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Debt?

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I do not own The A-Team. They belong to Stephen J. Cannell and NBC. This is a fanwork only intended for fun and enjoyment. I am making no profit from this work.

 

You see, there’s somethin’ real simple that folks nowadays don’t seem to understand. And that’s the importance o’ gettin’ yo’ ass saved.

It don’ matter who does it. The point is that it was done. And the one who done it got your life in their hands for the rest o’ their lives. The whole ‘I saved you, so now I’m responsible for you’ rap. And now you got a responsibility too. You owe them.

I guess it does matter who done it, in the end. Because the man who saved my life ain’ really a real man. He’s an imaginary man, with imaginary friends, imaginary family, imaginary pets. I got to work off a debt to a man who don’ really exist. He’s crazy. One hundred percent gone. You can’t pay back a man who don’ really understand what he’s doin’ in the first place.

Or does he?

I don’ know.

I got a big problem though. Because right now this man is in front of me, and even though he’s imaginary, he’s dripping sweat on the floor and blood on my hands. And I can’t watch him die without payin’ him back for all the times he saved me.

Stupid fool.

Crazy fool.

We all owe him. Not just me. He didn’t even stop. Just walked out there, right in front of that gun pointing at Hannibal. Like it was a normal, everyday thing. And suddenly he’s on the ground shooting out red stuff like he popped a ketchup packet against his chest. Except it ain’ ketchup. Now it’s Hannibal’s turn. And mine. It’s his life on the line, and it’s our turn to save him.

We trapped. I’m huddlin’ in this mine, watchin’ this crazy fool twitch and listen to his little insanities. He’s talkin’ in different languages too, like he’s babblin’ the crazy right out. The crazy keeps him alive, and now it’s spreading through the air and ain’t of no use to anyone.

I’m tryin’ to tell him to shut up, and for a moment his eyes land on me. They brown. They big. And behind that fake half-smile I can see he’s scared, just like me. But he won’ show it. He never does.

“I’m not gonna let you die,” I grunt. He laughs. Stupid fool. Thinks I’m tellin’ a joke. He don’ know that I’m serious. Because I owe him. It’s all cause o’ that debt I owe him. “I never knew ya cared, sweetheart,” he said to me a long time ago. I don’t. It’s all because of the debt.

You know?

You believe me, right?

Somebody has to.

I got his blood in my veins, and if I could open up my arms and give it right back, I would. Give him back all his crazy, ‘cause I still think it’s affectin’ me. I even said goodbye to his stupid plant. Silly little green thing sat there with my van the whole time, somehow alive. I had to say something. No, I didn’t. I did cause of his blood. It made me.

I got to save him so I can give his blood back.

I got to save him so I can repay him for savin’ me.

I got to save him because Hannibal owes him too. And so does Face.

I got to save him because I can’t....

He’s lookin’ at me again.

“You saved my life,” I mutter at him. “I got to save you.”

“I’ll....be all right....B.A.,” he sighs. Breath on my face. More crazy in my nose and my eyes. He’s infectin’ me. But it’s okay, because I owe him. I pull the sheet up around him. He starts to smirk. “I...didn’t....know.....you cared.....”

“Shut up.”

Where’s Hannibal? Where’s Face? This man who saved all our lives is goin’ to die, and no one’s here but me to see it happen. Doesn’t anyone care about havin’ their ass be saved?

“Don’t.....be.....scared.”

I look down, amazed. He’s looking up at me with more clarity in those eyes than I’ve ever seen. “I ain’t scared, fool.”

“Good.....I ain’t......either.”

He’s lyin’. I’m lyin’. But who cares?

Who cares?

Who....

I do.

This crazy fool can’t die. It ain’ right! We a team. Hannibal’s the leader. Face whines, but he gets us stuff. I fix. And he....saves us all. Keeps us sane. The crazy man keeps us sane. Keeps me sane.

I am scared. I’m really scared. I got to save him. Because if he dies, what happens to the debt?

What happens to us?

What happens to me?

“Murdock,” I say in my hardest, roughest voice, “you can’t die. You can’t because I ain’ gonna letcha.”

Because if you do, I don’t know what I’ll do.