APR 28
The Master
Holiday: Rebuilding Day

"I just let things get away from me a little bit. I didn't mean to. I mean, it's his own fault, really. He taught me how to do it. Right?"

"Well..."

"He said, over and over, if you're gonna pull a scam you have to be convincing. And to be convincing, you have to get into the part. Didn't he always say that?"

"Yeah, but..."

"And that's what I did. I mean, I had to, right? 'Cause Jordain woulda seen right through me, otherwise, right?"

"Yeah, Murdock. You had to..."

"And it wasn't my fault Dominique showed up like that. I didn't ask her to."

"Well, you weren't exactly demanding that she leave, either, Murdock."

"Look, the whole thing wasn't my idea! You said Face couldn't be Ross."

"And he understood that."

"Oh, yeah, the guy that's bet- almost as good as you with disguises?"

"Yes, Captain, he understood. Look, you did go a little overboard, but he's not the kind to hold a grudge, you know that. And I'll talk to him later. Just to make sure we're all on the same page."

Hannibal clapped Murdock on the shoulder and quickly left the room. A little too quickly, to Murdock's way of thinking. He doubted very much that Hannibal really intended to talk to Face. Well, BA wasn't the only one Murdock could bug...

That, of course, didn't change the fact that he, himself, had to get things straight with Face.

Logan Ross. Why the hell couldn't Stockwell have come up with someone a little less...pompous? Okay, so maybe Murdock had something to do with that. Damn. It'd just felt so cool, though, being the superman. He'd done so much better this time. He cringed, thinking about Hunkman. Man! But this guy, Logan Ross, Murdock had really gotten it right! He was Logan Ross. He was! Surely even Face could see that?

And that whole balcony thing wasn't his fault. How was he supposed to know that Hannibal hadn't had a chance to give back Face's picks? Face should've asked for them right away. Then none of this would've happened.

Yeah. It wasn't his fault. He was just doing the job. It was his life on the line, after all. Every minute he was a target. Every minute. So what if Face got a little wet? So what if his pride was hurt? What right did he have to get mad at Murdock, who was putting his life on the line for them? It wasn't his pardon they were working for, after all.

He looked up when the door opened and Face walked in. Right. Time to get this straightened out. Right now. Once and for all.

"Face, you and me have to talk. About Logan Ross."

"Yeah, about that. I'm sorry I lost it there, Murdock. Wasn't your fault. I should've remembered my lock picks. That's the last time I let Hannibal borrow them. And you did a great job. Really. Sure takes the pressure off me now, knowing you can handle these scams so well." Face casually picked out an apple from the basket and started shining it. "We okay, then?"

"Uh, uh, yeah, Face, yeah..."

"Great." Face smiled and left the room, leaving Murdock with his mouth hanging open, his righteous indignity spluttering, and a worrisome premonition forming.

Hannibal looked up from his paper. "Everything come out all right with you and Murdock?"

"Right as rain, Hannibal." Face sauntered past. smiling smugly.

He was still The Master.

FINI