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Title: If You Believe That, I Have a Bridge to Sell You
Author: themintytwins 
Rating: PG
Pairing: None
Disclaimer: I don't own anything, but I sure wish I did.
Summary: Five people Face (practically) sold the Brooklyn Bridge to, and the one person that thought they had the drop on him.

1. Selling Sand in a Desert.

After Hannibal stole—relieved their client’s harasser, Conway Construction, of every sandbag on their property and in their warehouse, he’d pulled Face aside, handed him the keys to the truck, and told him to get rid of them.

Face was fairly certain that this wasn’t what Hannibal had in mind—something more along the lines of taking them to the dump was more likely—but then, he was also pretty sure that Hannibal wouldn’t be surprised.

And besides, what was he supposed to do when he’d looked at the sandbags to find that they’d been bought from a company called Zenith, Ltd.?

Face turned onto a street called Thoroughbred Lane, and then backed into the driveway of a large house with an elderly woman out front, gardening. He hopped from his seat and walked over to greet her.

“Excuse me, my name is Carlton Flynn. Are you Rose?” Face handed her a business card and shook her hand. The woman gave him a confused look.

“I don’t know any Rose. My name is Sherry…” She said. Face groaned.

“Oh great. Just great!” Face said, “Another fake address…Do you know how many of these I get in a month? It’s terrible!” He said, pinching the bridge of his nose. After a moment he looked up.

 “Listen…I can’t take these back to storage without raising a huge fuss…Can I ask you a question? Do you enjoy gardening?”

The woman nodded happily, “It helps me relax.” She replied, and Face beamed at her.

“Well then, maybe you could help me!” He said. Face walked over to the back of the truck and threw it open, “Let me ask you another question. Have you ever heard of a Zen garden?” The woman shook her head as she eyed the sandbags curiously.

“It’s the ultimate tool for relaxation.” He continued as he pulled one of the sandbags down, “And all you need is Zenith-grade equipment, all inclusive of course, and our guide to getting started.” He pulled a pamphlet out of his pocket and handed it to her.

“Oh…that sounds lovely but…” She glanced over the pamphlet, “I need to ask Herbert first—”

“Is it Herbert’s garden?” Face asked. She shook her head.

“He doesn’t much care what the lawn looks like…” She said.

“Well then why bother? Think of it as a birthday present for yourself.” Face said. The woman smiled at him.

“You’re right. He bought that old car of his without asking me. I think I can do the same.” She said, wiping her hands on her pant leg before reaching out to shake Face’s. “You’ve got yourself a deal.”

“I’m feeling more relaxed already.” Face replied with a smile, “You’re a lifesaver.”

2. Mars: For Sale by Owner

Face paused for a moment, at a loss for words when the door to the apartment was answered not by Mr. Stevens, a sixty-year-old man, but by a young woman who looked to be in her mid-forties, clutching a book in her hands.

But only for a moment.

“Can I help you?” She asked.

“Ahh, no ma’am, I’m here to help you. The name’s David Gordon.” He replied. She raised an eyebrow, “Well, I’m sure you’re well aware by now that my associates and I have been asking around for potential buyers, and I just—”

“No, I wasn’t aware. Buyers for what, exactly?” She asked brusquely. Face glanced around quickly, and his eyes settled on her book—The Martian Chronicles—for a very brief moment.

“Well, for Mars, of course!” He replied, and she shrunk back a bit with a skeptical look, though Face could tell that she was interested, “…You mean you haven’t heard? It’s been all over the news!”

“…I don’t watch the news much…” She sounded a bit more uncertain now. Face nodded knowingly.

“I understand, well, I’ve got quite the offer for you, then. I’m here to sell you your very own Martian timeshare.” Face paused for a response, but all he received was a blank look, “They’re selling at only ten thousand dollars each, but—”

“I can’t afford that.” She cut in, unconsciously rotating her book in her hands.

“—but I’ve been given permission to cut the price in half in order to boost sales.” Face finished. Her brows furrowed.

“Why’s that?”

“At this point the goal is to get as many people as possible to live there. Think of it as a…Homestead Act of the future.” He smiled, and she gave him a small smile in return.

“So…I’d be a homesteader for Mars…” She said, nodding.

“Exactly! Now if I could just get your information, I’ll have the paperwork drafted by this afternoon. Then it’ll be one little payment of five-thousand dollars and you’ll be on your way. How does that sound?” He asked.

She paused for a long moment, her mouth pressed into a thin line, before speaking, “Do you…need a pen to write this down?”  

3. You Need Flowers? I’ve Got Flowers.

When Face glanced out the fitness club’s window to see three MPs pulling into the parking lot, needless to say he was a little put off. They probably hadn’t seen him yet, so he’d picked up everything he was doing and slipped out the back door of the swimming pool, pausing only to remind the lifeguard to give him a call.

He cut across the lawn and glanced around at the front of the building. He could see two MPs from where he was, so he backtracked and went instead to hop the back fence and head in the opposite direction. The team was staying in a dive of a motel downtown, which Hannibal had assured would be less conspicuous for an extended stay. Now Face had to warn the team that Decker was getting a little too close for comfort.

…And he really didn’t want to walk.

Normally he would have been able to drive his ‘Vette, but Decker wasn’t stupid. He knew that it was Face’s car, and though it didn’t look like he’d noticed it in the parking lot, there was no way he would be able to reach it without the MPs standing outside of the fitness center noticing him.

Face reached into his pocket and swore. He’d left his wallet in his locker. It would be safe there (the fitness center had hundreds, and he’d locked it when he’d left, so Decker wouldn’t be likely to find it) but without money getting back to the motel would be a bit more difficult.

He turned the corner and stopped when he saw a bus stop a few feet down the sidewalk. There was an elderly woman reading a book very attentively and a young man standing in front of the bench with a bouquet of flowers and a suitcase sitting behind him. Face stepped up behind him and picked up the flowers carefully. Neither the man nor the woman noticed.

Face took the bouquet back around the corner and unwrapped them. Of the dozen roses he removed two and threw them away, then took the paper they were wrapped in (pink on the outside, blue on the inside) and reversed it. Satisfied that the man wouldn’t recognize the flowers, Face walked back around the corner.

“Hey,” he greeted, “Do you know when the bus is coming?”

“Should be here any minute now.” The man replied, glancing to Face and then noticing the flowers in his hand. When the man’s eyes flitted to the bouquet Face grinned.

“It’s my mom’s birthday.” He explained, holding the roses up.

“No kidding? It’s my girlfriend’s birthday too, I…” He trailed off when he glanced back and realized his flowers were gone. “Where did they—? Did you…” He addressed the elderly lady, who scowled.

“I didn’t do a thing to your flowers. I don’t recall seeing any flowers at all.” She replied curtly without looking up from her book. The man clapped a hand onto his forehead.

“I must have left them on the bus!” He groaned, “…what am I gonna do?” Face gave him a sympathetic look.

“Hnnn, well… I’ve got ten roses here, you could have these.”

“What, really?” The man asked excitedly. Face shrugged.

“What do you say I sell ‘em to you for a couple bucks? Enough for a bus ride to get more and a ride home?”

“That sounds great!” He reached into his pocket for his wallet and pulled out a few bills. “Here ya go. You’re a lifesaver.”

Face accepted the money, “It’s not a problem,” he said. “Not a problem at all…”

4. Selling a Comb to a Bald Man

Face walked into the museum confidently and approached the front desk without sparing a glance toward the clerk behind the counter. He pushed the guest sign-in book aside and set his briefcase down with a determined ‘thunk’. After a moment of rifling through the papers it held, the man cleared his throat.

“Can I help you, sir?” He asked. Face glanced up. The clerk was a bald, middle-aged man, and his expression told Face that he was either new to the job, or didn’t handle unexpected circumstances well. He shook his head and picked up one of the documents, pretending to look it over.

“No, no, I’m just waiting for Mr. Morrison...” He said, then paused and looked up to meet the man’s gaze, “He did mention I was coming, I hope?” The man shook his head, and Face looked shocked, “I’m Robert Buffer. I called him the other day?”

“No…Mr. Morrison didn’t mention you… but he’s out of town right now…He won’t be back until later this week.” The clerk said.

“Later this week!” Face exclaimed. He dropped the papers in his hands, “What do you mean, later this week?” He didn’t give the clerk a chance to answer. “Oh no. This is just great. This is exactly what I would expect, just my luck, you know.” He slammed the briefcase closed and ran a hand through his hair. The clerk looked like he was getting just as flustered as Face was acting.

“Is…I’m Mr. Morrison’s, well, I guess you could call me his apprentice…is there anything I could do—?”

“Anything you could…hmmm…ahh!” Face grinned, “Now that you mention it…” He opened the briefcase once more and pulled out a velvet drawstring bag. From it he pulled out a brass, decorative comb. “Do you know what this is?”

The man look, unsure, between it and Face, before offering a shrug, “…It looks like a comb?”

“Right you are, but it’s not just any old comb, no! This comb belonged to the Masikatale.” Face gauged the man’s reaction, and received only confusion (as he’d expected. Face had actually stolen…acquired the comb from the last beach house he’d been staying at).

Face gasped and continued, “Surely you know who Masikatale is? He was only the Egyptian High Priest serving under Cleopatra—that’s Cleopatra the Seventh, of course—until the day she died. Why, this my good man, if a priceless artifact.” Face said holding it up to the light as though to admire it. He gave Face a skeptical look.

“Now wait a minute! I’m new to this…museum business, but even I know that Egyptian priests plucked every hair from their bodies.” The clerk said. Face placed the comb back into the bag.

“That’s right.” Face said. “You see, Cleopatra was not happy with the High Priest, but she felt that it would be in poor faith to the gods to dispose of their caretaker, so to spite him she gifted him this comb.” Face laughed and the man joined in, though he suspected that the clerk didn’t see any humor in the story.

“Well anyway,” Face continued, “I’m here to sell the comb to Mr. Morrison. Now normally I’d just come back when Mr. Morrison was here, but I really can’t wait...”

“If the comb’s a priceless artifact, why are you selling it?”

“Well, uh, my sister, Mary, is trying to open a bookstore. It’s her dream. Problem is, the building she’s got her heart set on has been bid on by another buyer, and if she doesn’t pay in full by tomorrow she’s going to lose it.” Face answered. The man nodded sympathetically—he was sold. Face sighed. “But it was a waste of time, coming here, with Mr. Morrison being gone and all—”

“Maybe…I could buy the comb?” The man offered before drawing back slightly, “I mean, as long as you have proof it’s been authenticated and the transaction papers Mr. Morrison would have sent to you…”

Face reached across the desk to shake the man’s hand vigorously. “Oh man, you’re a lifesaver! I’ve got all of the paperwork right here.” He tapped his briefcase affectionately, and the man accepted the forms from him. “I can’t wait to tell Mary.”

The clerk smiled and wished Face good luck as he signed the forms.

5. Too Young for the Sauce.

Face couldn’t help but notice the teens gathered around the alley next to the liquor store. Normally, he would have just continued on his way, but the kids probably wouldn’t have known subtlety if it walked up and bit them. Still, most of the other pedestrians waiting at the corner for the light to change didn’t seem to pay any attention to them.

“Where’d you get it?” One of them said in what Face assumed was supposed to be a whisper. The one in the middle of the group, a tall kid with a baseball cap and a red shirt, seemed to be the center of attention.

“Don’t worry about it.” He answered.

“It looks really real…Are you gonna use it?”

“No, wise guy, I’m just gonna look at it. Of course I’m gonna use it! Why else would I buy it?” Face glanced over to see that he was waving around an ID and had to refrain from rolling his eyes. The red-shirted teen was pushed toward the store.

“Go on then. We’ll be waiting here.” He was urged. The teen looked at the door warily before reaching for the door. Face opened his wallet and glanced through it. Satisfied to find that he hadn’t cleared it out from his last scam, he turned to follow the boy inside.

Once inside he crossed to the first isle and glanced over at the teen. Face pretended to examine a bottle of Jack Daniels as he watched the kid flounder over which beer he should choose. Eventually he settled on the cheapest 24 pack he could find and headed toward the counter.  

The store owner looked bored out of his mind, and though he asked for ID, he barely glanced at it long enough to make sure that the age and face checked out. He handed the ID back to the kid and began to ring up his purchase.

“Hold it right there!” Face said, “I’m going to need to take a look at that ID.” He said, crossing the room. The teen was staring at him like a deer caught in headlights, but the storeowner didn’t look near as entertained.

“And who are you, exactly?” The man asked, checking on a cigarette. Face flipped open his wallet to show a fake badge.

“Carl Hanratty, FBI fraud department.” He said, “The ID, please.” The teen nodded numbly and handed it to him. Face hummed in interest, “Just as I thought. A fake.”

The reaction was instantaneous—they both began to panic. Face pocketed the ID. “You know fraud is a felony, don’t you son?” Face demanded. The kid held up his hands as though to show that he had done nothing else wrong.

“Hey man, c’mon, it’s just a fake ID… everyone has ‘em!” The teen tried to defend himself.

“Just a—just a fake ID? Oh sure, it starts as a fake ID, and then the next thing you know you’re practicing medicine with a fake license or posing as a pilot for a major airline. It’s not just a fake ID when a hundred people are crashing to their deaths because their co-pilot can’t tell the Altitude from the heading! And then that kid with just a fake ID ends up in federal prison for homicide—assuming he isn’t dead!”

By the end of his rant the teen was as white as a sheet, attempting to explain himself. Face gave him a stern look that he’d definitely taken from Sister Katherine’s arsenal. The kid clammed up instantly.

“Son, I’m going to let you off with a warning this time, but if I catch you so much as forging a note for your bus driver, you’ll be behind bars so fast your head will spin. Do I make myself clear?” Face asked. The kid nodded solemnly, and when Face gestured to the door, he bolted for it as though walking would give the “agent” time to change his mind.  Face turned back to the store owner.

“Now there’s just the matter of you selling alcohol to a minor with an obviously fake ID!” Face said.

“How was I supposed to know it was fake?” The owner asked indignantly.

“Perhaps because it’s your job to keep kids like that from coming in here and clearing you out!” Face replied, “Selling alcohol to kids! I could have your license for this.”

“No, please? Isn’t there anything…” The man pleaded, then stopped at the hard look he was receiving from Face. After a moment, Face sighed.

“…You’re lucky I’m feeling generous. Very generous. I’ll leave you with a fine and the same warning I gave the kid. If I so much as see a kid in here unattended—”

“Of course, of course!” The man agreed eagerly as he opened the register.

+1. Trust Me, I’m an Art Collector

Face was on his way to change out of the clergy shirt and collar that he’d worn for the most recent part of Hannibal’s plan when a painting caught his eye. He paused to look at it. The painting showed Mary and Joseph, and it looked to be in fairly good condition.

Face had passed by this shop before—he’d even considered it for scamming once before—and from his experience the items in the window were liable to be thrown out within the next couple of days.  Face glanced at his watch; he didn’t need to meet up with the rest of the team for another hour.

When he stepped inside the man behind the counter started. He had been leaning against the counter reading a magazine—he obviously hadn’t expected a visitor any time soon.

“Uhh…Hello Father. What can I do for you?” The man asked. Face smiled and pointed at the painting.

“Actually, I was wondering how much you’re selling that painting in the window for.” Face said. He could practically see the gears turning in the shop owner’s head.

“Well…actually that particular painting is very old, and very…rare.” Face glanced back at the window and nodded, and that seemed to encourage the man. “Normally that painting would sell for quite a bit, but I’m willing to lower the cost by more than half and give it to you for $150. Whaddya say?”

“Well, if you’re willing to lower the price so much, how can I resist?” Face said, and he offered a hand for the owner to shake. The man grinned at him (with no remorse for supposedly scamming a preist, Face noted) and went to fetch the painting from the window. When he returned Face said:

“I can’t believe I got my hands on a Vivarini painting at such a low price. Sister Mary is not going to believe this!” Face said. The man looked slightly confused at the statement.

“Vivarini…?” He asked, and Face nodded.

“Yes, the Vivarini brothers—famous painters?” Face said, and the man maintained his blank look, “You did know who painted this, didn’t you? I just can’t believe you’d sell it for so cheap!”

“Uhh…just…just out of curiosity, how much does a Vivarini painting go for?” The man asked haltingly.

“Fifty thousand dollars, at least…You didn’t know?” Face asked with a shocked expression. The man shook his head numbly.

“Oh my goodness, no wonder you were selling for so cheap!” Face exclaimed. The man looked shell-shocked. Face looked at the painting sadly. “Listen… I couldn’t in good conscience take such a valuable painting from you without your knowing its worth. Thou shalt not steal, and I consider this no better.”

The look on the man’s face was blindingly hopeful. Face pressed on. “I’ve rightfully bought it, though, and I do need to find a replacement painting. This is a great loss for my church, you see—”

The pawn shop owner cut him off. “I’ll buy it back from you! I’ll give you two thousand…” He paused at Face’s distasteful expression, “Five thousand for it.” He said, then quickly added, “And another five hundred for the church.”

Face smiled at him, “Bless you. I’m sure that will be more than enough to buy another nice painting—perhaps a reproduction.”

When the man finished counting out hundred dollar bills from Face, he wished him good luck on selling the painting to a collector and took him leave, chuckling to himself at the self-satisfied expression the man wore as he looked at the painting he’d just “ripped off” the priest for—twice.