Under Wraps

By Clarity Scifiroots

Disclaimers apply.

Fandom: The A-Team/Man from UNCLECharacters: Stockwell, Illya, the Team

Spoilers: Without Reservations

Summary: A gen fic taking a look at Stockwell's reaction to the events of "Without Reservations"... and he gets a little support from an old friend.

Fourteenth day of June!fic! For keireke's "aftermath/consequences" request

Edited July 6, 2006

"Carla, contact IK and inform him I've been detained by matters of importance."

"Yes, General. You are returning immediately?"

"I will handle this myself, Carla," he said in a firm voice. She nodded that she understood before the video connection cut out.

With a quiet sigh, General Stockwell slumped back into his high-backed chair and considered the report he'd heard just before contacting his aide. It seemed his best team attracted dangerous attention even on vacation. Christ, he would have thought he'd at least have time to land and settle into his hotel in New York before they stirred up trouble. Not his luck, it seemed.

While irritated that the meeting with his good friend had been delayed once again, Stockwell knew he needed to head back to DC. The flight would only take about an hour and he could get to the hospital long before the surgery was completed. The time had come, he knew, to finalize some decisions.

The plane was taxiing when the phone rang. "Hello?" Stockwell answered, steeling himself for bad news.

"What exactly are your important matters?"

Relaxingly minutely and resisting the urge to smirk, Stockwell cradled the phone comfortably against his ear. "Apologies, my friend. I have told you of the team's uncanny ability to find trouble, have I not?"

"I believe you conceded vacation time?"

"Which means nothing in the scheme of things. One of their men is in surgery right now for a serious gunshot wound."

"Not fatal, I hope."

"I don't believe so, but from what information I have at the moment, it seems they were cutting it close."

Silence on the other end for a few moments. Stockwell noticed that the plane had come to a stop.

"You don't need to watch them anymore."

Stockwell closed his eyes. "I know. It will be a significant loss, but it's time."

His friend's amusement came through clearly. "You could always hire them when need be."

"At extravagant cost? No, no. I already have to carefully craft my wording to justify the expenses."

"You should be going. I will check with you later."

"I apologize again."

"These things come up."



"... I will see you soon."

"We'll see, Napoleon."

"Didn't expect to see you here, General." Smith hid his surprise well beneath a derogatory tone. "Come to ensure you keep the winning hand?"

Stockwell didn't allow the tone to affect him. "I'd appreciate a full report, Colonel."

Smith tugged the ever-present cigar from between his teeth and used it to point as he spoke. "Well you'll just have to wait on that. I happen to have a man down somewhere beyond those doors over there and he's my only concern right now. The attorney general's perfectly fine, so at this point I don't honestly give a shit about any report you might want."

"How is he?"

It didn't appear that Smith had expected that. He eyed Stockwell carefully as he returned the cigar to his mouth and puffed silently for long moments. "We're pushing it," he finally admitted, grudgingly. "They're not too sure how he'll pull through."

"I'll be sure that arrangements are made to have the best care made available, Colonel," Stockwell said.

Smith leveled him with a serious glare. "I want you to let him go." His tone did not indicate it was a suggestion.

With a slight smile, Stockwell responded, "The thought had crossed my mind. If you'd like to discuss your pardons...?"

The cigar fell from Smith's mouth as he gaped in surprise. The other team members, who had been sitting nearby and not-so-inconspicuously listening, stood abruptly and came over—inadvertently forming a loose circle around the general.

"I'm a man of my word, gentlemen," Stockwell said coolly, his tone hiding far more than the team could ever guess. He wondered if they would ever fully understand the events that had landed them in Langley. "I prefer to see that Mr. Peck comes through surgery successfully before making the appropriate arrangements, if you have no objections."

"You're serious..." Frankie Santana said in wide-eyed amazement.

"What's the catch, Stockwell?" Smith asked warily, Baracus and Murdock's expressions suggested a similar feeling of unease.

"I doubt you'll believe me when I say no strings attached, Colonel, so we'll see about coming to an agreement when the pardons are in hand. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a few phone calls to make." He turned, waiting until Murdock moved out of the way before heading towards the nurse's station to find a room with a private phone.

"That's the doctor," Murdock murmured, nudging Smith with his elbow.

Stockwell stood up straighter, watching the doctor's steady progress towards the group. He'd learned over the years how to read medical staff's body language, and while the man's body was hunched in weariness, there was a spark in his eye that shone with success.

"The surgery went well. I expect the recovery will take some time. We'll watch closely over the next forty-eight hours, but I believe cautious optimism is acceptable."

A familiar touch brushed Stockwell's elbow and he turned his head, surprised to see his friend standing to his side. Illya smirked knowingly at him. "I see things went well."

"They have at that."

The blonde inclined his head towards the rejoicing teammates. "You'll have to introduce me before you get rid of them."

Snorting quietly, Stockwell—Napoleon—guided his friend down the hall and towards the exit. "Let's have some dinner, I doubt my presence will be welcome here."

"Turned off that old charm, I see. Regrettable," Illya commented. He smiled sidelong at his friend, amusement dancing in his eyes.


(for now)