"Oh...GAH!" Harry sputtered. He peeled off his coat that was now liberally covered in the wet remains of the recently blown up Grappler demon. "Thanks, Morgan. Really appreciate it," he said sarcastically, trying to wipe off the guts that stuck fast to his entire front.
The spotlessly unmarked warden calmly walked over what had most likely been the demon's arm. "You should have used your shield bracelet."
"I would have had you WARNED ME you were going to blast it!" Harry retorted, flicking a handful of the bright blue entrails to the floor.
"Issuing a warning when the demon could hear me would have defeated the element of surprise," said Morgan, dryly.
"Just get us out of here," snapped Harry.
Ten minutes later, the two wizards entered Harry's office. Persisting in his bad mood, Harry kicked his door open. "Bob! Is there something that can help me get this stuff-"
"Who's Bob?" asked a female voice.
The wizard stopped abruptly in his angered stride. While Morgan had spotted her more or less immediately, Harry, busy under his own cloud of irritation, had completely missed the fact that Murphy was leaning against his desk, patiently waiting.
Seeing Harry's current state, the lieutenant wrinkled her nose. "What the hell happened to you?"
"Uh...just an accident," said Harry, awkwardly.
"What kind of accident? Did you blow up a Teletubby?"
"Close," Harry replied, shooting Morgan a dirty look. The warden blinked at him passively as Murphy looked at him and then back to Harry, expectedly.
"Are you going to introduce me this time or kick him out again?" she asked.
Sighing, Harry waved a resigning hand, nearly hitting Murphy with excess Grappler. "Murphy, Morgan. Morgan, Murphy."
The warden politely took Murphy's offered hand and shook it. "Lieutenant," he greeted.
"Are you a friend of Harry's?" she asked.
"No," came the firm answer, proving just how much disdain could be coated on one word. Morgan hadn't been prepared to give further clarification, but the lieutenant continued to stare at him, her eyes obviously demanding some elaboration. Morgan found she was rather good at staring in a surprisingly intimidating manner. "I am Dresden's...associate," he added, grudgingly. The word tasted about as bad as it sounded to his ears.
"Associate? Do you also consult?" she followed up.
"No," he said, shortly. The stare continued to drill holes into him. Apparently his own back at her wasn't making a dent in putting her off. He lost the silent contest. "I monitor Dresden's activities," he relented. The second Morgan said it, he realized he'd just opened himself up to a slew of more questions.
"Monitor? What does that mean?"
"He just makes sure I stay out of trouble," Harry interjected.
Murphy eyed the drying slime on Harry's clothes. "Nice job," she congratulated Morgan, sardonically.
The warden shifted a little to hide the mild surprise of realizing he had nearly chuckled at her comment.
"So, what's going on, Murphy?" Harry continued, drawing the lieutenant's attention.
"The missing witness? His belt I gave you?" Murphy said, jogging Harry's memory.
The wizard visibly winced. "Yeah, right, yeah…" He cast a look toward his hallway. "Uh, I actually haven't had a chance to work with that yet."
"You've had the belt for three days!"
"I'm sorry. I just got caught up in stuff," Harry gestured, apologetically.
"You said you'd have something today."
"I know, I just…"
"Harry, I need to find that witness."
"I really was going to, Murphy. I just got tangled up in a situation."
"I need to get that belt back today. I shouldn't have taken it in the first place."
While the wizard withered under Murphy's outraged glare, Morgan found her brow beating of Dresden somehow rather soothing.
"I'm sorry. Uh…tomorrow?" offered Harry.
"I know you're a free agent and all," said Murphy. "But has anyone talked to you about a thing called protocol?"
Morgan nearly opened his mouth with a weary "If I had a nickel for every time I tried…" but controlled the impulse. Instead, he allowed a small smirk to appear that went unnoticed by the lieutenant, but the wizard caught.
"Okay," relented Harry, giving Morgan a dark look. "Give me an hour," he said to Murphy.
"Fine." Murphy sat back down on Harry's desk. "Well?"
"You're seriously just going to sit there and wait?" asked Harry.
"If that's what it takes to get you to finish in one hour? Yes."
"Murphy, come on."
"Harry, if I don't get that witness back in custody before tomorrow, a potential killer walks. I'm sitting here. Don't waste your hour."
While Morgan had been one of the first to throw a mental conniption when Dresden first opened up his ridiculous business, the warden grudgingly admitted to himself that he could see why the wizard felt inspired to help the lieutenant from time to time. He actually doubted Dresden could even have the option of saying no.
"Alright, have it your way," Harry sighed. "Morgan, it's been a real treat as always. You can see yourself out. And don't….you know…do that thing," Harry added, wiggling his fingers near his right eye. "Just use the door."
The warden fixed Harry with a superior glare. "Don't be obtuse, Dresden. How else would I leave?" He gave the seated Murphy a nod. "Goodbye, Lieutenant."
"See you around," Murphy returned.
The warden vaguely hoped he would.