Disclaimer:

I do not own nor did I create any of the A-team characters or episodes. The credit is due to Stephen J. Cannell and his associates. In addition to the A-team members, Ray and Trish Brenner , the Watkins family, and the settings of Barlow Creek all belong to Cannell and associates.

Spoiler Alert:

Reveals plot points and character reveals from "A Nice Place to Visit".

Season 1 Episode 14

Authors Notes:

This is just a short little add on scene that crystallized in my mind as I watched this episode this week.

Good-bye to a Friend: By LAGC

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This had been an unexpected and difficult mission but at least it had brought some satisfaction and closure to the man standing in the cemetery. He and his Team had simply come to pay their respects to a departed friend. But when they arrived at Barlow Creek, they found a nest of rats that needed to be eradicated.

The vermin known as the Watkins Brothers had been infecting the town for too long. Ray had stood alone against their reign of terror and had lost his life in the fallout. Hannibal was still struggling with the idea that no one in the entire town stepped forward to support Ray. Hannibal could only shake his head and accept that fear is quite paralyzing to most people.

Trish and Amy had pleaded with them to avoid trouble. The women did not want the Team to engage the Watkins because they were worried about the men's safety and attracting Lynch's attention. Hannibal appreciated their concerns, but there was nothing on this planet that would have been able to prevent the Team from completing Ray's mission. Like B.A. had said they owed Ray and his death didn't negate that.

The Watkins were a simple matter, especially since their power was intimidation not intelligence.

The scuzzballs had been defeated, captured, and turned over to the authorities.

The danger was past. Trish could go on with her life ... from here.

Now Hannibal had returned to the cemetery. The Colonel had done this so often in his career and life that you'd think he'd be numb to it by now. But no matter how often he'd done it, letting a friend go, facing their death, was never easy or routine. He prayed it never would be.

Hannibal stood at the graveside. Alone. He had told the Team that he was going to gather some grub for the road. But that was just so he could come here, unencumbered. He needed to say goodbye to his fallen friend without the responsibility of his command.

Hannibal looked at the white cross standing vigil over the low granite stone. 1940- 1983. Carved numbers treating Ray's life as it it were a finite tangible thing or fact to be catalogued.

The Colonel sighed deeply. Memories of his comrade, his friend, flashing through his mind. Ray was a steadfast ally, one of the very few who stood by the Team during their trial. His loyalty and belief in them had never wavered. It had given them hope and comfort. Hannibal would be forever grateful for that.

Even after the verdict, their escape, and their outlaw new life, Ray was still a beacon of hope for Hannibal. Hope that someday his boys might have an ordinary life -just like Ray. A house, a devoted wife, a baby -the American dream.

"Ray, why didn't you contact us?" Hannibal asked aloud anguish evident in each word. "We would have come running. Just like we did when Trish called. Only, all we could do for you by then, was bury you."

Hannibal stepped forward and hung Rays Army beret on the arm of the white cross.

"Rest in peace, my friend. Trish and the baby are safe. We neutralized the Watkins.

God, how I wish you had called us sooner. All five of us could have dealt with them together and you'd be here to raise your child."

Hannibal placed his hand on the empty arm of the cross, as if he was holding Ray by his shoulder. "I know why you didn't though. You thought you were looking out for us. You knew we'd drop everything and come. You didn't want to be the spring in a trap if Lynch was watching you. Trying to protect the team, just like you protected each of us in Nam at one time or another. B.A. told me about you dragging him to the med evac. I saw you give Face your helmet when he was a spring green newbie. Murdock says you're one of the bravest men he knows. You were a confidante for me when I needed to vent away from my boys. Maybe it wasn't official, but you were part of the A-team."

Hannibal sank to his knees and traced his fingers over Ray's epitaph,"Lest we forget"

"I promise none of us will ever forget. I'll keep watch over Trish and the baby too. I'll check on your family whenever I can. They'll be taken care of. Maybe with those slimeballs gone this town will become a hometown worthy of you. I know the townsfolk want to be. You were right to fight to protect them - De Oppresso Libre. You tried to free them of their oppression. Honor was as natural to you as breathing."