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. Any familiar catch phrases or settings also belong to the Cannell team.
Father Magill, Sister Catherine, A.J. Bancroft, Samantha Bancroft, and Ellen Bancroft all belong to Cannell and his associates
Spoiler Alert: References characters and revelations from Season 5 Episode "Family Reunion".
Author's Notes: A - hopefully unique- theory about how Face ended up in the orphanage and how Bancroft came to possess a photo of Face in his high school football uniform.
Summary: Murdock helps Face make peace with a stranger for a father.
With Love from Daddy: by LAGC
1. After the Family Reunion 1986
Face and Murdock sat at the bar in the same restaurant that AJ Bancroft had dropped his picture of the Lieutenant. Both were nursing their second round of scotch. It wasn't often that they turned to hard liquor but recent events really seemed to call for it.
It had been just about a week since they had buried Bancroft and had their fight. Face was still a bit shell shocked from it all. He had told Hannibal everything ... about Bancroft being his father, Murdock's choice to hold back that information, their fist fight. Hannibal had listened with compassion and then told Face to stay in Florida for as long as he needed. Hannibal returned to D.C. with BA and Frankie to deliver Ellen and the damn diary. Murdock remained with Face knowing that his buddy shouldn't be left entirely alone to deal with this blow. And, despite the fact that Face had truly forgiven him for withholding Bancroft's identity, Murdock still felt a need to "make things right."
The first couple of days had been rocky. Face never willingly shared his feelings about his childhood, but with Bancroft's revelation he had to confront it all head on. And process that his father was a criminal who squandered his last chance at fatherhood. And that he had a sister who couldn't cope with including him in her life. What should have been a new beginning had once again become a series of slamming doors for Faceman.
When he finally started talking Face admitted, "I probably would have been better off never knowing about Bancroft. After all the information does me no good."
Murdock was filled with guilt upon hearing these words. Face realized this and quickly reassured him, "Murdock, no, don't put that guilt on yourself. That's not what I meant. You did the right thing by telling me. I was just thinking that it might have been best for everyone involved if AJ has just stayed on his island and taken all his secrets to the grave with him."
The next day revealed Face's the biggest worry in light of his new knowledge. From his seat on the couch, he had asked, "Murdock? Where do you fall on the Nature versus Nurture debate."
"Not sure I have an opinion. Why do you ask, Faceman." the Captain replied.
"Well, nowadays, I'm starting to lean toward Nature."
"Why, Buddy?" asked Murdock with a cautious tone.
"Well, by his own admission, AJ had no hand in raising me, yet we are so similar."
"Face?" Murdock tried to interrupt.
"No, hear me out. He and I are both criminals living on the run. We both know how to work the angles. Neither one of us ever truly committed to a woman."
"Just stop right there, Faceman. You're chasing shadows down dead end streets." Murdock said as he sat in front of his best friend.
"You are not the same man as him. You're not a criminal by choice. Hell, you're convicted of crimes you didn't even commit! As far as commitments to women, you're off base there too. AJ chose to run out on your mother and Ellen's mother. It was the easy out for him. He was a coward." Murdock paused to make sure his friend was listening,
"You, Face, are not, nor have you ever been a coward. You don't run out on the people you love. And enlighten me, with the lives we've lead, when would have been the right time for you to take a wife? Hmm? Would you have subjected a woman you loved to the dangers of our fugitive lifestyle?"
"Maybe you're right about the commitment part. A wife, 2.3 kids, and a station wagon really hasn't been an option in the last fifteen years. But come on, with the way I can run a scam, I'm not so sure about not having a criminal nature." Face argued dejectedly.
"Tell me something Face. Have you ever run a scam to deliberately and maliciously hurt someone else?"
After pondering that a bit Face felt comfortable enough that No was an honest answer.
"Damn straight you haven't. That's the difference between you and AJ. That's why he was a criminal and you'll never be one. So to answer your original question, Nature versus Nurture? I stand firmly in the camp of Personal Choice. It's not who we came from or how we are raised that establishes what type of men we become. It's our daily personal choices."
"I didn't know him. Won't ever know him. Basically lived my entire life without him. Why do I mourn him?" Face asked on the fifth day.
"Because you never got the chance to love him." was Murdock's simple reply.
Face looked up at Murdock, "Thanks Buddy. You really are the only person on Earth who could possibly begin to understand this mess or how I feel." Face gratefully patted Murdock on the shoulder, his blue eyes were still brimming with sadness but his smile was genuine and warm.
"We've been rattling around this motel long enough. Come on, let's go out for dinner." said Face.
And that is how the duo found themselves back in the restaurant where all this turmoil had begun. Having finished their meal yet not quite ready to leave they had made their way over to the bar. The scotches soon appeared.
The TV above the bar was showing the nightly national news. When they glanced up they saw footage of Ellen outside the Capitol. The scrolling banner read, "New Shocking Documentation Rocks D.C."
Face and Murdock clinked their glasses in a wry toast and finished their drinks.
"Well she did it." stated Murdock
"Stockwell must be beyond pissed that he was denied control of the diary's information." snickered Face.
Murdock grimaced, and shrugged, "Hope that Hannibal, BA, and Frankie aren't taking too much heat without us."
"Let's go home, Murdock. I'm ready to have us all together again. Besides Hannibal still owes us his four day Thanksgiving feast."
Murdock signaled for their check, and paid the bill. As they passed the table at which Bancroft had sat, Face paused then looked at Murdock.
"Hey Murdock? How do you think A.J. got that photograph of me?"
Thank you Miss Eclipse for the assist with the title for this piece.
Bouncing ideas back and forth is always so rewarding.