written for Ponderosa in the Yuletide 2008 Challenge
by Amy L. Hull amilynh at comcast dot net
Thanks to dotfic for the beta
"Tell me again why I'm dressed as a hooker, Mother?"
"Because the wig hides the earpiece. And it might lure the high-level CIA agents who pretend the ADA was not a cover for their sexual kinks."
Whistler leaned into the scratchy tweed of Bish's shoulder to hide his laughter at Crease's grumbling and attempts to grab the walkie-talkie.
"I still can't tell when Mother's serious and when he's winding Crease up," Bish murmured into the wig.
He made a production of wrapping his other hand around Bish's arm. "I can."
"Carl's ready to hijack the sound system," Mother said.
"The party is in the second ballroom, two doors down on your left. When you get there, remember that the target is a balding Indian man in his 60s. He is wearing a black suit with a blue tie. He likes water-skiing and fine wine. If you can get him talking, it should be easy to lift his key card."
"Thanks for that description, Crease. I'm sure I'll walk straight to him."
"Oh, shut up and do your job."
"See?" Mother sounded smug even for him. "I knew you guys got off on bossing around handicapped people."
"Soooo, is everyone set?" Bish exuded calm, except that one little quaver at the edge of his voice that meant the caper was real.
Bish lowered his chin into the wig again. "I knew you were."
Whistler just grinned and pressed his lips together to even the lipstick Carl had applied.
"We're a go, kids," Bish said.
As Bish and Whistler walked into the room, the sedate pseudo-jazz behind the idle chatter of party-goers was suddenly replaced with Carl's voice, "Ladies and gentlemen, on behalf of the Merkis Corporate Group, we'd like to welcome you to tonight's festivities in honor of record increases in our overseas distribution numbers. Our president and vice-presidents hope you'll all enjoy the on-the-house wines and champagne and join them in the center of the room for dancing!"
Dance music followed and there were rustles of people moving differently, clinks of glasses, a shift in the level of conversation.
"All right, Bish. Push me in the right direction."
They walked about halfway across the large-sounding room and Bish took Whistler's hand from his elbow, held his other hand and swayed for a moment, leaning close to Whistler's face till Whistler could feel his breath. "I'm going to let go and step aside. Your mark is at 11 o'clock," he murmured.
A moment later Whistler was alone, surrounded by people, and he staggered for a moment in the echoes and high heels, then danced his heart out, almost to the music, until he bumped into someone. "I'm so sorry," he said in a slightly affected voice, patting at the man until he was sure of his general size.
"Oh, my dear, did someone abandon you on the dance floor alone?" the man's voice had only the slightest hint of an accent. He took Whistler's hand. "Would you care to dance with me?"
There were introductions and Whistler managed not to use Carl's suggestion of the alias "Hilda" as an homage to the movie Willow, and did steer the conversation to water-skiing and types of speedboats and jumps. He heard Bish take the key card and waited to be rescued.
It was only about ten minutes of stories of huge lakes later that Bish appeared. "Oh, sweetie, I'm so sorry. I got caught up talking about stocks and quarterly reports and I turned around and you were gone."
"Don't worry about it; I've been having a lovely conversation with--"
"Lawrence." He shook hands with Bish.
Bish set Whistler's hand in the crook of his arm. "We'd better get going, darling."
"Of course, dear," Whistler waved. "Bye, Lawrence. Don't get hypothermia on your Lake Superior trip."
Once the doors dimmed the sounds behind them Bish stopped. "Don't get hypothermia?"
Whistler just shrugged. "Hey, Carl."
"Carl." Bish sounded surprised and Whistler felt him turn around and back. "Aren't you going to fix the music?"
"Because...well, I guess there's no reason; the hotel will want to work on the security of the sound system to their meeting rooms once we give them our report."
Whistler held out a hand and Carl offered his elbow. "Let's go home, kids," he smiled, pulling the other two men along with him.