and his assistant. "Face, Murdock, do something with her," Smith ordered, "Frankie, take care of the driver of his car, B.A., get the van ready."
As Peck and Murdock approached Carla, Peck flashed a small smile. "Sorry to have to do this to such a pretty girl but, eh, we don't want you to call for backup, now do we?" He asked, but thankfully Carla remained quiet and didn't put up a fight as the two men dragged her inside, likely to soom join Abel 2 and Abel 6.
"What are you going to do Smith? Where are you going to go? The moment you head out into the world is the moment the government declares you fugitives again! Do you want that?!" Smith ignored him, abruptly landing a solid punch to Stockwell's lower jaw. The last thing the General could remember, was the echo of voices around him, and then everything went black.
Hannibal listened to the shaky breathing coming from Face, Murdock, and Frankie in the back. "Gets the old heart pumping again, doesn't it fellas?" Sticking a cigar in his mouth he grinned like the Cheshire Cat.
"Hannibal, we should have thought this through a bit more, don't you think?" Face asked. "I mean, we just packed what we needed and took off. What's next? Y'know Stockwell's gonna be after us! Where are we gonna go now?"
"Well, first I figured we'd get a little help." Hannibal said, eyes sparkling. "We'll each track down some old...friends, shall we say. What do you guys think?"
"What do you mean 'friends'?" Face demanded.
"You'll see, Lieutenant." Hannibal chuckled. "You'll see!"
B.A. shook his head, keeping his eyes on the road as they returned to their old lives, once again abandoned by their country. But only one thing made Hannibal's grin grow wider, if that was even possible, and that was B.A. as he muttered to himself, "Man's on the Jazz. He's on the Jazz..."