Fandom: The New Avengers
Timeline: some time during the series
Type: Humour with some action
Cast: Purdey, Gambit, Victor
Summary: Victor wants to marry Purdey. But Purdey doesn't want to marry Victor. So what does Victor do?
Disclaimer: The only thing here that's mine is the story idea - well, and Victor, maybe. Everything else belongs to those wonderful chaps who came up with the Avengers and the New Avengers, Sydney Newman and Brian Clemens.
"I need your help."
Purdey leaned against the back of the sofa in Steed's study. Gambit looked up from the game of chess he was playing with Steed.
"Our help?" he asked.
Purdey nodded. "I just got the call. I came here as fast as I could." She came round the sofa, skirt swirling around her long legs, and sat down on the armrest. She was wearing the green dress with the white and blue floral print. Gambit had last seen her in it when they had tracked down Zacardi. A pity, he thought, because it looked absolutely marvellous on her.
"The call?" he asked with a frown and looked from Purdey to Steed and back. "Are you in trouble with the Department?"
"Of course not, Gambit. I would hardly need your help to handle that."
Steed frowned, too - but for entirely different reasons. He had just realised he was in severe danger of losing his queen. He struggled to find a way to save her and ignored the other two who were watching him.
"Steed", Gambit finally said, "Purdey needs our help."
"Yes, I heard her." Steed suddenly smiled and moved his queen to safety. He looked up from the chessboard. "We're approaching that time of the year again, aren't we?"
Gambit again looked from one to the other. "What time of the year?"
"My mother's birthday is on the 17th", Purdey said, "and I just got her call. She's celebrating it on Saturday. I've been invited to bring a friend." Gambit raised his eyebrows. "And that's why you need our help?"
"Yes. Mum has recently developed the habit of trying to set me up with young men." Purdey rolled her eyes. "She tried at Christmas and at my stepfather's birthday party, too. And Easter. Obviously, she hopes I'll like one of them so much I'll marry him and settle down."
"And that's out of the question?" Gambit asked with a sly little smile.
Purdey snorted. "You haven't seen those young men. Not even my Great-Aunt Edina would take any of them - and she's been looking for a man ever since her husband died fifteen years ago."
"So what's the plan?" Gambit asked.
"The plan is to bring you both to the party, Steed as well as you. My mother likes Steed - she would be disappointed if he didn't come. He's my 'most charming boss,' as she calls him. Unfortunately, he's no candidate for son-in-law of the year."
"Pity." Steed smiled.
Purdey blushed ever so slightly and straightened. She turned to Gambit and smiled at him. "When she sees you, however, she might jump to all the wrong conclusions."
Gambit returned the smile. "Purdey, you know I've been hoping to finally meet your mother."
Purdey raised her finger and stabbed it at his chest. "Don't you get any ideas. It's just to make sure she'll give up introducing me to all those oh so nice young men."
"Purdey! Nice to see you!"
Purdey smiled and gave her stepfather, the bishop, a hug and a kiss on the cheek.
"Danger, Will Robinson!" he whispered in her ear.
Purdey frowned. "Don't say she found another one."
"She did. His name's Victor and you supposedly played together SO nicely as children."
Purdey nodded. "Thank you for the warning", she whispered back and said loudly, "You already know Steed, don't you?"
"Of course." The bishop smiled at Steed and shook his hand.
"And this" Purdey said, looping her arm through Gambit's, "is my colleague and very dear friend, Mike Gambit."
"Pleased to meet you." The bishop shook Gambit's hand, too, and gave him a curious glance. "You know, I really did think YOU were Steed when we first met in Roland's rose-garden." He laughed. "Silly me. I must have got it all mixed up. Well, you know us rose-nuts …"
"Purdey! There you are! It's so good to see you!"
The woman who came out of the parlour where the party carried on in earnest, was beyond any doubt Purdey's mother. It was also obvious where Purdey had got her splendid looks. Beautiful but fun, Spelman - or rather Spelovitch - had described her. Gambit found he could definitely agree with the beautiful part. He also remembered that a friend had once told him that, to find out what a girl would look like in twenty, thirty years, all you had to do was take a look at her mother. Gambit took a good look at Purdey's mother - her blue eyes, the radiant smile, revealing prefect white teeth, the graceful, slender figure and the long legs - and almost sighed. Whoever would manage to get Purdey could count himself lucky. Very lucky.
"Oh, you brought Mr. Steed. How charming." Purdey's mother gave Steed a warm smile, then turned to Gambit, the smile still on her face but nowhere near as warm. "And who's this nice young man here?"
"Another of your colleagues?"
"And a very special friend of mine", Purdey said and gave Gambit's arm a squeeze that almost made him wince.
Her mother nodded as if she'd already dismissed him in her mind. "Nice to meet you, Mr. Gambit. Purdey, you'll never guess whom I invited."
She seized Purdey's arm and Gambit knew suddenly why Purdey had been holding on so tightly. It was no use, though, her mother still managed to pull her away and towards the parlour.
"It's Victor. Do you remember him? You always played together as children."
Purdey looked back over her shoulder. 'You were supposed to stop this from happening,' her look seemed to say.
Gambit shrugged. "Sorry", he mouthed at her. Purdey rolled her eyes and shook her head. Men. Good for nothing.
The bishop put one hand on Steed's shoulder and one on Gambit's.
"Maybe you would like to join me at the bar?" he suggested, "I'm sure Purdey can handle whoever her mother has come up with this time."
Purdey looked at Victor. Yes, she definitely remembered him. It was a long time since she had last seen him, but he had looked just the same then. She actually wondered, now that she saw him, how she could have possibly forgotten him. It HAD been her first summer in England, after they had moved here from India. The summer before she had been sent away to St. Mary's. Victor had been staying here with his uncle, the vicar. She didn't remember how she actually had made his acquaintance but she DID remember he had soon started to really, really annoy her. And there he was again: same neat side parting, same thick, round glasses, freckled face, chequered shirt and hand-knit brown sweater. He was till as thin as then and his hair still the same muddy brown.
"Hello, Victor", she said with much more enthusiasm than she felt and put on her best smile. No good trying to escape this, so she could just as well do it with style, right?
"How - how do you do?" Victor offered her a slightly sweaty hand.
She gave it a brief squeeze. "Nice to see you again."
Her mother beamed at them. "You always got along so well as children", she said, then excused herself.
Purdey and Victor stood there, just looking at each other.
"It's been a long time", Purdey said.
She inconspicuously scanned the room for Gambit. She could see Roland, over by the fireplace, talking with Miss Minchin. Two more rose-nuts talking about their favourite hobby. Her mother was sitting on the sofa, together with the Swansons and Mrs. Harris. When she saw Purdey looking her way, she smiled and winked. Purdey sighed and almost rolled her eyes. Maybe she should have a word with her mother … Most of the other guests were gathered round the buffet at the far end of the room, sampling the food and talking. Finally, Purdey spotted Gambit. He was standing over at the bar, together with Steed and her stepfather. When he noticed her looking at him, he grinned and toasted at her.
"One of these days …" she muttered under her breath.
"B-b-beg your pardon?" Victor asked.
She noticed he was still stuttering slightly just like when he had been a boy.
"One of these days, we'll have to get together and exchange old stories", she said as cheerfully as she could with the thought of strangling Mike Gambit on her mind. It was the completely wrong thing to say. It was like opening a floodgate.
"Oh yes, we absolutely have to do that! Do … do you remember when you climbed that apple tree? I was so frightened you would fall and hurt yourself."
No, Purdey didn't remember that - and she didn't care about remembering. She just wanted to be rid of Victor.
Alas, every attempt to shake him off was futile. Victor clung to her like a limpet, prattling on incessantly, for hours. Finally, she even fled to the upstairs bathroom and stayed there, sitting on the rim of the bathtub for half an hour, counting the seconds and devising new, exciting methods t get back at Gambit for leaving her alone with Victor. Strangling would be too easy, she decided. Too quick. No, she had to - A smile crossed her face. Maybe she should introduce Gambit to her Aunt Edina some time in the near future. He happened to be just her type. The smile turned into a grin. Yes, that would do very nicely. Purdey finally got up from the bathtub and left the room. Outside, Victor was waiting for her. She sighed. He just didn't get it. Very well, she would have to use a more direct approach, then.
Halfway through another ramble, on how they once had built sandcastles together, she interrupted him.
"I'm sorry, Victor. I'm sure you're a nice person and that one day, you'll find a girl -"
"But I already did." Victor blinked. "You."
"Yes. I fell in love with you when I first saw you. You're so beautiful, Purdey."
Purdey blinked, too. She drew in a deep breath. "I'm flattered, Victor, but -"
"We would make a perfect pair, Purdey", Victor interrupted her again. He stepped towards her and took her hand. "Just like Judy and Bob from 'Pleasantville'. Don't you remember how we used to watch it together?"
Purdey backed away and pulled her hand out of his. "Now, Victor -" They had watched "Pleasantville" together a couple of times - an American TV-series from the 50s. She had always found it boring but she remembered now how much Victor had liked it.
"A perfect pair, yes", he cut her off again, "Settled down comfortably in our own little house. I'd go to work every day and you'd be the perfect housewife, staying at home and looking after the children."
Children? Purdey decided to put an end to this. She did draw the line with children. She didn't want any children - not now, not anytime soon and definitely not with Victor.
"Sorry, Victor. I'm really very flattered but I'm not interested."
"Oh, that will come in time." Victor smiled.
There was something in his eyes for a second that almost frightened her. Something - like an almost mad glint. Then, her annoyance won over. She had tried. She really had tried to be patient and gentle but this man hadn't understood the hints. Nor was he listening to what she was saying now.
"I don't think so, Victor."
She flicked her hand out at the nape of Victor's neck and squeezed hard, just where Gambit had showed her to squeeze during their work-out the previous week. Victor crumpled to the floor.
"Just a matter of pressure applied to the right point," Purdey murmured, repeating Gambit's words, and stepped over Victor.
Downstairs in the parlour, she approached the bar. Gambit, Steed and her stepfather were still there.
Gambit raised a brow. "What happened to Victor?"
Purdey glared at him. "I'm not talking to you, you traitor." She poured herself a glass of whisky and took a sip.
Gambit laughed. "Sorry, but it was so much fun to watch you trying to get rid of him and not losing your temper." He turned to the other two. "Wasn't it?"
"We had a bet going on how long you would be able to bear with him", the bishop said.
"So what did happen to Victor?" Gambit repeated his question.
"Remember that pinch you showed me last week?" When he nodded, Purdey went on, "Well, I showed it to Victor."
"Poor Victor." Gambit raised his glass in a toast.
"Poor Victor?" Purdey took another sip. "Lucky Victor. I do know how to break someone's back in three places and I was seriously tempted to use that knowledge …"
Steed checked his watch. "Three hours", he said.
"You win, Steed." Gambit emptied his glass and put it down on the counter. "Next dinner will be on me."
"Et tu, Steed?" Purdey shook her head. "Really, I'm very disappointed. I always thought you were such a gallant man, helping ladies in distress."
"Oh, but a liberated girl like you doesn't need any help. Even when she's a lady." Steed, too, emptied his glass. "I suggest we leave before dear Victor wakes up again."
"What a good idea. Purdey might really lose her patience and do something even nastier to him." Gambit winked.
Purdey made a point of ignoring him.
They bid farewell to Purdey's mother, using the long journey back to London as an excuse for their leaving early. Purdey still ignored Gambit. When they left the house, however, and she turned back to wave at her mother, she suddenly grabbed his hand and smiled, leaning close to him - closer than usual.
"What is it?" Gambit asked in a low voice.
"Victor is watching us from the first-floor window," Purdey said through her smile.
"Oh." Gambit let go of her hand and put his arm around her waist.
He took a quick glance back. Victor was indeed standing at the window, almost flattening his nose against it, his hands against the glass on either side of his face. Almost like a puppy-dog looking longingly after its owner. Then, suddenly, Gambit saw something glint in Victor's eyes as the man looked straight at him. Maybe he was just imagining it but he found himself thinking of a rabid dog rather than a puppy-dog. Without realising it, he pulled Purdey closer to him.
"What are you doing?" Purdey whispered at him, her smile still plastered on her face.
"Trying to make him jump to all the wrong conclusions. Wasn't that the plan?" Gambit led Purdey along to the car and helped her in the back seat. She thanked him with her most radiant smile and a kiss on his cheek.
"Don't you get any ideas, Mike Gambit," she muttered, "I still think you're a traitor for leaving me alone with Victor. I'm only doing this because he wants to marry me."
Gambit, who had just climbed in the back seat next to her to keep up the illusion of the happy couple, and Steed both turned to her.
"What?" they both blurted out.
"Yes. He seems to be really serious about it. Now get the car started before he comes running after me. Quick!"
Steed obediently did as he was told. Purdey kept her eyes fixed on the rear-view mirror till her mother's house was well out of sight. With a sigh, she sank back. She had always enjoyed visiting with her parents. But most recently - since Christmas, to be exact - it had become increasingly dangerous. If she only could get it across to her mother that she didn't plan to marry anytime soon.
"What was that about Victor wanting to marry you?" Steed asked, giving her a quick glance from the mirror.
"Oh, nothing. He just claims we're the perfect pair. Like Judy and Bob."
"Judy and Bob?" Steed asked.
"Yes. They're from an American TV-series called 'Pleasantville'. It -"
"It ran from 1953 to 1957 in the United States and was aired here in the early 60s. Probably the most boring thing I've ever seen", Steed said, "And he thought you two were like Judy and Bob?"
"Yes. We watched it together a couple of times." Purdey frowned. "I remember Victor always said that one day he would marry me and then, we would be just like Judy and Bob."
Gambit clucked his tongue. "That man should be locked up in a sanatorium. He's obviously suffering from severe delusions."
"Oh, you be quiet, you turncoat. It was you who left me all alone with him for three hours."
Purdey folded her arms across her chest. Gambit said nothing, just kept glancing at her, putting on his best chastened look. She didn't plan on letting him get off easily. Let him stew a bit, wonder whether she was really angry at him. Well, she wasn't. In fact, she found it almost impossible to be really angry at Gambit for longer than five minutes or so. But she would never tell him, of course. So she just let him sit there for a while, casting half-worried glances at her and wonder how mad exactly she might be at him.
"Although I have to admit," Purdey said when she thought he had stewed enough, "that this pinch of yours does make up for it - in part. You still owe me, Mike Gambit."
"Dinner?" Gambit suggested. She noticed he only barely could stop himself from sighing with relief.
"Italian," Purdey said, "you pay, of course."
"Of course." Gambit smiled.
With peace restored, there wasn't much else to talk about during the rest of the drive back to London. Purdey looked out of the window, watching the scenery fly past. All in all it had gone better than she had thought. She settled down more comfortably in the back seat. No more 'nice young men' to meet till Christmas now. Maybe, by then, she would have managed to talk some sense into her mother. She really didn't expect to see Victor again anytime soon.
It was about a week later and Purdey had all but forgotten about Victor when she received the letter. Her address was typed, as was the letter itself.
"We have your friend Mike Gambit. We will call you at 10 a.m. - do exactly as you're told and nothing will happen to him."
"What???" she blurted out.
This had to be a joke. She examined the envelope. No sender. Of course not. And no stamp, either. Someone must have just shoved it into her letterbox. She re-read it. It definitely HAD to be a joke.
"Mike Gambit, if this is from you …"
She grabbed the phone and dialled Gambit's number. She let it ring at least ten times but still no answer. Purdey frowned and checked her watch. Twelve past nine. How odd. Usually, he was always home at this time of day. Well, maybe he was with Steed. Purdey dialled Steed's number. No one answering there, either. She remembered that Steed had said something about an appointment in London and that he wouldn't be back on his estate before evening.
Purdey bit her lower lip as she always did when she was thinking. Gambit lived only a few blocks away so the easiest thing would be to check on him. Maybe he had been to a party last night and was still asleep - and thus, didn't hear the phone.
Something was wrong. Purdey couldn't put her finger on it at first but when she approached the door to Gambit's flat, she noticed that it was standing slightly ajar. Slowly, she moved closer, listening for any sounds she might be able to hear from within.
"Gambit?" she called out.
She slowly and carefully pushed the door open with her foot, prepared for an attack. Again, nothing happened, so she entered the flat. The first thing she saw was a huge stain on the carpet close by the sofa/bed and broken glass. Next to it, there was a very small darker stain.
Purdey knelt down. She sniffed. Alcohol. Scotch, judging from the pieces of the broken bottle lying scattered there. The darker stain, though, was blood. Dried blood. Purdey got up.
"Mike Gambit, this isn't funny", she called once more.
She knew she would get no answer. Still, couldn't hurt to try. She scanned the room to check whether anything was missing. There was … the bed sheets. Purdey frowned. Now, it might have happened that Gambit had broken a bottle of Scotch last night, that he had cut himself and bled on the carpet. Maybe he had even forgotten to close his door properly, unlikely as that was. But no way would he go out dressed only in his bed sheets. She quickly checked the bathroom. The clothes he had been wearing the previous day were there - except for his trousers. She bit her lip again, slowly turning and walking back to the bed.
There were no other signs of a struggle. Only the broken bottle and the tiny bloodstain. She spotted two glasses and an almost empty bottle of wine on the kitchen counter. She almost rolled her eyes. One of his "two-person-parties", as he called them. But nothing was knocked over. Whoever had taken Gambit had managed to take him by surprise. And that was almost impossible. Purdey had tried. It just didn't work. Unless - maybe he had been woken up by someone and had opened the door, still not fully awake. Found someone seemingly harmless there and let him in. And then, that someone had taken the bottle and smashed it over Gambit's head before the poor man knew what was happening. Purdey nodded to herself. Yes, that was the only way it could have happened.
She shook her head. But not very planned. No, whoever had snatched Gambit must have had a plan. And it must have been a professional. Unlikely that someone else would have managed to get him. Maybe the plan had gone wrong and he had had to use the bottle to knock Gambit out. Well - no good wondering now. She'd best head back to her own flat now and wait for that call. Purdey took Gambit's keys from where he usually hid them, closed and locked the door behind her.
The call came exactly at ten. A male voice started to speak. Purdey frowned. She knew that voice. It belonged to about the last person she wanted to speak to now. "Sorry, Victor, but I'm waiting for an important call", she said and hung up.
Victor stared at the receiver in his hand. "She - she h-h-hung up on m-m-me", he stuttered, giving Gambit an incredulous look.
Gambit just shrugged. "Well, that's Purdey for you."
He was almost desperately trying to forget that he was tied to a chair in what seemed to be Victor's living room, wearing only his bed sheets and trousers. He didn't know how he had got here. Not exactly, anyways. He remembered victor showing up at his flat and then, being hit by something like an electrical shock when he had turned round to make some coffee. He only managed to turn half round when something else had hit him, this time over the head. He had woken up again in what, after a while, he had identified as the trunk of a car. Someone had opened it but before he had been able to identify a face, he had been knocked out again. And now he was sitting in this chair here, in Victor's kitchen, with his wrists and ankles tied to the chair, wondering who might have helped the man to kidnap him. For it was impossible that he had done that all on his own, wasn't it?
Victor frowned. "I'll just call her again."
Gambit nodded. "Yes, do that."
Purdey didn't understand what was going on until the third time Victor rang her up and tried to tell her something. At first, she was just annoyed that he kept trying even though she kept telling him she was expecting that important call. Then, suddenly, it started to dawn on her. That call - could it actually be Victor? No, impossible. That man was an idiot. He never could have managed to kidnap Gambit - or could he? Purdey shook her head. How often had Steed told them that looks could be deceiving? How often hat he said never to dismiss a possibility just because it seemed unlikely? She bit her lip. What if he didn't call again? What would he do to Gambit? But she needn't have worried. Not two minutes after she had last hung up on him, Victor did call again.
"I know it's you, Victor", Purdey interrupted him almost as soon as he had started to speak, "Stop this nonsense and tell me at once what you did to Gambit and where you took him."
"Not unless you marry me."
She took in a deep breath. "Excuse me? Are you out of your mind? Why should I marry you? I told you -"
"If you don't marry me … I - I'll kill your friend."
"Yes. He's here." There was a yelp from another man that might or might not be Gambit. "He's dead if you don't agree to become my wife. I'll call you again in an hour."
Victor rang off.
Purdey stared in stunned silence at the receiver in her hand. She wasn't annoyed. She wasn't angry either. She was well beyond that. Who did that little prig think he was? Well, she would show him. Oh yes, she would. Bad enough that the idiot had managed to kidnap Gambit. But that he now thought he could outsmart her, make her agree to marrying him - Purdey threw the receiver against the phone and got up. She looked at her watch. An hour before he called again. That should give her enough time to find out something. But where to start? She drummed her fingers on the top of the phone table. Of course. She snapped her fingers. Her mother. Her mother had invited Victor to the birthday party. So she at least knew his phone number, maybe even his address. That should help to get her started.
Not for one single second did Purdey consider that Mike Gambit might indeed be in danger.
Mike Gambit still was sitting in his chair. He had checked his bonds as well as he could and found that it was impossible for him to break loose. The rope was too strong - and the knots too tight. He looked up at Victor.
"She won't do it", he said, "She just won't."
"If she re-re-really likes you that much, she wi-wi-will", Victor stuttered.
Gambit shook his head. "Oh no. No she won't. You'll only make her angry. And believe me - an angry Purdey isn't someone you'd like to face."
He tried to distract himself from how embarrassing this was. Caught by an amateur. By Victor. If anyone ever found out, he would be the laughing stock at the Department. He, Mike Gambit, always alert, always prepared for an attack - taken out by someone simply smashing a bottle of Scotch over his head. His only solace was that Purdey must have figured out by now what had happened, and that she surely wouldn't tell anyone. Steed, maybe, but he could live with that, he guessed.
"I can tell you what she'll do", he went on, "She'll find out where you're holding me. She's smart. It won't take her too long. And then, she'll come for me and you better pray -"
Victor hit him straight in the face. There was a maniacal glint in his eyes that made Gambit suddenly wonder whether he hadn't misjudged the man. Maybe Victor was more dangerous than he had thought. The image of a rabid dog came to his mind again. He tried to chase it away.
"If she doesn't want me to kill you, she will agree to become my wife", Victor said without the slightest stutter.
Gambit opened his mouth to disagree - and closed it again. Better not say anything for a while. His head was still hurting from those two blows it had received within the last few hours. It wouldn't help anyone if he drove Victor into a rage so that the man simply knocked him out again.
Purdey stood in the corridor in front of Victor's flat. Her mother had told her the address. She had sounded very pleased when Purdey had called her and asked for it. Purdey was pleased, too. Victor's flat wasn't too far from her own. She wouldn't lose all that much time checking it out. She could easily be back at her place within the hour.
Of course, the door was locked. She thought for a moment. The Steed-approach or the Gambit-approach? The former one was picking the lock, the latter one simply kicking the door in. They both had showed her how to do it. Considering she lacked the right tools for lock-picking and didn't have the time, either, it would have to be the Gambit-approach. It wasn't exactly her style, but ringing the bell or knocking and then smashing the door into the face of whoever answered wouldn't work. She had tried that already. It looked like no one was at home.
Taking a step back, she counted to three and kicked. The door flew open. Just then, a man passed by - one of the neighbours, she guessed. Purdey gave him her most radiant smile.
"Forgot my keys," she said.
He just frowned, glaring warily at her and went on.
Purdey entered the flat, knowing that she had to hurry. If that passerby called the police, she had something like fifteen minutes to half an hour to search all the rooms for a clue.
The clue she sought was placed so prominently before her that she almost missed it. It was a photo of a house - a nice little cottage in the countryside. It looked so typical that, at first, Purdey could hardly believe it was real. The very cliché of a nice little cottage in the countryside, with everything you could possibly ask for: ivy crawling up the brick-walls, a white brass-handled door and window-frames, a large tree by the front-door, a short gravel-path leading to where a gate opened in the fence. The path was lined with large grey stones and more flower beds and by the gate, a lilac-bush partly obscured the view of the house. The picture was pinned to the wall by the bed.
Purdey took it and frowned. A house? Victor's house? She remembered what he had said about living in their own little house. Turning it over, Purdey looked at the back of the picture. Nothing. She tapped the photo against her free hand. Who did she know who might be able to find out quickly whose house this was and where she could find it? She snapped her fingers. Right. Geoff at the Department.
Purdey checked her watch. Half an hour to go till the next call was due. She could make it. If she ignored the traffic lights. And wasn't caught doing so.
Geoffrey Matthews opened the door to his office - and found Purdey sitting on the edge of his desk. He smiled.
"Purdey! Well, what a pleasant surprise."
"Hello, Geoff." Purdey smiled back at him.
"What brings you here? Want to join me for lunch maybe?"
They had been out two or three times - only for dinner, nothing else had happened. It surely wasn't his fault. Purdey had just made it perfectly clear where she drew the line. And everyone knew you better not cross that line. But you could always hope …
Purdey shook her head in answer to his question. "I wondered whether you couldn't find out something for me", she said.
"That depends. What do you want to know?"
"Here." She tossed a photo at him. "This house. I need to know where it is."
Geoff frowned. "Sure, I can find out. Shouldn't be too difficult, I guess. But why do you want to know?"
Purdey beckoned him to come closer. "Don't tell anyone", she told him in a stage whisper, "I came across this diabolical mastermind, you know? He's got this really powerful weapon he wants to use to destroy the world's supplies of marshmallows. I managed to locate his headquarters - the house on the photo."
Geoff grinned at her and shook his head. "Really, Purdey …"
"Please, Geoff. It's really important." The smile was gone from her face now.
"Something you're working on with Steed?"
"No - with Gambit. I can't tell you any more. In fact, I'm not supposed to get anyone else involved." The smile returned to Purdey's face. "But we're stuck and I thought maybe you could help us out."
"Alright." Geoff sighed. "How soon do you need to know?"
"As soon as possible."
"I'll see what I can do. I'll call you -" He frowned and thought for a second. "- within an hour."
"Thanks, Geoff." Purdey beamed at him. "Gambit said you wouldn't help us but I knew he was wrong."
Geoff smiled at her. "Always a pleasure to help you. Where can I reach you?"
"We'll be waiting at my flat." She slid gracefully off his desk and gave him a peck on the cheek, then turned to leave. At the door, she turned back at him.
"How about dinner on Saturday?" Purdey smiled.
Geoff returned the smile. "Would be great."
"Fine. Pick me up at eight." She left.
Geoff looked after her. He sighed and looked down at the photo. That was Purdey. Always got what she wanted.