Disclaimer: I do not own nor did I create any of the A-team characters (main or support) nor do I own nor did I create any of the episodes. That credit is due to Stephen J. Cannell and his associates. Including Sr. Catherine and Angels Guardians.
Dean is mine - a creation of my imagination.
Spoiler Alert: None the piece/plot is all my creation.
Author's Summary: Face meets someone a lot like himself.
A Stoop in Time by: LAGC
The little boy was sitting alone on the steps of the school. He was fiddling with a stick. A shaggy mop of flaxen hair obscured his eyes. But judging from the muddy streaks down his dirty cheeks those hidden eyes were red from crying. His knee was scrapped and a bit bloodied.
None of the other kids on the playground seemed to be noticing him.
The gut punch the scene gave the Lieutenant was harder than anyone that he'd ever gotten from the thugs and low life's the team encounters. The feelings that the little boy was stirring up, well those he didn't even want to contemplate. He took a deep breath which unintentionally drew the attention of his teammates. Hannibal caught on immediately. His normally steel blue eyes softening and clouding with unspoken emotions. B. A. fidgeted with his chains and shuffled his feet. Murdock placed a hand on Face's shoulder but was uncharacteristically silent.
Face took a step toward the little guy. Who glanced up quickly and guardedly.
"Hi there," Face said. "Those injuries look uncomfortable," he added to try to engage the kid in conversation. The boy didn't say anything but shrugged his shoulders in a noncommittal way.
"My name is Face. What's yours?"
"Face? Face is a word not a name." answered the little guy in a belligerently curious tone.
Face chuckled and explained, "Its a nickname that my friends gave me. My real name is Templeton."
"I think I like Face better, it's easier to say"
Faceman chuckled again.
"My name is Dean. Nobody's given me a nickname." Face's heart bled at the loneliness in that simple statement.
Up this close, Face could see that the scrapped knee was joined by a scrapped elbow and opposite palm. The lieutenant assessed that Dean had taken a fall.
"What happened to your knee?" he asked.
"I fell off the swing." Something in the boys tone told Face that this wasn't the entire story.
"How about we go get those injuries taken care of," suggested Face.
"Naw. I'll be okay. Besides if I go to get a band-aid Sister Catherine will ask too many questions."
Now, Face knew that there was more to Dean's story. He also remembered how persistent Sr. Catherine could be.
"Yes, I'm sure Sister would ask all the tough questions. How about this, there is a first aid kit in my friend's van. How about we use that one?"
At this suggestion, Dean finally looked up. His bright blue eyes sparkling with excitement.
"Ya mean the really cool black and red one! The one all the big boys have been circling all day? I'd get to see the inside?!"
"That's the one. And I bet if you let us clean up those scraps really well. My friend, B. A. will let you sit in the driver's seat."
Dean jumped up and anxiously waited for Face to move.
"Kinda get the feeling we're looking into a time-warp Big Guy?" Murdock asked.
"For once I understand your jibber jabber, Fool. He can't be much older than Face was when he first got here." answered B. A. with quiet compassion.
Their conversation stopped as the blue-eyed pair of orphans approached the van where they were waiting. They greeted the boy and Face warmly.
Face introduced Dean to Murdock and B. A. Dean was so enthralled by the van that he didn't comment on their names. They had Dean sit in Faceman's usual chair. Faceman cleaned up the cuts while Murdock distracted the boy with impressions of Sylvester the Cat, and Woody Woodpecker. Then Faceman washed Dean's muddy face.
True to Face's promise, the Big Guy, let Dean sit in the drivers seat and pretend to ride off on an adventure. Face "rode" shot gun, making small talk. Eventually he steered the conversation back to the swings because he wanted to hear the rest of the story.
"So were you swinging really high when you fell?"
Distracted by his "driving" Dean answered unintentionally,
"Swinging high wasn't the problem. The fact that Jake didn't catch me was. He didn't even try - even though he said he would when he talked me into jumping".
The Lieutenant had known a few Jakes during his time at Angel Guardians. Face swallowed hard then he gave a nonchalant, "Oh, now I get it" to the young driver.
Face and B. A. shared a guarded glance over Dean's shoulder.
Suddenly, Hannibal appeared at the side door, "So who is our new wheel man?"
"I'm Dean," the boy happily replied. Face smiled at the improvement in the boy's mood.
"This van is so COOL. I can't believe I get to play in it!"
"Hey little brother you can play in it anytime we are here, so long as Sister tells us you're treating her and the teachers with respect." B. A. promised.
"Oh I will! I will!" Dean vowed.
The session of male bonding was interrupted by Sister Catherine's voice,
"Dean, it's time to come in for lunch."
After a heads up from Hannibal, Sister Catherine had lined up all the boys and girls next to the van. This way they all got to see Dean exit the coveted vehicle. Clearly they were awed that Dean had the privilege of getting inside it. She gave Templeton a knowing wink and he flashed her his mega watt smile.
"Templeton, would you and your friends like to join us for lunch?"
"Can we sit with Dean, Sister?" he innocently asked.
"Of course, Templeton. Oh you can tell B. A. that we have plenty of milk for him."
"Then we would be delighted to, Sister."
Murdock took the front of the line. Assuming a marching band leader pose, he led the kids into the cafeteria. B. A. put Dean on his shoulders and followed the Crazy-man. Very subtly Face pulled Jake aside. Neither Hannibal nor Sister could hear what the Lieutenant said but clearly Jake heard Face's message. The older boy didn't show any signs of fear, but he definitely showed shame and remorse. The Colonel and the nun nodded with parental pride.
Hannibal offered Sister his arm and whispered, "You did a fine job with him."
Sister whispered back,
"Oh I may have gotten the boy started, but you helped him become a man".
Then they followed all their children into the cafeteria.