Title: Befitting Zorro

Author: Matriaya

Word Count: 1,477

Disclaimer: I own nothing. Not a thing. –sigh-

Summary: When a mission goes awry, Middleman finds an interesting way to distract the guards.

His brain ceased to function properly the moment she stepped out of the wardrobe room in that spicy red miracle that Ida called a dress.

"Don't you clean up nicely," the robot woman whistled as Wendy emerged, "It's too bad you're so ugly the rest of the time."

Middleman kept his mouth shut about the fact that Ida had been practicing that quip since Wendy had gone in with the bagged garment under her arm. She was right though, Wendy looked incredible.

More than incredible, she looked…

Then Middleman realized she was staring at him with a nervous look in her eye, and he cleared his through.

"Well Dubbie you look…" he fidgeted with the bottom of his Zorro pants nervously," very nice."

Ida only smirked, and slapped a black mask into his hand. They were on their way to an International Zorro fan convention, a tribute to the legendary "man-in-black", though their purpose for being there was of a more criminal-catching nature.

It had been two hours since she stepped through the wardrobe door, two hours of fidgeting uncomfortably in his leather pants and shirt that laced up in the front, and he still couldn't find it in him to focus. Their plan had been simple. Wendy, looking as hot as she did (and had no problem admitting the fact), was to distract their target, Senor del Marcos – bonefide Zorro fanatic and notorious jewel thief – while Middleman snuck away to del Marcos's private safe and stole them back. Then the jig would be up, and they would arrest the host of the convention on charges of theft.

This all depended on Middleman's ability to tear his eyes off Wendy's tango-ing form for two seconds to actually do this job. Thus far, he was having a terrible time of it.

His fingers moved quickly across the dial on the safe box as he pressed his ear against the cold metal. The clicks echoed like thunder. This is what he was about, he told himself. Saving the day. Its what any good Middleman would do, and this diamond had a home to get back to, not to mention there was the small matter of putting the thief behind bars. So that's what he was going to do, gosh darnit!

Middleman was just dropping the two pound diamond into his 1850's inspired black leather belt pouch when a blur of red and black burst through the room. Immediately, he pulled out the whip that was attached to his hip, ready to fight off any nefarious intruder. When he saw it was only Wendy, he relaxed a bit.

When he caught the look of panic in her eyes, he threw relaxation to the wind.

"Dubbie, what…" he started, but she breezed past him, snatching his hand up as she headed for the secret panel they knew lay behind the bookcase.

"No time to talk, boogie on our tail!"

She yanked out the fake book so hard she nearly ripped the whole thing off the shelf. The secret passageway swung open for them easily, she plunged high heel first into the darkened corridor. Right before the door swung shut behind them, Middleman glanced back just in time to see Senor del Marcos burst through the door with an authentic 1800's sword in hand. 10 to 1, the crook new how to use it too. They wouldn't stick around to find out.

Running was becoming increasingly difficult as the passageway didn't have lights, and they couldn't see where they were going.'

"We need to get out of this hallway, or we're going to get lost." He said matter-of-factly. Wendy knew he was right, she couldn't see her hand in front of her face. Who knew what that crazy Zorro wannabe rigged up in this hallway?

A few yards ahead was a door that opened up as painting in one of the lesser occupied hallways. She tumbled out into the light, taking only the briefest moment to scrape the cobwebs off her dress. Middleman followed her out, shutting the portrait behind then surveyed the scene. They seemed to have made it away.

"Quick thinking, Dubbie," he said, adjusting his mask a little. "Using the enemy's tricks against him. I would have…"

But he never got to finish what he was about to say. The heavy thud of boots chose that moment to echo through the hallway, coming closer by the moment. They both understood what that meant. Del Marcos had called in his personal guard.

"Oh BLEEP!" she suddenly threw her arms up in panic. "I can't outrun all of them! Not in these heels!"

Middleman knew that even without heels, they wouldn't be able to escape seven heavily armed guards in unfamiliar territory. Especially not when they were paid to know the terrain like the back of their big beefy hands.

"Perhaps they won't recognize us," he pondered aloud. "After all, every man in there looks like Zorro."

"They'll recognize me," she retorted. "Those guys were watching us dance."

Even as she took a few hurried steps in the other direction, she knew their escape would be no good. Up ahead was simply another juncture of hallways. What happened when they hit a dead end or locked door?

"Then we'll go with the ever reliable elements of awkwardness and distraction," Middleman said with a curt nod, and snagged one of his large hands around her arm. In the space of a gasp, he pressed her against the wall and crushed his mouth down against hers.

She should have panicked. It was in her job description to react to abnormal and unexpected situations with a cool and collected grace.

She was about to get fired.

A small piece of sanity in the back of her mind registered why he was kissing her right then. The guards – all seven hunks of big manly beefcake – took one glance at the intimate couple and quickly shuffled past, eager to get as far away as possible.

That piece didn't exactly register as his lips brushed against hers softly, or when his hands buried themselves into her dark curls. She reacted instinctively, fingers fisting in the loose fabric of the back of his shirt.

Wendy quickly discovered there was something more necessary than oxygen for survival. He kissed her slowly, but with enough heat to turn her brain into a puddle of goo. Seconds passed. The sound of boots faded slowly into silence, but Middleman couldn't find the will to let her go. Christ, he'd been wanting to do that from the moment she stepped out of the dressing room (and probably a lot longer as well, though he wasn't willing to admit it to himself.) Letting go of her wasn't going to be easy. Already, he could feel the spicy taste of her lips take root in his brain like an addiction.

Slowly, ever so slowly, he drew his lips away a fraction of an inch, and was secretly thrilled at the shaky breath that hissed through hers.

The mission.

Must think about the mission.

He tried once more to pull away, but found he couldn't.

"Are they gone?" he whispered in her ear and took that as an excuse to press a kiss to her neck. Shivers ran all the way down the right side of her body. Did he actually expect her to think after that? She managed to crack her eyes open just a little bit, and managed to assess that in fact, yes, the hallway was entirely clear of people – just before his lips moved lower and he nipped the spot where her shoulder met her neck. She gasped audibly, but managed to squeak out her affirmative response. She didn't feel his lips form a smile against her skin, nor see the agony at having to release her.

He did though, let her go. Dropped his hands from her hair and took a full step backwards, immediately regaining full Middleman composure.

"Good," he said, though it came out a bit short and snippy," then lets go catch the bad guy." Without even a glance at her or the beautiful red flush that had settled in her cheeks, he turned on one shiny heel and strode down the hallway towards the main convention area.

Wendy stood there a long moment as her brain muddled through exactly what had just happened. Fifteen seconds later when all she could come up with was the intoxicating feeling of his lips against hers, she gave up and followed after him.

Always remember kids: Comments love.