Bearing music

“I thought you may appreciate some music. I know you get MTV, but its a touch limited.”
He’s standing on his head in the centre of the white room, black hair splayed out in stark contrast to the floor and his own pale skin. Without moving he replies,
“I love music, but some of the stuff on MTV offends me. It’s responsible for at least 11.94 % of my television incidents.”
“8 TVs died due to poor musical programming. Tragic. I bet at least 75% of those were in the early nineties…”
“Mmm fast maths! Exciting. Yes, the nineties music scene is responsible for so many of my un-repressed emotional outbursts.”
He looks deadly serious but I can’t help but laugh and he looks pleased that I have seen through his little performance. When did we start bantering? It seems so natural now.
“Well I hope my play list gives you a touch more variety, although I have to take it with me when I go. I’m only here for an hour.”
Moriarty flips onto his feet and smoothly slides into the chair at the table.
“Let’s not waste time then Miss Hadley. I’m surprised your busy schedule allows you a whole hour to spend amusing a bored ABP.”
I unpack the few items I brought with me onto the table and confirm
“It really doesnt. This is my lunch break. I was hoping you wouldn’t mind if I ate in here?”
“Please, Miss Hadley, my house is your house. If only I could offer you refreshment myself.”
He really is in a playful mood today, although I don’t miss the underlying reference to his rather bleak imprisonment. I notice he doesn’t comment on the fact that I have chosen to spend my only free time I have at work up here with him. Maybe it’s lost on him. Why should he know or even care what we all get up to in our break times?
“As you know we’re not allowed any form of mobile communication device up here so you haven’t got the full range of my ridiculous music taste; that’s on my phone. But I moved a big chunk onto my MP3 player. Headphones are there, knock yourself out.”
He picks the device up and rotates it slowly in his slender hands. His face had gone blank and his eyes flicker momentarily before he says
“It will be faster for you to show me Miss Hadley.”
I chide myself.
“Sorry, it didn’t even occur to me that you wouldn’t have seen one of these before.”
Moriarty is telling me he could sit and figure it out, but because it’s faster for me to simply instruct him, it’s a better use of our limited time. Refreshing. I shuffle my chair around so we’re side by side and I point out the relevant buttons and show him the best way to use the headphones. He thanks me and fingers fly over the buttons at an alarming rate. I settle back to eat my sandwiches and watch him. I know he knows I’m looking for his reactions to the music so I don’t see the point in pretending otherwise. I’m sure he would think less of me if I was shy about my motivations and while his opinion of me is inconsequential on a personal level, I don’t want to earn his contempt; his willing cooperation may be required if I’m to complete my self imposed mission. A tiny voice from a treacherous corner of my mind whispers ‘keep telling yourself that’ and in shock at myself I breathe in a sandwich crumb and start coughing violently.
“Do you want me to pat your back?” asks Moriarty, expressionless except for a slightly raised eyebrow.

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