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.
Spoiler Alert: None the piece/plot is all my creation.
Author's Notes/Summary: This piece is a short little character study or exploration of why Face never likes to be told he's too old to get a job done.
Don't Say I'm Too Old by: LAGC
"Hannibal?! How the heck am I suppose to procure a set snow skis of in the middle of this boon town in the middle of Arizona?" complained the Lieutenant.
Hannibal just grinned maniacally around his cigar. He stood cockily in front of his con man and resorted to his failsafe Faceman motivational technique.
"Well, back in your younger days, you would have acquired them already, Lieutenant. Heck you got a Cadillac in the jungles of Nam. But...you're a lot older now, so maybe this is too much to ask."
"Forget it Colonel. You want snow skis. You'll have snow skis!" Face boldly promised as he stomped off in a frustrated snit.
Hannibal took a self satisfied drag on his cigar as Murdock and B.A. looked on in amazement.
B.A. shook his head and marveled, "Man, I can't believe that works every time."
Murdock kept contemplatively quiet.
About two hours later they heard a disturbance outside their motel room. Instantly on alert they took up defensive positions while Murdock cautiously peered out the window to assess the situation. After an awed laugh, he engaged the safety on his pistol and told the other guys to relax.
"It's just Faceman ... with the set of skis as requested, Colonel".
"Seriously, Fool, the sucka pulled it off again?!" said B.A. shaking his head.
Hannibal just shined his usual "I love when a plan comes together" grin and relit his cigar.
Murdock opened the door just as Face was reaching for the knob. The unexpected motion of the door set the Prince of Procurement off his balance. Murdock quickly grabbed the skis from him and asked what was wrong. Face placed his now free hands on the railing and smiled crookedly at his pilot.
Hannibal declared,"Lieutenant! You're drunk!"
"Gee ya think, Colonel?" was Face's slurred response as he weaved into the hotel room.
"LIEUTENANT! Why the hell are you plastered in the middle of a mission!" bellowed Hannibal.
"Sorry, Colonel, couldn't be avoided. I had to get into a shot challenge with the saloon owner to win the skis." explained Face
"What?" said all three of his companions.
"Yep. I got him thinking I was this light weigh tea sipper who couldn't tell a whiskey from a ginger ale. Then I hustled him into a game of shots. If I was the last one standing I got the skies. And I was, so I did" Face triumphantly explained.
"What would he have won, Facey?" asked Murdock.
"My suit jacket. Couldn't let that happen, it's custom made!"
Everyone chuckled at that. Then Face turned a miserable shade of green. Everyone hustled out his way as he ran to the bathroom.
Ten agonizing minutes later a very pale Faceman slithered out of the bathroom. To his dismay he had to endure the scrutiny of his team.
"Ah gee, now I remember why I haven't shot whiskey since Nam," he said as he dripped into the armchair nearest the bathroom.
Hannibal and B. A. glared and snickered respectively. Murdock looked at him with concern melting his eyes.
"Ok. Now that we have all the supplies we need B.A. and I are going to fetch the clients and bring them to the safe house. Then we'll be back to put the plan into action. I expect you to be in fighting form when I return, Lieutenant! Murdock you stay with Face and help him get it together." Hannibal ordered. "Let's hope you're not too old to sober up as fast as you did in Nam, Kid" he threw over his shoulder as he left the room.
"God I hate it when he says that," said Face. His inebriation and exhaustion after the bathroom fit lowering his defenses.
"You hate when he says what, Buddy?" Murdock pried because he could tell Face needed to get something off his mind.
"When he says I'm too old to get a job done"
"I heard that too damn often in the orphanage. The big kids always telling me none of the families picked me cause I was too old. I didn't want to believe them. But then one day I overheard Sr. Catherine whispering to Fr. Magill that I was probably too old to ever find a family." Face stopped here, his voice thick with emotion.
"Faceman, I ..." started Murdock but Face interrupted him by adding, so softly that the statement was almost to himself, "That's the day I gave up on hoping for a family of my own".
Murdock looked at his best friend in the world knowing that Face wasn't seeing things correctly.
"Faceman, muchacho you have that all wrong. You weren't too old to find your family then. No Buddy, you weren't old enough."
"What?" said Face cautiously. He was beginning to sober up and was a bit embarrassed by what he had revealed to Murdock.
"When you were in the orphanage you were too young to meet your family. You had to be eighteen to enlist. Your family was waiting for you in the Army, kimosabe. We were there waiting to meet you."
Face ran his hands through his hair to clear his head and buy a little time while he considered what Murdock had just said to him. He looked up and his silver blue eyes searched Murdock's looking for any sign of sympathy or patronizing. All he saw was sincerity and acceptance.
Face realized then that Murdock in his own crazy way was right once again.
"Ya know Murdock I've never thought of it that way."
"See that's why I'm here! I'm the lunatic with the clarity. I see the truth, ... and invisible dogs"
They both laughed. Face smiled one if his genuine smiles. Murdock was proud that he could bring out such a rare moment. The pilot silently vowed to talk to Hannibal about cutting back on his foolproof Faceman motivational technique.