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.
Season 1 episode 11 "Til Death Do Us Part" -Jackie Taylor & Calvin Cutter belong to Cannell and his associates.
Spoiler Alert: References characters, locations, plot, and revelations from Season 1 Episode 11 "Til Death Do Us Part".
Author's Notes: A moody add on to Season One Episode Eleven "Til Death Do Us Part" This piece is all from Face's point of view. The narration is his thoughts. The quoted lines are actual dialogue.
Summary: Face reflects upon what his marriage to Jackie Taylor says about him and his life.
Not Just Another Scam : by LAGC
Ok. Walk into this not quite upscale bar. Order a scotch. Grab some just-me-myself-and I time.
Usually avoid it but I seem to need it tonight.
Signal the bar tender.
"What's your tonic tonight, Mister?"
Tell him. Swig, swallow ...swirl and contemplate the withering ice.
Two weeks have passed since I walked out of that Texas courthouse. Well actually limped out of it is more accurate. This damn cast is still on my foot. Bones take so long to heal.
Yet one more injury sustained in the line of duty. But this too shall mend. Bones and flesh usually do.
I still can't believe what Hannibal ordered me to do on this mission! Hell I still can't believe I complied with his order. I did argue against it but in the end I caved to Hannibal's authority.
The Guys and Amy only saw the humor in it. The client only seemed insulted. Yeah sure one big ironic joke- Faceman get married ...in the line of duty.
Where and why Hannibal comes up with his schemes is beyond me. The man really should be writing scripts for movies of the week.
Hmm my glass is empty. "Hey Bartender. Another scotch on the rocks here, please."
It was all so simple. March me into that Justice of the Peace office. Fill out a few forms. Say two small monosyllabic words. And BOOM- Miss Jacqueline Taylor was legally Mrs. Templeton Peck.
A pseudo-wife for a man with a made up name. One more con for the Faceman to pull off for the sake of the mission, the sake of the Team.
Flash forward. Mission successfully completed. Client safe and free. Ok then! March me into a courthouse this time. A few more signatures. A few more simple sentences. And POOF! Mrs. Templeton Peck evaporates into ... into whatever ... into nothing.
And you'd think I could just leave it at that. But I can't. Not sure why.
Damn, the smoke in here is getting thick. I should get going. But where? I haven't scammed a new loft yet. Been crashing with Hannibal since we got back from Texas. Not ready to handle him yet.
Ah, what the hell, one more round. I'm not driving.
"Hey Bartender. One more."
"Sure, Mister. Looks like these here glasses aren't deep enough for your thoughts though."
Grrr, flash him a wry, leave-me-be smirk. Good, he took the hint.
What if that two week pseudo marriage is all I ever get?
Hell, Jackie didn't even want to grab dinner with me once the annulment papers were filed. That surprised me a bit, after all she had been all sass and flirt whilst we were married. And there was that kiss that dear old Hannibal interrupted?
Ah, Hell. Just chock all that up to heat-of-the-moment adrenaline, I guess.
Bottom line she didn't trust me as boyfriend material. Said so herself. Told me I wasn't the marrying kind and that I'd get the seven year itch in about seven days.
She can't be right. I don't want her to be. People dismiss me as a playboy. A raging Romeo. I guess that's my most convincing scam.
Because, really, I'm not.
I'm a realist.
I'm just working with what life deals me or in most cases denies me.
Totally planned to marry Leslie and have my 2.3 kids, picket fence and golden retriever by now.
Nope. She had other plans.
Ok I'd serve my country, come home an honorably discharged veteran, finish college, then find a new mom for those 2.3 kids.
Nope. The military court said otherwise.
Can't very well build that picket fence now with the MPs determined to surround me with iron bars.
So random fleeting involvements are all I get.
OK. Time to signal the barkeep. Settle the tab. Supply a sweet tip.
"Good night Mister. Hope you get to the bottom of what's eatin' you."
Maybe I shouldn't have left that Armchair Psychologist a tip.
I'll just walk the mile to Hannibal's pad, it's a decent enough neighborhood. My foot will be ok. And walking will spare me anymore amateur analysis from a cabbie.
Oh wonderful ... Chez Amore ... The current trendiest romantic destination restaurant. Forgot I'd have to pass it. Now to bob-n-weave between all these swooning couples.
What was that squeal?
Great,more salt. That yuppie, over by the rose arbor and lily pond, just asked his girl to marry him. That squeal was her saying yes. Hate myself for feeling jealous. I'm pretty sure I'm violating a Commandment or two.
But... It's just ...I want that moment so badly myself.
The moment when someone tells me YES.
Chooses ME and promises to stay with ME forever. Promises to love ME forever. The moment a woman tells me I'm the one she can't leave behind.
My mother clearly didn't feel that.
Leslie didn't feel that.
Jackie ... Well ok I know the marriage was only just a means to an end.
It's that I just that never imagined saying "I do" unless I truly meant it. It's a vow after all. Yet one more compromise I've allowed myself to commit.
Here's Hannibal's building. Check to be sure I haven't been followed. Sneak around to the alley then double back to the side entrance to Hannibal's current digs.
Climb the back delivery stairs so as not to be seen in the elevator. Always subterfuge, suspicions, and sneakiness. Will this ever not be my life? Would I even know how to live like a normal 9 to 5 guy?
Maybe my two week pseudo-marriage is as close as I'll ever get.
My foot is throbbing now. Must have pushed it too far, or the scotch is beginning to wear off. Use the key hidden in the door lamp. Hannibal can be old school sometimes. Quietly - stealthily- let myself in. Lean against the door, take in its cool comfort.
Hmm the air in here is nearly as thick as that smoke filled bar. Oh great, cigar smoke. He's still awake.
"Welcome back, Lieutenant."
"Was your walk-about successful?"
Ok. Hobble over to Hannibal. Play up the sore foot. Maybe he won't pin me into a conversation.
"You should get off that foot. Take a seat, Kid."
Damn. He's chomping on that cigar, and has the blue steel look in his eyes. No squirming out. Just take the overstuffed armchair he indicated. Putting my foot up on the ottoman is a smart idea anyway.
"You haven't answered my question, Face."
Snap my Innocent expression on. "Not sure what you meant, Colonel. It was a good night for a stroll."
"How many scotch on the rocks went with that stroll?"
Damn, nothing gets past him. And damn he knows what scotch means. "Three."
"Having trouble shaking this last mission."
A statement not a question, yet he expects a response. Ok one nonchalant nod. Maybe, just maybe, he'll drop it at that.
A sigh? An empathetic one? Ok not what I was expecting.
"Face, I apologize."
"No, listen. Ordering you to marry the client. I overstepped."
"I was too wrapped up in the short term scheme and outwitting Cutter. I didn't consider the longer term."
Whoa. So not comfortable with this. Hannibal criticizing his own plan? Where is he heading with this? What's my play here?
"I didn't consider what my plan would do to your psyche, Kid. I didn't bank on what it would stir up."
"Hannibal. It didn't stir up anything. The plan got the job done. End of story."
That's it. Deny, deny everything. Deny them until the feelings fade.
"The three scotches tell a different tale, Lieutenant. Scotch is your I-need-to-get-lost-in thought choice."
Damn this man. He knows too many of my tics and tells. Wine with the ladies and the marks - doesn't dull my focus. Champagne to celebrate or present a grand persona. Hard liquor, avoid it- crumbles my walls, makes me introspective. And he's not going to let me escape this conversation. He's between me and my bedroom. Knew what he was doing when he sent me to this chair.
"Ah Hannibal. Really what's a fake marriage to a master con-man like me. No big deal."
"Face don't lie to me. You were sitting in that bar trying to soak away how deeply that fake marriage shook you. I should have realized it would. That it'd hit you in your Achilles heel."
Oh crap. He's going right for the target. Wish I had stayed out until he fell asleep. I should have scammed an apartment before we went to Texas.
"Talk to me, Kid."
"I told you I hated the plan. Right as soon as you laid it out. I kept telling you I hated it. But I trusted it would work so I followed orders. And hey it did work. So the ends justify the means and all that. It's late Hannibal. Let's just go to bed, eh?"
"You should have had a real wedding by now, Face. You should have been able to come home from Nam, met the girl who'd be Mrs. Templeton Peck and build that family you want. Life screwed you over yet again. And now I, like an ass, shoved a plan down your throat that rubbed all of that in your face."
Wow. Raw. Hannibal didn't pull any punches here. And how the hell can he know me so well? He can read me like I was the Sunday comic strips. He always could, pretty much as soon as he picked me for the Team. He wouldn't give up on me or turn away from me. He stuck with me through all my bravado bullshit stunts. He stuck by me in The Camp ...through the trial...the jailbreak. All these years on the lam.
"Want to let me in on those thoughts buzzing behind your baby blues, Lieutenant?"
Ok might as well ... "Just realizing that I do have people committed to me in my life, Colonel."
"Good! I can go to bed now. See you in the morning, Face."
I think I'm finally ready to sleep. My Mrs. Peck is out there somewhere. But in the mean time, I'm certainly not alone."