The Case of Kinnegal's Banshee

Disclaimer: I do not own The A Team movie or television series or any of the delightful characters found on The A Team.

Chapter 1 Home to Chicago

B. A. pulled up to the apartment building at 700 Foster Avenue with a rare broad grin on his face. Hannibal had dozed off somewhere in the middle of Illinois. Murdock and Face were slumped in the rear passenger seats, their jackets between their heads and the sides of the van interior. Both had been sleeping soundly since the van crossed the Iowa state line.

That gave B. A. a little more than an hour and a half to glance across snow-covered fields and remember what mid-March weather was like in Chicago. He hoped snow would fall while they were there. He did not realize how much he missed the early spring weather of home.

They were arriving at his Momma's apartment in time for the guys to celebrate Saint Patrick's Day. He knew none of them were Irish . . . heck, Murdock had Scottish blood in him . . . but that wouldn't prevent his team from going out and finding an authentic Irish pub for some green beer.

B. A. would not accompany them. He never drank alcohol and the pubs probably didn't serve milk. He didn't mind. It would give him time alone with his mother.

He knew the guys had never seen a river flow green like the Chicago River did each Saint Patrick's Day with the special dye put in it. The parade up South Columbus Drive was fun to watch, even if you weren't Irish.

This Chicago vacation was long overdue. B. A. was home and happy to be there.

"Hannibal, Face, Murdock, time to wake up. Momma'll be waitin' for us." He slipped back into his normally scowling bad attitude. It was bad enough his Momma insisted on calling him Scooter in front of the guys. If he showed his soft side, they would use his nickname the entire time and show no mercy.

Murdock cracked his eyelids open and squinted out the window at the apartment building. He yawned widely and leaned over to shake Face's shoulder. "We're here, amigo."

Face brushed away the pilot's hand and murmured something. Leaning closer, Murdock heard, "Not again, Jeannine. Don't you ever sleep?"

The pilot smirked. "No, never," he said in his best falsetto. As Face opened his eyes with a start, Murdock batted his eyelashes at him with a coy smile. The conman glared at his friend and jerked open the door.

"Hey, man. Watch what you do to my ride!" B. A. shot Face a cold mean stare.

Hannibal was already opening the van door by the time the two men in the back had their jackets on. "Murdock, you take your and B. A.'s bags up to the apartment while he finds a place to park."

"Got it, Colonel." The pilot put up a fist with the "thumbs up" gesture as he reached for both duffle bags in the back. Lifting B. A.'s bag, he grunted out a heavy breath. "Man, what d'you have in here, Big Guy? Bricks?"

"A few gifts for Momma. You wanna make somethin' of that, fool?" The scowl B. A. shot Murdock made the pilot widen his eyes and put up a reconciliatory hand.

"No problemo, muchacho. Just wonderin'." He rolled his eyes at Face as he lifted both bags and trudged up the steps to the building.

B. A. rolled down his window and shouted, "'N' don' drop that bag or I'm gonna drop you! Don' want Momma's gifts broke 'cause of you."

"Now, B. A., you know Murdock will be very careful with anything you've gotten your mother. After all, she has as much as adopted him as her own son. That makes him your brother in a way." Hannibal grinned, his eyes sparkling with the mischief he knew he was causing.

"Don' you start, Hannibal. I was gettin' use to the quiet when that fool was 'sleep. You do the brother bit 'n' I won' hear the end of it the whole two weeks." The bejeweled driver pointed one finger at the Colonel and frowned.

Before hoisting his bag on his shoulder, Hannibal grinned once more. "I don't know, B. A. I thought I heard your mother was thinking of letting you two 'brothers' bunk together the entire time."

The Sergeant gave him a threatening low growl and pulled the van away from the curb.

Mrs. Baracus was waiting for them at the door to let them into the building. "I'm so happy to be able to celebrate one holiday with all of you even if it can't be Christmas." She shook Hannibal's and Face's hands and welcomed Murdock with a motherly embrace.

"How's my adopted son been doing?" she said as she held him at arms' length to scrutinize his physical health. "You look a little thin. Has Scooter been letting you eat? He has so healthy an appetite, I think he sometimes forgets there's more than just him at the table."

Face interrupted. "You can ask him yourself. Here he is."

Mrs. Baracus turned and was enveloped in the burly Sergeant's arms. "How ya doin', Momma? No more problems with the neighbors?"

"No. Things have been quiet around here. You remember Mr. Kinnegal from 302? His oldest daughter and her husband bought a house and he's living with them now."

"He still own that Irish pub on West 111th Street? What was it called? Kinnegal's Thirsty Dog or somethin' like that?" B. A. frowned, trying to remember.

"Yes, but he's been having problems keeping help. You remember Keelin, his youngest daughter? She's about the only one who's stayed on to work." Mrs. Baracus shook her head with a sad smile.

"Keelin. You don' mean that little brown-haired freckled girl used to win at king o' the mountain when it snowed?" The Sergeant snorted at the memory. "Let her win a lotta the time 'cause she kicked hard when she was mad."

Face smirked. "You let a girl win at king of the mountain? Scooter." Murdock and Face glanced at each other and burst out laughing. One look from B. A. silenced them but didn't prevent them from giving each other smug smiles.

"The very girl. Come on upstairs, all of you. I've got a beef roast cooking in the oven and lots of other food, too. You're probably all famished." She led the way up the stairs to her apartment on the third floor.