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Mr. and Mrs. Smith

CHAPTER ONE

My name is Roger Smith, and I'm on my honeymoon.
Well, it had to happen sometime, didn't it? Me getting married, I mean.
Yeah, it surprised me, too. And I was the one who proposed ...


The last few days were quiet days in Paradigm City, which suited Roger Smith just fine considering he was on his honeymoon ... at home.

That was what he liked about Dorothy Smith's (nee Wayneright) practicality; she did not insist on frivolous things such as expensive wines, clothing, jewelry, or places. When he hesitantly suggested spending their honeymoon at the most expensive hotel in the domes, she looked at him like he were a lump of clay and admitted there was no point considering the usual activity of honeymooning couples. (Roger's response had been to immediately engage in one of the usual activities, of which Dorothy's surprised squeals were dutifully ignored.)

It was only after leaving the Registry Office - when they had signed themselves as 'Mr. and Mrs. Roger Smith' - did Roger realize the complications of being married to Dorothy. Admittedly, he's always respected her cool detachment and her quirkiness ... and yet he was quite sure there was more to marriage than just mutual respect. For one thing, what about closeness or warmth ...

That night after strenuous activity, Dorothy had embraced him. It was not harsh or strong or featherlight, but it was comfortable, something he could melt into; with the lassitude of the After Time, he melted into her arms quite quickly.

And she said those words, "I love you, my husband."

Not in her cold, clinical, precise, mechanical manner, but a voice filled with warmth and affection and sincerity ... and love.

Yes, closeness and warmth. He could not even think of her an android when she breathed those words in the middle of the night when he squeezed her.

It would be silly to assume marriage humanized her. And yet, through the past few days, Roger found out his life had been dreadfully empty of affection and warmth as Dorothy actually held him and talked to him for the first time - not correcting him, not barbing him, not being holier-than-thou-because-I-am-not-human - but talked of her early years as Timothy Wayneright's 'second' daughter, of how she grew to like Roger, of how she feared for him every time he went out and had not come home in time for dinner. And of how - like a silly schoolgirl - she had written love poems to him in her diary.

Although when Roger became smirky and strutted around the bedroom in his usual cocky manner in response, she kicked him out and made him sleep in the guestroom bathtub.

After that he began to revise his rules - the new number one being 'Don't do anything to cause the wife to kick me out of bed.'

The last morning of the honeymoon Dorothy awoke him with breakfast in bed.

"You're spoiling me, Dora-girl," he commented as he sat up.

She smiled, her new black nightgown brushing silk against his skin as she leaned over to kiss him. "Then enjoy it, Roger-dear."

He made the kiss last a little longer. Yes, that was something else that made her wonderful - her 'skin' was softer and warmer than he had thought, now that she purposely used her 'circulatory' system to imitate human skin. Whatever Solderno used to make her, he must have taken his secrets to the grave with him.

"What are you smirking about?" she asked, running a hand down his throat.

"Just admiring the beauty of my wife," he answered. He added a coy grin, flicking back a few stands of hair from his face.

Dorothy began to smirk. "Mr. Smith, you are rude, crude, demented, socially unacceptable - a louse and a pervert - and should not be allowed out without a keeper." She broke into a giggle. "And I still love you."

He was still amazed. This was a one-eighty turn from the Dorothy he knew just last week - last week had her playing some horrendous noise on the piano just to wake him up.

Incidentally, the piano had been quiet all week during the honeymoon.

Roger began to think about it again as she got up to go to the shower, her gown falling to the floor as she entered the private bath. (It had never occurred to him before their marriage that Dorothy needed baths - he soon found out she liked bubblebaths with mountains of bubbles and reading a gothic romance novel. Who knew?)

This was nothing Dorothy Wayneright did. Dorothy Wayneright called him a louse, not 'Roger-dear' (damn, that still took some getting used to). Dorothy Wayneright stared at him as if he were a pile of fluff under the bed. Dorothy Wayneright always made sure to point out how his personal habits repulsed her.

Dorothy Smith looked upon him with affection, a dreamy smile on her face and her eyes alive. Dorothy Smith expressed this affection with hugs and kisses and cuddling. Hell, Dorothy Smith has not once mentioned how he sounded like an asthmatic moose in labor when he snored! (Or the fact that he made yowling noises during certain activities - something Dorothy Wayneright would have pointed out to his eternal embarrassment.)

Admittedly, he returned the affection, craving more in return. If any of his colleagues had any idea he was a closet cuddler, they would have laughed their damfool asses off. The coolness, the smartarse comments, the cold disregard of sentimentality - were all defense mechanisms, just the same as Dorothy's detachment and criticisms were her own.

But in their home, away from the eyes of the world, they would let go and be themselves with each other.

Perhaps marriage humanized both of them.

A knock came from the bedroom door.

"Yes?" Roger called.

"Phone for you, Master Roger," Norman called through the door.

Roger reluctantly got up and pulled on some pajamas and a robe, pausing to take another bite of Dorothy's battered toast (she referred to it as 'French Toast' for some reason, of which the reason escaped even her) and got up to go out to the common room to the phone.

"Figured it wasn't going to last too long," he sighed as he picked up the phone. "Smith here."

After a moment, he went back into the bedroom.

Dorothy was coming out of the shower as Roger shed his own clothes and dove in after her.

"What is it?" she asked.

"Got a case; need to meet a client in a half-hour," he answered as the hot water of the shower drowned out his voice.

"Then I'm going with you," she announced as she combed her hair.

"You stay here!" he called back.

"Roger Smith, I may be your wife, but I am not your servant - anymore. I am going with you."

He made an ungentlemanly sound. "No."

"I would like to see you make me, husband."

* * *

My name is Roger Smith, and I am a Negotiator.
Meet my partner Dorothy Smith - my wife.
We provide a vital service for this City of Amnesia.


Roger pulled his gloves on as he left the bedroom, surprised to find Dorothy already dressed and waiting by the elevator.

He momentarily admired the black mini-dress wrapped around her, the high neckline off-set by the cut-out shoulders and long sleeves, down to the almost illegal tight, short skirt and long pale legs.

"You're serious about joining me?" he asked, pulling his pocket comb out to run through his hair.

"I thought I made that quite clear, Roger-dear." Her lips took on one of his smirks. "After all, I cannot have my husband injure himself and embarrass me in front of all of Paradigm City."

"You do wonders for my ego, Dora-girl," he commented flatly as he entered the elevator. She followed behind him.

"You knew what you were marrying," she answered.

"I only hope you know what you married."

She turned to look at him as the elevator began to descend. "I married Roger Smith, a louse but a good kisser."

"How would you know about who kisses well?"

"Nevermind that, husband. Now, don't slouch."

"I never slouch!"

"Of course not. I won't let you."

* * *

In Paradigm City, the military police were experts in their field. But sometimes - when a situation threatened life or property - those responsible for either will call me to step in.
Turns out I stepped on a banana peel.


Inside the medical clinic the robbers pointed their guns out the windows.

"You have ten minutes to answer our demands or the hostages get killed!" one of the robbers yelled.

Roger Smith stood next to Colonel Dan Dastun, both gazing silently at the run-down clinic.

"Any reason they were trying to rob a community clinic?" Roger asked.

Dastun pulled his cap off and rubbed his forehead, then replaced the cap. "Went in to steal drugs. They didn't quite expect to find the nurses working early."

"And I take it the nurses are still alive. Good."

Dastun glanced at Roger. "I thought so. You wouldn't come out of your place out of the kindness of your heart."

Roger almost laughed, but only allowed his smirk to show. "You know me too well, Dan."

"Doctor Radinova expects you to talk them out of the clinic?"

"She expects me to get her nurses out alive, she doesn't care about the clinic."

"Then I'll hand it over to you." Dastun lifted up a bullhorn toward the clinic. "We're sending in a negotiator!"

"Fine!" a voice yelled back. "We'll talk to a negotiator! You better be unarmed, Negotiator!"

Roger lifted up his hands to shoulder high and commented, "I don't carry a gun, kids. Am I allowed to come in?"

After a moment, the voice answered, "Just you, Negotiator! If anyone else tries to butt in, we'll gonna smear nurse brains all over the clinic!"

Roger made his way toward the front door of the clinic. In an almost inaudible voice he whispered, "Ready, Dora-girl?"

He stepped up to the broken glass of the front door and was surprised to find the end of a four-inch-wide gun barrel shoved in his face. He smirked down the barrel. "Would you mind pointing that somewhere else? I know you guys don't mind, but I'm a very timid man."

At those words, the ceiling collapsed.

Less than a second later just as the dust began to clear, the three robbers found themselves trussed up with electrical wiring. Two were tied back-to-back while the third was hanging upside-down from the hole in the ceiling.

The nurses blinked, their mouths open in shock as a young woman in a short black dress kneeled next to them and began tearing the medical tape binding them.

Roger poked his head in. "Are the nurses safe, Dora-girl?"

Dorothy's attention remained on the tape as she replied, "Yes, Roger-dear."

The first nurse was released and she leapt up, running into the back of the clinic while yelling, "Thank-you!"

The second nurse followed, "Thank-you so much!" To the first nurse, she called, "Hurry up! I have to go, too!"

Roger chuckled while Dorothy stood, brushing plaster and sheetrock powder from her dress.

"Mission accomplished, Mrs. Smith," Roger announced.

Dastun poked his head in. "Wha'happened?"

"Dorothy helped me take care of the robbers," Roger explained. "The nurses are safe, just ... taking care of business."

Dastun looked at both of them - Roger Smith with his usual smirk and sunglasses, Dorothy Wayneright in a little black dress and ... the largest diamond he had personally ever seen, sitting right on her finger.

He decided not to say anything. It was none of his business. However, the situation at hand was his concern. Into his radio he said, "Come in, the robbers have been subdued." He turned back to Roger. "Weren't you supposed to just talk to them?"

Roger pulled his sunglasses off. "Dr. Radinova asked me to make sure her nurses were alive. The best way was to remove the danger."

Dastun nodded grimly and grunted, "Thanks."

Roger raised an eyebrow and glanced at his wife. "And?"

Dastun cleared his throat as his men came in to take care of the robbers. "Thank you, Miss Wayneright."

"Mrs. Smith," she corrected him. "Dorothy Smith."

Several of Dastun's men paused, but quickly went back to taking the robbers out.

Roger continued smirking while Dorothy's face blossomed into a small smile. Dastun looked from one to the other, then cleared his throat again. "Congratulations. Although I thought I would be invited to the wedding if you ever got married, Roger."

"One of those impromptu things," Roger commented, pulling his sunglasses back on. "Come on, Dorothy. We have to visit Dr. Radinova now."

"Yes, Roger-dear," she replied. She allowed Roger to leave, then turned to Dastun. "Colonel, you would not have enjoyed the wedding, anyway. It was in the Registry Office at the courthouse and there was a leak in the ceiling, so our marriage certificate got smudged."

Dastun shook his head. "Don't worry about it, Mrs. Smith. I'm more concerned if you can put up with him. He snores like a monster."

"I know that, but his other ... abilities make up for it."

Dastun blushed.

"For one thing, he can tune me up on his own without Norman's help."

Dastun coughed as Dorothy went on her way.

* * *

Norman answered the door, finding a peculiar-looking man with large ears standing outside.

"May I help you?" Norman asked politely.

"Is everything ready?" the man asked.

Norman nodded. "Food is ready, decorations up. Everyone should be arriving soon. How much longer will Master Roger and Mistress Dorothy be out?"

"They still have to visit their client. I estimate around three."

"That's enough time." Norman smirked. "I've been waiting for this day for ages, sir. The little rodent has grown up."

Big Ear laughed. "Marriage doesn't mature a person, but it makes him old fast."

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