"It's wormy! Look at that, man - wormy and full of bruises and knobs and - "
"And if you don't like it, don't eat it!"
BA's glare put any further complaints on hold, although Murdock scowled as he bit into the apple. Somehow it didn't seem right that BA could complain all he wanted about Murdock, but Murdock couldn't even comment on a stupid apple. A stupid wormy apple.
He looked resentfully over at BA, but BA was staring down at the radio. And... he had a little smile on his face.
"What're you thinking about, Big Guy?"
"Huh? Nothin. Eat your apple."
"Not until you tell me why you were sitting there with that smile on your face. What were you thinking about?"
BA sighed, and Murdock knew he had him. Face and Hannibal wouldn't be back for at least twenty minutes - more than enough time for Murdock to drive BA crazy if he didn't get his answer.
"I was just thinking about Christmas when I was a kid."
Murdock sat back, surprised. It was August and hotter than hell - and BA was thinking about Christmas?
"The first year after my dad died, Mama didn't have much money. We kinda got used to the landlord banging on the door, looking for the rent. So Christmas come around, I didn't expect much. Couldn't even get a tree; Mama just put some decorations on the table. 'Course, I was old enough then to know there weren't no Santa. So Christmas morning come around, and I came out to the living room, and like I'd figured, no presents. But then I looked up, and hanging on the bookshelf was a big ol' red stocking. I ran over, and inside was a couple new comic books, and some gloves - and the biggest, reddest apple I think I ever saw. Like a big red softball. And I bit into that apple - and it was the sweetest tasting apple..."
BA straightened up, looking through the side window, away from Murdock.
"After that, Mama got a better job, and things got better all around. And the next Christmas we had a real tree and presents... but I always remember that apple. And how good it was."
BA fell silent, and Murdock knew the conversation was over. He sat back in his seat, and ate his apple. He never even noticed the bruises.