Author's note: This idea just sort of leapt out at me. Not sure how anybody will take it haha. Apologies to Casablanca, but know that I love the movie. It's my bizarre homage to it. :D For those of you who haven't seen it, I hope that you would! It's a classic. I don't own Casablanca, or the A-Team for that matter. This story is just the prodcuct of my being on the jazz... Hope you enjoy!
The runway was laced with fog and the floodlights glowed blurrily in the darkness. Puddles were scattered across the tarmac, left over from the evening rain and the rolling clouds suggested more was still to come. Lieutenant Templeton "Faceman" Peck stood by the wing of the small sliver plane that was going to take them from Los Angeles to Guadalajara, luck and weather permitting. He shook his head and heaved a sigh, checking his watch.
"We almost ready to go, Murdock?" he called into the fuselage.
"Don't get excited, Peck. This bird'll be good to go in no time."
Face pursed his lips, frowning as Murdock leaned into view, a serious expression and a fedora characterizing his current Bogart phase. Ever since the V.A. had run a double feature of The Maltese Falcon and Casablanca, the pilot had slipped into his "Mac Murdock" persona and showed no intention of changing it. He'd been calling everyone by their last names and bizarre monikers for awhile now, all in his spot-on impersonation of Humphrey Bogart.
"Keep it up, Murdock and you'll turn into Bogart, with bags under your eyes and everything."
The pilot narrowed his eyes and slid out of the fuselage to stand beside Face, straightening his fedora. He reached into his jacket as he spoke.
"You're a funny guy, chuckles. Lemme tell you somethin'…" Murdock pulled a Dum Dum sucker from his pocket and popped it into his mouth. The stick resembled something like a cigarette. "I stick my neck out for nobody, understand?"
"Yes," Face sighed. "I understand."
Murdock nodded, leaning moodily against the wing. "Funny and smart. You've got potential, Peck."
Face rolled his eyes, tucking his hands into his pockets, and looked back down the runway. Through the thin clouds of fog, he could see Hannibal approaching up ahead; surprisingly, B.A. was following him, inexplicably conscious.
And worst of all, he was furious.
"I ain't gettin' on no plane, Hannibal!"
Face winced as B.A.'s voice boomed across the tarmac. Murdock looked up calmly, brown eyes shining with amused interest. He moved the small lollipop to the other side of his mouth, watching as Hannibal conferred with the Sergeant. Face bounced on his heels and shook his head.
"Baracus forgot to take his milk an' cookies along for the flight. Though I should have known it was bound to happen…"
Face interrupted Murdock's "inner monologue." "Just great! How're we going to get out of here on time? The rooms I booked us weren't cheap, y'know…and besides, all that stuff with Decker…"
"The guy whined a lot. But I put up with it because he was one hell of a scrounger—"
Face shot Murdock a warning stare and the pilot almost smiled. Hannibal had made his way over to them, looking uncharacteristically frustrated.
"Don't tell me," began the Lieutenant, "He's not up for it?"
Hannibal shook his head. "I can't get him to budge."
"He caught you spiking his milk, didn't he?"
"To be fair, Face, we're on a bit of a time constraint."
Murdock watched them pensively, the stick of the lollipop moving side to side between his lips. Face laughed humorlessly and gestured around them with his arms.
"Well, after we deliberately made Decker look like an idiot again—which, was all your idea, by the way—I wouldn't be surprised!"
Hannibal grinned in spite of himself, which only annoyed Face further. Murdock's eyes narrowed under the fedora and he tilted his head.
"I just might have an idea," he announced, taking the sucker from his mouth, flicking invisible ashes from the end.
Hannibal raised his eyebrows; Face shook his head in disbelief.
"Go right ahead, Captain," said the former, "Every little bit helps, considering."
Murdock pushed himself from the plane's wing and headed toward B.A., who was still standing ahead, arms crossed defiantly.
"Whatever he's trying to do, we don't have time to do it!" Face hissed as Murdock approached the ever-scowling Sergeant, somehow managing to actually walk in character.
Hannibal smirked. "Haven't you ever seen Casablanca?" Face stared at him, watching as his commanding officer reached for a cigar. "I'd say the chances of this working are pretty good."
Face snorted. "Uh-huh, sure. And I've got a date with Ingrid Bergman. This is going nowhere fast, Hannibal! Pretty soon we're going to be missing a pilot!"
"Face," Hannibal laughed lightly. "Just watch."
Murdock had stopped in front of B.A. and stared at him a moment before speaking, taking the sucker from his mouth. The wind swirled the fog around them.
"You've gotta get on that plane."
The Sergeant glared. "Fat chance, sucka!"
Murdock shook his head soberly. "B.A., you've got to."
Before the other man could protest, distant sirens interrupted him, echoing eerily across the runway. Flashes of blue and red appeared on the horizon. Murdock looked back at Face and Hannibal, the latter seemingly unfazed. When he turned back to B.A., he could see the same expression.
"That's Decker," Murdock told him, "You know it."
"I ain't gettin' on that plane, fool. Decker or no Decker!"
Murdock grabbed B.A. by the shoulders, never once breaking character. The Sergeant flinched and his scowl deepened.
"If you don't get on that plane, you're gonna regret it."
"Oh, maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but someday soon, B.A. And for the rest of your life!"
The sirens were getting closer; behind them, Face shouted to hurry up and Hannibal just laughed. B.A. was getting anxious despite his earlier claim. He glanced over his shoulder at the approaching lights and turned back to Murdock, shrugging violently out of his grip.
"You're crazy, man!"
A hint of a smile lit up Murdock's face. "I'll always be crazy."
Face shouted again. The sirens were closer still, piercing and urgent. B.A. growled, scowling begrudgingly at the pilot. Murdock held his gaze, trying to hide the smirk forming across his lips.
"If I get on that stupid thing, will you shut up with all this jibber jabber?"
Murdock had to stay in character for one final line. "Yes I will, muchacho."
B.A. made a move to grab the lapels of his jacket and proceed with a pounding, but Murdock expertly ducked and ran back to the plane, one hand holding down his fedora. B.A. followed after him, bellowing,
"I'm gonna kill him for makin' me do this, Hannibal!"
Face heaved a sigh, hoping Murdock wouldn't choke on his "cigarette" as he watched him practically leap into the plane to avoid a beating. The subsequent clattering suggested Murdock had made it to the cockpit and the sputtering of the engine verified Face's assumption. B.A. had already jumped inside and Face headed in after him as the rotors began to growl. Hannibal followed suit, pausing to grin at the approaching MP cars before slamming the hatchway shut.
Face hurried to strap B.A. into his seat before he could go after the pilot, who cackled from the cockpit. The Lieutenant slumped into a seat beside Hannibal, wishing the plane would taxi faster. He looked over at the grinning Colonel helplessly, blinking as a puff of smoke curled into his vision.
"Here's lookin' at you, kid."
Face groaned as the plane rumbled all around them and gunfire sounded outside.
"You just had to say it, didn't you?"
Hannibal laughed. "Murdock's not the only fan of the classics."
The plane finally began its ascent; Murdock howled his usual "Yeeeeeeehoooooo!" and the engines whirred loudly as they finally cleared the runway, soaring through the fog into the night sky. Face cracked his head against the wall of the fuselage and growled, rubbing away the pain. After they had been flying for a few minutes, the PA system crackled and "Mac Murdock's" voice sounded through the speakers.
"Gentlemen, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful mission."
Face pressed his hands to his cheeks and wished he were really going on that date with Ingrid Bergman as the plane whisked them away through the clouds to their destination.