Author: Anne Bristow
Summary: Murdoc makes a connection as he considers the happenings in Strictly Business.
Rating: PG, for hints of violence
Feedback: Yes, please, to the address on my fanfic collective. Have I written Murdoc true to character? Does the story make sense, and are the events in a logical order? All comments are welcome, even criticism as long as it's constructive.
Disclaimer: The author claims no ownership of the characters. She is not making a profit from their appearance here, and no celebrity endorsement is implied. In other words: don't sue.
I should've killed them, Murdoc thought, as he again pondered recent events.
He was sitting at the counter of an out-of-the-way bar in a particularly shadowy corner. His failure to prove himself to HIT had left him a target, but that didn't concern him. He knew he could elude - or exterminate - anyone they sent after him.
No, it was the ample opportunities he'd had to succeed at his task that troubled him more. He could've killed the woman and the girl as soon as he found them helping MacGyver. Or, instead of his elaborate set-up to restore his opponent's lost memory, he could've threatened the woman on the spot. MacGyver would've emerged from hiding, and three bodies later, it would have all been over.
But he'd made the decision to try to avoid taking out the woman and the girl. Anybody can pile up bodies, he'd told himself. He, however, was a professional, and he prided himself on doing his work as neatly as possible. Besides that, there was no profit in their deaths. Simple as that. And it wasn't as if he enjoyed killing people.
Okay, he liked it a little bit. At first. But that was a long time ago, and now in his quieter moments it was starting to wear on him. Truth be known, he'd actually enjoyed his "time off." He'd been to the lake, to the park, to the grocery store -- everywhere. He'd watched the people, but for a change, it wasn't as a predator. It was as . . . He had just been . . . a person.
Coming back to himself, he quickly dismissed his reverie. Maybe I am getting old.
"Another," Murdoc said to the waitress behind the bar.
She simply nodded in reply and turned to make the drink. She'd been working there long enough to recognize that the man was wrestling with some industrial-sized demons, but she knew better than to ask if he wanted to talk about it. He didn't. However, he'd been there for hours, and despite his issues, he still managed to convey a self-assurance that she found comforting.
Always aware of his surroundings but partaking in them minimally, Murdoc kept his eyes on his empty glass. He didn't move, not when the waitress arrived or when her reach to place the new drink on the counter was interrupted by someone calling her name in a decidedly unfriendly fashion from across the room.
Maintaining her composure, she couldn't help cringing a little at the voice. She had known he would be angry, but she didn't think he would confront her there. Taken aback by the appearance of her ex - and knowing the trouble that would follow - she forgot herself, and she couldn't help commiserating with her troubled patron. "Great. There's one of my demons," she muttered.
Murdoc had noticed her cast a few glances at him when she thought he wasn't looking, but all of their exchanges had been appropriately business-like. This personal note was unexpected, and something about the realness of it caught his attention. Murdoc looked up as, her mind on the new arrival, she quickly completed delivery of the drink and hurried toward a man by the front entrance.
"Eddie, I'm working." The waitress spoke quietly as she approached, doing her best to usher the man outside. His fury was palpable.
"What is this?" Eddie demanded loudly, presenting the crumpled piece of paper clenched in his fist.
"Let's talk about it outside..." she began, still trying to steer him to the door.
"Oh, we'll talk about it." His face contorted with rage, he grabbed her arm, squeezing hard as he jerked her outside.
Murdoc calmly dabbed at his mouth with a napkin as he stood and placed some money on the counter. In the same deliberate way, he crossed the room - walking with a marked limp, another reminder of his last encounter with MacGyver - and exited the building. Scanning the parking lot, he heard the waitress and the man arguing around the corner, on the darker side of the building.
"You won't believe what I say," she sounded exasperated, her voice almost pleading, " I thought maybe you'd believe what you read. I can't take it any more. We're finished."
"You can't leave me," Eddie hissed. He still held her arm, and he had pulled her close, so that her face was near his. "You will never--" He trailed off as he and the waitress turned to look at Murdoc, who had rounded the corner and stood waiting to be acknowledged.
"Excuse me, Miss, but I'd like to settle my bill." Seemingly oblivious to the volatile situation, Murdoc was impeccably polite. "Oh, am I interrupting something?"
"This ain't your problem," Eddie threatened. "Get outta here before you get hurt."
"Ah, but it is my problem, you see, if you're monopolizing my waitress." Maintaining his air of courteousness, Murdoc gestured for the waitress to join him in returning to the bar. "I'm afraid I must insist. I'm in a bit of a rush."
Eddie loosened his grip on the woman's arm, his anger focusing on a new target. Keeping a cautious eye on Eddie, she stepped toward Murdoc.
"This ain't over!" Eddie suddenly growled, lunging to take a swing at the intruder.
"Look out!" The waitress screamed, but Murdoc didn't have to be told. He effortlessly caught Eddie's arm and twisted it behind him as he shoved him flat against the wall.
"Ah, but it is over." Murdoc remained polite, but his voice was deadly serious. Eddie struggled to free himself, but his brute strength was no match for Murdoc's training and experience. "Now, you don't seem like a particularly bright fellow, so I trust that you'll give extra consideration to what I'm saying. The lady is with me now." He leaned closer so that only Eddie could hear. "If you go near her again, you're dead."
To make his point, Murdoc twisted the arm until there was a small pop before shoving Eddie away. The still-furious Eddie clutched his arm and glared, but the pain and the dark expression Murdoc had fixed on him convinced him that the words were no idle threat. Eddie said nothing, nor did he move as Murdoc ushered the waitress around the corner and back inside the building.
Returning to his seat at the bar, Murdoc's demeanor was jovial, revealing no hint of what had just happened. "I think I will have one more drink," he said brightly to the waitress.
"Thank you," she said simply, relieved to feel that she could finally bring the whole mess to a close.
As she delivered the drink, she turned to walk away, but paused. "My shift is over in an hour. If you need a place to crash ..." she began. Murdoc looked her over one time and smiled.
When she awoke the next morning, she knew she was alone. She fumbled out of bed and pulled on her housecoat as she stepped out into the living room. The blanket he'd used was folded at one end of the sofa with the pillow placed neatly on top.
Which was exactly as she had expected him to leave it. And while she had expected him to be gone - she didn't peg him as the type for long goodbyes - she couldn't help thinking that he'd be around if she needed him.
Yep, she thought admirably, he's definitely one of the good guys.