Author's Note: Just a quick little mission for my two favorite characters. :D This is my first attempt at writing from Murdock's perspective, so let me know how I'm doing... Anyway happy reading haha. Enjoy!
It seemed like a lot of preparation for one simple little task.
He'd gone through all the possible scenarios at any rate, just to keep the Faceman happy. Murdock knew from experience the guy worked best when he was in a good mood and whoever he was bringing along for the con listened to him.
So he'd gone off in his little corner to wait, just as Face had told him, pretending to look interested in the weird second-hand clothing hanging from the racks surrounding them. He could just see Face up ahead, leaned against the counter as he talked with the unfortunate woman clerk who was now subject to his charms. They'd been talking for awhile now; he could hear the friendly murmur of Face's voice and the shy laughter of the girl as he waited. He never questioned Face's methods, one, because they worked and two, because Face hated constructive criticism, from a "dizzy pilot" or otherwise.
But Murdock hated waiting.
He had no trouble with playing out cons-liked them in fact- but they weren't as exciting as flying planes through machinegun fire or blowing shit up, which was always ten times more fun. Standing still for a long time was not. Even in basic training, Murdock hardly managed to keep himself in formation, which had resulted in a ton of pushups, most of the time elbow-deep in mud.
He tapped his shoes on the floor, unconsciously fiddling with the end of his necktie. Trapped for the day in a dress shirt and slacks was also not his idea of fun. He missed his Converse with every step he took; the things he was wearing now were a size too big, hurt his feet and had no give. He knew he had to wear them for this kind of gig, but still; he wondered how Face could wear crap like this 24/7.
Speaking of Face…
Murdock turned to watch him again, checking his progress. It didn't look like anything had really changed. He still stood there all calm, collected and suave, with that ridiculous smile every single woman somehow found irresistible…Only this girl didn't really seem to respond to it. Murdock checked his watch, realizing it had been close to five minutes, now, and she still wasn't swooning. He raised his eyebrows in approval.
A new record.
Murdock felt sorry for her; he didn't really like to watch Face do stuff like this. The poor girl was looking a bit flustered, and he knew automatically that she wasn't used to guys like Face waltzing up to her counter and hitting on her.
Not that she was ugly. In fact, Murdock thought she was cute: short dark hair, a heart-shaped face and pretty blue eyes. But she wasn't Face's type, which could have been the problem. He'd seen this scenario enough times to know the Lieutenant preferred blondes, and as such, could work better with them. He smiled at the irony of this fact once he remembered Sosa, but quickly refocused.
It had been almost seven minutes, now; their window of time was slowly closing. And Hannibal would be royally pissed if they came back with nothing, especially since they were risking just about everything in order to get what they needed. So, Murdock weighed his decisions: either get things done or be chewed out by the Colonel.
It had been awhile since he'd experienced the latter, and he intended to keep it that way.
Murdock straightened his clothes and took a few careful steps toward the counter, not really sure what the hell he was doing. Usually his mind was running a mile a minute along with his mouth, but things were taking awhile to come to him in that moment. He ran a hand through his hair, licked his lips and stepped up to the counter beside Face, who was still engaged in small talk.
"Uhm. Excuse me, Miss…"
She looked over at him and Murdock could see she was thankful to talk to someone else. He didn't blame her; why Face was yammering on about a country club and playing golf with people was beyond him. Murdock gave her a genuine smile, just to make her feel better. To his surprise, she returned the gesture.
"Can I help you?"
He hesitated, but only a moment. Face stared at him, a strange half-smile still glued to his features. Murdock cleared his throat.
"Yes, uh…I think what my friend's trying to ask, is that if there's a package here for us. It should have come in yesterday, I believe."
The girl- a Miss Kelly Stevens according to her name tag- nodded to him, seemingly happy to get back to her job, even though Murdock felt it must have been a pretty boring one.
"All right, I can look for you. And what is your name, sir?"
Immediately after the name went flying out of his mouth he realized he'd single-handedly ruined all of the preparation he'd sworn to have remembered. Murdock could practically feel Face's death stare boring into his head as he cleared his throat. Kelly fixed him with a smile.
"I'll get a form for you, Mr. Murdock," She paused to look at over at Face and her smile faltered slightly. "And one for you, Mr. Jones."
Murdock could hardly keep himself from laughing, as he'd forgotten about Face's fake name as well. Kelly turned her back on them and walked to the far end of the counter, just out of range for whispers. Face leaned in angrily and Murdock had to take a step back.
"What the hell are you doing?" he hissed.
"You were takin' too long-"
"Too long? Are you freakin' kidding me?"
Murdock leaned further back, as if instinctively trying to avoid getting caught in a chokehold; Face was difficult to read when he was very angry, and getting choked certainly wasn't out of the question. Thankfully, Kelly's voice caught their attention.
"So where are you guys from?" she asked, "Or…I mean, where do you work?"
Murdock straightened up, realizing that the question was directed at him. He was more concerned with the fact she'd saved him from serious injury and fumbled for words instead.
Okay, focus. Who the hell are we supposed to be…?
Murdock looked over at Face, who was smugly silent, apparently enjoying this moment of humiliation.
They were wearing some kind of fake IDs on their belts- he knew that. And they were reporters, hence the horribly uncomfortable clothing. What he couldn't remember was the name of the stupid company they worked for. Murdock looked back at Kelly, who waited patiently, trying to hide a smile at all his stuttering. His brain finally came up with something and he ran with it.
"Well, we're reporters. From Vandelay Visions…we're kind of a small little company, y'know? You probably haven't heard of us."
Kelly shook her head, holding out the clipboard to him. "I haven't."
Murdock shrugged and she turned to grab something from the counter behind her. Face took that moment to presently stomp right on the pilot's foot. He jumped in both surprise and pain.
"OWWW!" he hollered.
Kelly turned quickly, her hair flying out around her head. Murdock quickly turned his scathing look at Face into a smile, bouncing slightly to keep pressure off the wounded foot. Both of them directed their attention to the clipboard. Kelly pointed.
"If you would sign there, please?"
Murdock nodded, realizing he was lacking a pen. After looking around a moment, he noticed one tucked behind her right her.
"Uh, hope you don't mind."
He carefully grabbed hold of the pen and pulled it from behind her ear, his fingers gently grazing her temple. She blushed a deep red and Murdock smirked, quickly signing his name. He passed the paper to a nonplussed Face, who stared at him a moment before snatching the pen from his hand.
"Thank you, Mr. Murdock," Kelly said, taking the clipboard back from him. Quickly she added, "And you, Mr. Jones."
Face flashed her a somewhat sardonic smile and Murdock glared at him.
"Come back this way, gentleman."
They followed her into a small hallway and stopped at a drab grey door. Kelly fished in her pocket for her keys; Face let out a short sigh and looked behind them instinctively. Murdock knew he had some kind of problem with tight spaces, especially when there was no clear exit out of said places. The door was soon open and Kelly stepped aside to let them in.
"The latest deliveries are at the back on the bottom shelf," she said as Murdock bounded past her.
He found the box labeled 'Jones and Mellor,' recognizing Sosa's neat, pretty handwriting, and practically tore it open. As he rifled through it, Face came up behind him to look over his shoulder.
"Is everything in there?"
Murdock had seized the familiar scuffed leather of his jacket and practically hugged it to him, ignoring Face for the moment. He reached for the next article of clothing and gleefully exclaimed,
"Ah! Hello, sweet pants!"
"Dammit," Face growled, "Get out of the way!"
He pushed Murdock aside, rummaging through the box instead. The pilot watched, though hardly paid attention, still holding his jacket lovingly close. He'd endured a terrible week of wearing normal clothes: jeans, non-Converse sneakers, sweatshirts and the dress shirt and slacks he was continuously forced to wear, and now he could finally have a sense of comfort in his life again; his bomber jacket was practically an extension of his body, and now he had it again. It was the only time he was ever thankful Face and Sosa actually got something done for a change.
Face searched the box for roughly a minute, pushing aside several items, including a cigar box, several thick necklaces and some papers before straightening backup.
"Everything's there, just like she said. You really lucked out, buddy."
Murdock scrambled to his feet. "Well whoop-dee-doo! Let's get the hell out of here."
He reached happily into the box and yanked out his well-worn, well-loved baseball cap, slapping it on to his head. Face picked up the parcel from the floor and sighed. He jerked his head.
"Fine. Let's go."
Murdock frowned. "Wait. Where's my aviators?"
He could tell Face was losing his patience, but that didn't really stop him from rummaging through the box yet again.
"We'll find 'em later," Face assured him, steering him along by his elbow. He nodded to Kelly, who was still standing by the entrance, a curious look on her face. "Let's go, Murdock."
"I swear I had 'em!" The pilot had abandoned his search in the box and was now pawing at his jacket. "Right here in my pocket!"
Face was ignoring him, of course, having already thanked Kelly and headed out the door. Murdock stood outside in the hallway, still looking through his jacket. Kelly hovered behind them, shutting the door with a snap as they went.
"Murdock, I'm leaving," Face informed him. He turned back to the girl. "Thanks again, Miss."
She nodded. "No problem."
"Just wait a second!" Murdock called.
Face never understood when a situation called for patience. If he didn't have his aviators, that was bad luck. Pilots couldn't fly with bad luck. Murdock growled as a second search through all of the pockets yielded no sign of his fabled sunglasses. He'd had them since that business in Mexico and he really wasn't about to fly without them. That would just give B.A. another reason to hate him, but so be it. The guy didn't like flying anyway.
Face had indeed left the store, indicated by the jingle of the little bells that hung from the top of the 'IN' door. Murdock groaned and slumped against the counter, hardly aware that Kelly had slinked back behind it.
"…Mr. Murdock?" she inquired.
He turned to her, somewhat despondent. "Yes?"
She looked into his eyes and his mood seemed to shift just a bit. A smile tugged at his lips and he almost wondered why.
"Tell me something," she said, leaned forward over the counter. "Do you and Mr. Jones work with a guy named George Costanza at Vandelay Visions?"
Murdock didn't miss a beat. "No, Miss Stevens, as he is a fictional character. I don't work with fictional characters." He paused, as if to consider. "Well, Mr. Jones would argue that of course, but no, I really don't."
Kelly laughed, revealing a genuine, toothy smile. In all truth, it was a terrific smile; Murdock couldn't help grinning back. She nodded, reaching for something under the counter.
"I thought so."
She pressed something into his hand as she spoke. Murdock's eyes widened; his aviator sunglasses lay in his palm, the gold rims polished and the black lenses wiped clean. He looked back up at Kelly, who smiled again, though a blush was beginning to creep across her cheeks.
"They were really dirty," she explained almost sheepishly, "So I took them out to clean them."
Murdock bounced on his heels excitedly, still grinning from ear to ear, all that worry replaced with hysterical glee. Feeling completely back to his normal, unpredictably strange self, he bounced a few more times on his heels and leaned quickly over the counter, pressing an ecstatic kiss to Kelly's cheek.
"Thanks so much, pretty girl! Honestly- you saved me a ton of bad luck!"
A car horn blared outside and Murdock jumped, hurriedly fumbling to put on his jacket. He bolted for the door, shoving the aviators over his eyes and whirled back around to face Kelly, only slightly aware of how red her face had turned. He flashed her another grin and a thumbs-up.
"Catch you later, Miss! I owe you one!"
Murdock yanked open the door and practically flew outside, clattering the bells in the doorway several more times than was necessary. He hurried up to the rusty pick-up truck Face oh-so despised and hopped inside. They were already pulling out of the tiny parking lot before Murdock had even clicked on his seat belt, slumping comfortably back against the window.
"That was…ridiculous," Face laughed, shaking his head.
"Yeah," the pilot agreed in a sigh.
He realized something was stuck in one of the lenses on his glasses and frowned, straightening up. Face looked over at him.
Murdock grinned. "Oh, nothing…"
"Oh my god…You got her number?" Face blurted. "That's it- I'm pushing you out of this car right now."
"Please, Face. You're looking at this the wrong way."
Murdock tucked the number safely into his breast pocket, tapping it reassuringly. The con man shook his head indignantly.
Murdock leaned further back against the window as Face made a grab for his pocket.
"No, it's mine!" he howled.
"I'm driving- I'll kill us!"
Murdock dodged him again, wondering how Face could still keep an eye on the road.
"You'd kill me over a phone number?"
"I'd kill you for lesser things if it came down to it," Face retorted.
Murdock laughed. "Naw, you wouldn't. You love me, Faceman."
He reached out to lovingly squeeze his cheek. Face jumped at the contact, pushing him away. The truck swerved violently and the pilot cackled.
He laughed again, one of his usual loud, staccato laughs, reserved for annoying the hell out of Face. He growled, focusing back on driving, but the slightest hint of a smile showed on his lips. Murdock adjusted his aviators and leaned back in the seat, still grinning.
"Jeezus ain't got nothin' to do with it, Faceman."
The truck purposefully swerved again in order to rumble over several potholes before finally leveling out.
Murdock could only smirk. He stuck his tounge out at Face and all was normal once again.