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For the Joy of It, Murdoc, tea, and nerd in the deep end.
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Cuckoo
Posted: 11 October 2019 - 09:52 PM                                    
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Posting for fun and new connections. Been writing this while I recover from surgery to help me loosen up before NaNoWriMo. Not sure if the fanfic community is still kicking around here, but I figured it was worth a shot. (Behold the insecure Cuckoo shuffling about with excuses already.) Reviews help patients recover faster from surgery. Tis medically proven. whistle.gif

There is a staggering shortage of Murdoc fics about, and I am keenly interested in changing that.

This story will range in rating, but ultimately we're headed for R territory due to some serial killers prowling about (and, yeah, Murdoc, so.... Murdoc).

Rating: PG-R (Current chapter, PG)


Ch. 1: English Breakfast

“Looking for anything specific?”

“Oh, I’m sure I’ll know it when I see it.”

Apparently, he still hadn’t seen it, because the Englishman came back to the store nearly every morning.

He was quickly becoming the shop’s most regular customer, and Elizabeth really didn’t mind. When he came in, they exchanged greetings, he browsed until he found something to hold his attention, and then he retreated to the reading loft that overlooked the main floor. Sometimes he bought the book at the end of his visit, and sometimes Elizabeth would nose through his choices when she re-shelved the unchosen at the end of the day.

He didn’t try to smoke weed in the bathroom like half their guests and more than half the staff. There was never any mess in his corner of the loft. He wouldn’t even take advantage of the shop’s claim to fame – free tea and coffee for customers. Instead, he offered pleasant smiles and a refreshingly well-mannered disposition.

It was… nice.

The morning moved slowly, and her attention kept wandering between the register, the loft, and the tea nook. The Englishman had parked himself in the loft maybe thirty minutes back. Enough time to get comfortable with a book or two. He might be thirsty.

It was quiet on the floor, and Amy was behind the counter, too. She couldn’t see a reason not to offer the man something to drink.

Before she could second guess her intuition, she had her hands full with a mug and the steaming electric kettle. In went the teabag, out flowed the water. After a moment’s hesitation she added a splash of milk. If he didn’t like it, he didn’t have to drink it, she reasoned. But it might be a nice surprise, to find an American who could make tea.
She counted the stairs as she climbed, wondering why her stomach fluttered with the ascent. Over the years, she’d given many a guest cups of tea and coffee. Maybe it was because he was British. He might not like their tea. She might just take that personally.

Nerves didn’t extend the stairs, and soon she found herself in the loft, surrounded by comfortable couches and overstuffed chairs that had seen better days. The man looked up as she approached, and Elizabeth offered her best smile as she held out the steaming cup.

“I hope you don’t mind. I took the liberty of making you some tea.” She set it down on the end table beside him. His hands were full with a book, and she didn’t want to disturb his reading. “I made some assumptions. If you’d like coffee or something, I can make that, too.” She smiled again, folding her hands behind her back as she walked backwards towards the stairs. “The tea’s better, though.”

Finally, he returned the smile. “Thank you, my darling.”

He set down his book and lifted the cup. If his expression was anything to go by, he was indeed pleasantly surprised. As he returned the mug to the table, he licked the flavor off his upper lip.

“How lovely.”

“I’m glad you like it.” She waved as she started back down the stairs. “Enjoy.”

She didn’t run back to the counter, but she did seem to arrive much faster than the trek from loft to register usually took her.

Her journey had not gone unnoticed.

Amy gave her The Eyebrow.

“About time you made a move.”

Elizabeth choked on her tea, spluttering desperately as she tried to breathe, swallow, and correct Amy.
“N-no!” She coughed, wiping dribbled tea from her chin. “NO, no, no. It isn’t like that. At all. He’s just a very nice patron, and I thought –”

“That he’s cute?”

Heat crawled up her neck, and her ears burned. Sinking into a hunch, she shook her head and mumbled. “Not like that.”

Amy gave her the Side Eye. “Whatever you say.” Then she sashayed off to go over the extra stock in the basement – or smoke a joint.

Elizabeth all but melted behind the counter, still blushing furiously as she checked over the textbooks on reserve for the local college kids.

Wonderful. Now she wouldn’t be able to look at the man all day.

.O.O.O.

Murdoc sipped his tea.

He’d been worried for the briefest moment that he’d been made, that his many days of waiting and watching had been ruined, but the warm ceramic in his palm offered evidence to the contrary.

No doe-eyed bookshop employee would smile and offer a man a cup of tea if she knew he was a professional killer. Most women didn’t seem to like his line of work. He supposed he couldn’t blame them. Most men didn’t like his line of work, either.

Still, it was nice to enjoy a warm cup of tea and a friendly smile on a cool autumn day. It was a rare treat.

Penny introduced him to the pleasures of a young woman’s affection, of joy. Once upon a time, he’d believed himself in love with her. He was still in love to some degree, but more with the idea of the leggy ingenue and less the individual. She’d become a pure white fantasy he would toy with in the back of his mind whenever he thought of leaving the profession. Something sweet, and kind, and his. But he’d failed at retirement. Several times, in fact.

Without HIT to hold his leash or a dictator to please, he found himself enjoying his life as a professional assassin more than ever. Freelance had always been the way to go. Shame he hadn’t considered it earlier. He was an… aggressive negotiator, and he pocketed even more without a lord, master, or board stealing a percentage of his fee.

And he had such interesting work.

The Loose Ends Killer – as the papers dubbed him, anyway – a serial murderer fixated on finishing the work of better men. He killed a millionaire’s mistress, a former call girl who narrowly escaped a grisly death at the hands of the West Coast Ripper half a decade ago. The millionaire took offense, both to the murder and the cops’ staggering mishandling of the case. Murdoc agreed to give the grieving adulterer his own justice, for a fee.

As far as Murdoc was concerned, this Loose Ends Killer was nothing but a glorified copycat. No originality and very little talent. That said, the copycat knew how to hide. It was impossible to predict whose work the man would choose to finish next, and the killer kept on the move by necessity. But then Murdoc found his opportunity to get ahead of his quarry. It was amazing what a little slip, a touch of mistaken identity, and a couple of government files could reveal about a killer’s motivation.

As a predator himself, he knew the best time to bring down another hunter was when his target had his own prey in his sights. At the moment, that prey seemed to be an oblivious young thing in a bookshop.

An oblivious young thing that truly did make a marvelous cup of tea.

Pondering his next moves, he tipped the mug until the last drops drained past his lips.

He’d seen his target three times now, lingering just outside the bookshop. That was why, in fact, Murdoc chose to lurk inside. Peering through the glass like a cat watching a caged bird, the Loose Ends Killer always turned up on the tea girl’s shifts. He’d been watching later and later in day, clearly learning the store’s closing routines, likely determining whether to go after the girl at her home or her place of work. Murdoc had already seen the girl’s home, a very small flat in a busy building with plenty of neighbors and thin walls. He trusted the attack would happen here, in the brick-walled store, muffled by rows of books on a quiet street full of closed shops after business hours. It’s certainly what he would do.

So, he would wait. The conditions that made for the perfect murder suited one killer just as well as the other. Murdoc wouldn’t turn down a perfectly arranged scene just because he hadn’t been the one to set it.

But he’d lingered long enough for one day. The girl wouldn’t close today, and it wasn’t time to dance with his target. So he gathered up the cup and descended to the first level. The young woman was hiding behind the counter. He could hear her shuffling and muttering, but her eyes popped over the countertop when he thunked his mug down beside the register.

Murdoc left her with a smile. “Thank you again, my darling.”

He’d nearly reached the door before she finally managed to answer.

“You’re welcome!”
[B]



 
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uniquelyjas
Posted: 12 October 2019 - 05:37 PM                                    
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Oh Cuckoo, thanks for sharing this!! I write Mac fan fic and through this site met a Murdoc fan who really helped me delve into his character and understand him more fully...well, as much as one can understand Murdoc!. I love that you are doing classic and not the reboot!! So far I think it is beautifully written and you certainly have me intrigued. I do hope you will keep posting!



Jody~

"I've found from past experiences that the tighter your plan, the more likely you are to run into something unpredictable" ~ MacGyver (The Heist)

 
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Cuckoo
Posted: 12 October 2019 - 11:03 PM                                    
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QUOTE (uniquelyjas @ 12 October 2019 - 05:37 PM)
Oh Cuckoo, thanks for sharing this!! I write Mac fan fic and through this site met a Murdoc fan who really helped me delve into his character and understand him more fully...well, as much as one can understand Murdoc!. I love that you are doing classic and not the reboot!! So far I think it is beautifully written and you certainly have me intrigued. I do hope you will keep posting!

Thanks! I love digging into villains, and Murdoc was one of the first to pique my interest as a kid, so of course I had to come back and revisit him as an adult.

I think a lot of his complexity comes from the fact that the writers seemed to have changed their mind about what, exactly, they wanted him to be a couple times. He goes from the scarred psycho to an almost antihero in season 5, and then when he goes back to the dark side he seems much more... put together? Not sure how to phrase it.

But, yes, glad you liked, and there will definitely be more!



 
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uniquelyjas
Posted: 13 October 2019 - 10:35 AM                                    
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QUOTE (Cuckoo @ 12 October 2019 - 11:03 PM)


I think a lot of his complexity comes from the fact that the writers seemed to have changed their mind about what, exactly, they wanted him to be a couple times. He goes from the scarred psycho to an almost antihero in season 5, and then when he goes back to the dark side he seems much more... put together? Not sure how to phrase it.


I think the best Murdoc episode is "Cleo Rocks" because it shows a vulnerable side of him with Penny but also the mad assassin after Mac and Pete...very complex and, I feel, allows the viewer to experience a sympathy toward him that the other episodes don't.



Jody~

"I've found from past experiences that the tighter your plan, the more likely you are to run into something unpredictable" ~ MacGyver (The Heist)

 
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Cuckoo
Posted: 21 October 2019 - 08:48 PM                                    
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QUOTE (uniquelyjas @ 13 October 2019 - 10:35 AM)
QUOTE (Cuckoo @ 12 October 2019 - 11:03 PM)


I think a lot of his complexity comes from the fact that the writers seemed to have changed their mind about what, exactly, they wanted him to be a couple times. He goes from the scarred psycho to an almost antihero in season 5, and then when he goes back to the dark side he seems much more... put together? Not sure how to phrase it.


I think the best Murdoc episode is "Cleo Rocks" because it shows a vulnerable side of him with Penny but also the mad assassin after Mac and Pete...very complex and, I feel, allows the viewer to experience a sympathy toward him that the other episodes don't.

I love that ep, too! I think it marked the transition point. Murdoc went from crazy-dude-who-yells-a-lot-with-a-cool-accent to an actual character. Still a bad guy, but he graduated to character from general menace, and he has some very clear conflicting desires. And then that set the tone for Halloween Knights, which explored his abilities to do something besides kill things and shout MacGyver's name even further. I'm studying those eps a lot to pick up his mannerisms and responses towards people who aren't just tools or targets.



 
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