The irony was that Mr. and Mrs. Smith were completely incompatible.
"What you don't seem to get, sweetheart, is that this job is supposed to be fun," said John, cleaning his knife on a napkin. "No guts, no glory, right? Jesus, it's like you've never even heard of James Bond! You know, technology gets better every day, and that's fine—but most of the time, all you need is a stick of gum, a pocket knife, and a smile."
Jane rubbed her temple with a pained look. "Unlike you, I didn't learn the craft from con artists and absurd spy blockbusters. In real life, John, lack of planning will get us killed."
"I'm not suggesting that we go in without a plan!" He raised his arms defensively. "I always have a plan! But, unlike you, I don't get off on planning."
Jane smiled thinly. "Oh, yes. It's quality foreplay—and that's always the best part. Not that you'd know anything about that."
"You're such a girl." He laughed, ignoring the jab. "You need to learn to let go. Enjoy the ride! Live a little! Death and taxes, honey—we can only hope to have a little fun in the meantime. Don't cling so desperately to the plan every time!"
She shot him a look that was part confusion and part flat-out disgust. "That's what plans are for. And for the record, 'turning our bosses against each other' is not a plan. It's more like a mindless gamble, and I don't—"
John jabbed his finger toward the dead woman sitting between them. "Once my people hear their Head of Operations is dead, they won't think to blame us—"
"—on the contrary; they will certainly blame us. Like I said before, I-Temp has no reason to attack your people, especially considering how well they're playing together to hunt us."
"No. They'll think I-Temp is taking advantage of their truce to gain the upper hand."
"Well, then they're idiots," Jane said plainly, and he shrugged.
"Nah, just paranoid—old school, you know. Cold War veterans."
"Yeah. Pity you were in high school for that bit, isn't it?" she retorted. Before he could start yet another rant about the glory days of espionage, Jane's cell phone beeped. "The silent alarm's been activated," she said. "We need to go."
They ran out of the apartment and into the unit they'd rented two floors below; from there, Jane looped the building's security feeds and John rid the place of all signs of their presence.
They'd been out of the neighborhood for ten minutes when John's cell rang. Apparently, they had fooled no one; the reward for Mr. and Mrs. Smith's capture had just been raised to two million dollars each.
John punched the steering wheel and swore. He turned to glare at Jane, as if daring her to criticize his plan, or lack thereof. She bit back the almost irresistible I-told-you-so with some effort; she could tell that there would be worse blunders in his future.
"Once it hits the double digits," she said, "we're doing this my way."
They left the state that same night, and found a motel just outside Edison to crash. A long shower calmed John significantly; he lay down to watch TV, and Jane felt it was safe to revisit the issue.
"What did you think would happen, anyway?" she asked. "What if your idea worked out, if our former employers did engage in an all-out war—what then? Did you mean for us to disappear from their radar and live a quiet life somewhere?"
He seemed surprised by the question, confirming Jane's suspicion that he hadn't thought that far ahead.
"We could do that," he said carefully, "if you wanted. Do you want to?"
A happy home life with John—neighborhood golf tournaments, screaming brats and all—ranked directly below "being tied up and fed to cannibals" on her mental list of things to avoid.
"You can't begin to imagine how much I don't."
John nodded and thought for a while. "Well, we could try to set up an agency of our own."
"It won't work," she said at once. "It's been tried before, and it won't work."
"Not by us! We're good." He grinned smugly, but she was unconvinced.
"It won't work, John," she repeated. He dropped the subject and held out a hand to invite her to bed.
In retrospect, Jane should've guessed that his silence was ominous.
John woke up early and called a dozen or so freelancers, putting the word out that there might be a third competitor about to enter the US market. Some were wary, but most seemed interested; he arranged a meeting for that same afternoon, and didn't tell Jane about it until it was almost time to leave.
"You're unbelievable," she growled, furious.
"I just want to show you it can be done! My plans don't always crash and burn, you'll see—this one will turn out brilliant."
Jane crossed the room in three strides and leapt to kick him on the chest; he caught her leg before it hit him with full force, and used it as leverage to throw her on the bed. She seized John's neck with both hands and brought him down with her, both panting; she let go only when he elbowed her stomach.
By that point, they were both already smirking. They kept up the fight for a few more minutes—parrying and countering each other's blows instinctually, arms and legs entangling themselves further, every time a little less interested in pain than in the thrill of impact—until John burst out laughing, unzipped his pants and said, "We don't have time for this shit."
She wrapped her thighs around his hips and her dress slid up. Jane held him tight, almost close enough to immobilize, as he fucked her, and they continued to scuffle, each trying to set their own rhythm. She bit his shoulder hard enough to bruise, startling him into letting her flip them over. He didn't allow her remain in control for more than a few seconds, and slammed her against the headboard, thrusting harder and toying with her until she couldn't bite back a moan; feeling her resistance fade, he buried his face in her neck, letting go, too.
"You make my life miserable," Jane breathed after they finished, her tongue idly teasing the reddening bruise on his shoulder.
"Oh, I know." John pecked her perfunctorily before standing up; it felt oddly out of place, and she frowned. "We have a meeting to get to." He cleaned himself up and got ready to leave within seconds. "You coming?"
"I'll meet you there. Try not to get killed before I arrive."
"I'll do my best," he replied with a slight grin before rushing out.
Jane remained in bed for a few minutes, wondering why they only managed to have actual arguments while out on a hit. When they were alone, everything rather automatically led to bed, which, while nice, was decidedly unpractical given their current predicament.
It was irritating, but sometimes it seemed like sex was the only thing that put them on the same page; and they often needed reminding that there was a good reason they'd both given up on their careers to risk their lives for each other.
They needed to figure out a feasible course of action, and fast. John seemed to thrive on living one day at a time, following hunches left and right, but this indecision was driving Jane insane. Though part of a huge organization, she had always worked the field alone; she never worked well with a partner, and she was starting to remember why.
If John did get his way and start an agency, Jane didn't know how they would manage it. For one, they would never be able to work together and coordinate others in a harmonic fashion. The other two possibilities were even less appealing. She would never live with John as her supervisor; and if he worked as her subordinate, she'd fire him within minutes.
The only solution was for them to work apart—and that was definitely not an option.
John saw his wife watching the meeting from outside through a window about an hour after it started. He gave no indication of having noticed her presence, hoping she had a reasonable explanation for her behavior.
Most of the meeting's attendees had raised the customary excuses to undermine his endeavor: a hypothetical third player would attract animosity from all sides; the two agencies in the country were too big to be faced head-on; even considering the pooled resources of everyone present, they lacked the manpower and the money to be a strong competitor.
"It'll be a bloodbath, man," said his old colleague Eddie, who had come more out of friendship than actual desire to change his current job. "Hundreds of lives down the drain with no actual hope of succeeding."
"It's never been tried before," John pointed out. "Not really, not like this. There are other agencies around the world—surely there are enough hits out there to fund a third big American agency."
Mr. Margheriti, a hitter from Annapolis, scoffed. "You can't seriously think they'd let you do this unscathed. Like he said, they'd have y'all killed within days."
"Not if we start off clandestine; they won't know what hit them."
"What makes you think you haven't already been made?" Margheriti asked, gesturing toward them all; he leaned in John's direction. "You're a wanted man, Mr. Smith. Everyone in this room is trying very hard not to capture you right now."
At that moment, Jane entered the room. John was about to greet her when she raised her gun and shot Margheriti on the forehead point-blank.
Everyone was stunned. After a moment, John broke the silence, saying with as much patience as he could muster, "Honey, I'm trying to go into business with these people. I'd appreciate it if you didn't kill them."
She didn't reply; instead, she walked over to the body, aimed at its watch and shot again, shattering it.
"Standard I-Temp watch, fitted with a long-range transmitter," she explained, lifting the cadaver's shattered hand for all to see. "They probably have the name of everyone here, and I'd be surprised if they weren't already on their way. You should go."
There was a flurry of hurried apologies and barely-contained panic as everyone sought to leave the building. Eddie lingered for a minute longer to check John and Jane's file on his phone.
"Yeah, you're up two million each. Good luck with that, John, and for God's sake, do try to stop giving them more reasons to want to kill you."
He was about to leave the room when John called out, "For what it's worth, I'm sorry!"
"Don't worry about me, man—I'll make my excuses to Atlanta and I'll be fine. But I really don't think going on with this third agency thing's a good idea."
"I know!" Jane cut in, frustrated. "That's what I told him! But you know John, he never listens. Eddie, will you let us know if our value goes up again?"
"Don't I always?" He paused, frowned. "What, do you guys have a bet going on or something?"
She grinned. "Something like that."
Eddie rolled his eyes. "This woman will be the death of you, John," he said, not for the first time, and ran out.
Jane threw John a look that said, quite plainly, that a discussion of John's shoddy planning skills was long overdue.
"Don't even start," he said, and stormed out of the room.
Jane rolled her eyes, promising herself that she'd only let him have one more shot at this before taking the reins herself.
After much debate, they chose to go to Newark to wind down for the weekend, each taking one contract to execute in the city.
It was heaven: Jane had almost forgotten how blissful it was to work unencumbered by John's imprecision and recklessness. She took her time reconning and infiltrating the house, which was home to the area's most prominent drug dealer. She silently dispatched the five guards, and she made her way to the master bedroom in the dark.
The dealer was sound asleep; she was about to reach for her gun when her cell phone rang. It was set to vibrate, of course, but the buzzing noise caused her mark to stir and scratch his head sleepily.
Jane froze, and reached into her pocket to hang up on the caller. A few seconds later, after she ensured the man was asleep once more, she took a step towards the bed.
The phone rang again, and Jane growled.
With no further hesitation, she shot the man once in the head and twice in the chest—standard military technique, to ensure that a government agent would be the organization's prime suspect—and picked up the phone. "What the hell, John, I'm on a job," she said through gritted teeth. She jumped out the window, clutching the phone while she rolled after the impact.
"You're surrounded," he said, and she stilled, examining the yard where she'd landed. There was no one in sight. "I can see you on the monitors here. Our jobs were a setup; some idiot is trying to capture both of us to collect the reward."
"God, bounty hunters," she scoffed. Every professional hitter hated freelancing bounty hunters with a passion; they were careless, desperate, and never hit their marks without insanely huge collateral damage.
"Yes, exactly. I can manage to get out—they haven't even secured me properly yet—but not if I'm worried about you. So get out of there as fast as you can, don't leave the way you came in, and don't get caught."
"Do we split up?"
"Yes," he answered at once, lowering his voice to add, "I'll see you there."
"All right." Jane took a deep breath. "Don't die," she said with a fond smile, and it felt tenderer than anything she'd said to him in days.
She heard the same smile in John's voice when he replied, "You too."
Their prearranged meeting point in case something went south was a small house in Stamford. John arrived a few hours after Jane, shortly before dawn; both were exhausted, looking a bit worse for the wear, and willing to admit that taking separate assignments hadn't been their brightest idea yet.
"I'm tired of this," he said while she stitched up a stab wound on his shoulder. "I need some time off. I'm so exhausted it's a wonder I can even see straight anymore."
Jane sympathized, and didn't argue; she played the part of the good wife for once and gave him a backrub. It quickly evolved into a lazy, relaxing fuck—she did most of the work, and he was left wondering how the hell they'd managed to have boring sex (or worse, none at all) for so many years if even this was pretty damn great.
"We can travel somewhere for a month or so while we come up with our next move," she agreed later, nuzzling his neck, and after debating destinations for a few minutes, they settled on Vermont.
It was perfect. The romantic five-star hotel was every couple's dream getaway; they were bored out of their minds within days, and terrified of admitting it.
After three weeks of barely leaving the hotel room, Jane was on the verge of madness. She gave up the pretense and approached John during breakfast, struggling to phrase her complaint as delicately as possible. "Honey, there's something—look, it's not you that's the problem, and it's not us."
He looked up from his newspaper, wary, and put down the toast he was about to eat. That prelude could hardly bode well; Jane could almost hear John's brain whirring, reexamining the past few days to search for anything he might have done wrong.
"I just—" She fidgeted with her hair and bit her lip. "I need the adrenaline, John. I've half a mind to look up local contracts to see if there's anything interesting. I'm not saying we have to leave or anything, but I just—really need to shoot something."
He folded the newspaper, looking immensely relieved. "Oh, thank God," he breathed out, and Jane laughed. "I feel like I've wasted years of my life in this place, and I'm pretty damn sick of hiding in this room in fear that we'll get murdered the minute we step out of this hotel."
"I miss being on the offensive," she said, nodding. "We need to think of what we'll do next."
"Sure, but first I want to get out of here—even if it's just to walk down the street. We'll take our guns, and if we run into trouble, we'll take care of whatever it is." He grinned at her, and she grinned back, simple and real; they fell back into sync as if the past days' tension had never existed.
Mr. and Mrs. Smith walked down the street happily, hands linked together, enjoying the false sense of freedom mixed with a tinge of anticipation. It took them one hour to conclude that no one had tracked them down yet, and a few more minutes to admit out loud that this was a slight disappointment.
"We should go back to the—" John began, only to be interrupted by a woman's shriek from across the street.
Jane saw her husband's eyes flicker to both sides of the road, assessing the fastest escape route. She tensed and reached for the gun strapped to her back.
"N—no, don't," he stuttered, noticing her reaction. "That's, uh."
She knew that oh-shit look on his face. The only threat present would be Jane's imminent desire to kill him, which would appear as soon as he—
"My ex-wife," he said, watching the woman's approach with the haunted look of a doomed man. "We were married for six years. I was young and stupid."
Jane hadn't given his previous marriage a single thought since she'd first heard of it; she now experienced a surge of possessiveness so strong it took even her by surprise. "And she thinks your name is Andrew?" she asked with forced calm, trying her best not to ask instead, "Would you mind terribly if she died a slow, painful death?"
"I was Andrew at the time, yes."
"What's your real name?" she said, grasping at straws to know some part of him that this unexpected enemy did not.
John stared at her in confusion; this was a line they'd never thought to cross before. Real names were an anathema in their line of work—hitters were taught to forget them early in their careers, and the Smiths were no exception.
He hesitated before admitting, "Well, John actually is my middle name."
The ex-wife arrived before Jane could enquire any further, much to his relief.
Jane examined her with a critical eye: short, medium built, mousy brown hair, unremarkable features, untrained posture—this woman could never be a hitter. She was probably an excellent housewife, though, or a schoolteacher; she definitely looked the type.
"Hey, Susie," John greeted her with inexplicable warmth. They hugged; Jane's grip on her gun tightened.
What had their marriage been like? Had John been able to lead a satisfactory home life with this wimp of a girl? Had he loved her? Had she ever found out about his line of work?
"Mine," she wanted to snarl. She focused on every detail of their interaction with the sheer clarity only extreme anger can give—John's smile and the way "Susie" leaned into his hug, as if she still had the right to do so.
"This is my wife, Caroline," he said what seemed to be an eternity later. "Carol, this is Susan, my ex-wife."
Susan seemed surprised to see he'd remarried—good.
"You bring all your girls here, then, Andrew?" Susan asked playfully, and Jane saw red. John fought back a wince. "We spent our honeymoon here," she explained to Jane, who really didn't need to hear that. "It was wonderful."
"I'll bet," Jane replied, and her voice was all ice.
John slid his arm around his wife's waist, pushing her hand away from the holster. He kissed her forehead, his open palm on her back both a request and a warning.
"You needn't worry about me," Susan said, and added, smiling, "Jane."
Jane narrowed her eyes and revisited her earlier assessment. She took in the woman's posture and saw beyond it, surprised she hadn't noticed: Susan tried too hard to look harmless and insignificant. There was an underlying sharpness in her eyes that betrayed the truth.
"You're I-Temp," Jane realized, not without satisfaction.
It was easier to handle a cover ex-wife than one who had actually loved John; emotions swiftly left the picture, and Susan became nothing more than a mark. It was relaxing. Jane smiled.
"Look, I'm more interested in John anyway—I'll even give you a head start, if you like. Call it professional courtesy. They'll be happy to have either of you, to be honest." She shrugged. "And I do miss him so very much. You can go now, girl."
Jane leaned back against John's hand for a second, hoping he would understand her plan. "Okay," she said, and walked away from the pair.
"How did you know I'd come here?" she heard John ask.
Susan snorted. "Long-term engagements, sweetie, are all about creating pleasant and unpleasant associations to manipulate behavior. You associate this place with happiness and comfort; it's why I brought you back here every time our marriage was in trouble."
"God, Susie, you—you're evil."
"No, darling, I'm a professional. And you, like all men, are a creature of habit. It's nothing personal."
Jane decided John had heard enough; she ran back, used a roundhouse kick and bent her arm around Susan's neck until she fell unconscious.
"Can I kill her?" she asked matter-of-factly, reaching for the gun.
John shook his head, dazed. He stared at his unconscious ex-wife on the ground for a second before facing Jane, who was giving him a horribly inappropriate smug grin.
He scratched his head. "You know, honey, we should probably go back to therapy at some point."
She threw her head back and laughed. "I can't really argue with that."
"I don't know what the hell you're trying to do, John, but you're doing it wrong," Eddie's voice came from the speakerphone. "Atlanta just called to say all field agents in New England not on long-term assignments are being relocated to chase after you two."
"Everyone. We've had seminars, John, goddamn seminars with the I-Temp chicks—it's dreadful, man, they make us sit through lectures about your methods and liabilities in hopes that that'll give someone an edge. They're really freaked out; your stint in Edison spooked them."
"That's slightly terrifying."
"John, focus," said Jane, tapping the steering wheel.
John lowered the cell phone he'd been holding between them to give her a pointed look. "Sorry. I was just being thorough, honey, thought you'd appreciate it."
She couldn't fight back a grin. "Time and a place, sweetheart."
"All right, then. Okay, Eddie, here's the thing: we have a new plan."
He was unimpressed. "Is it as bad as your other ones?"
"Oh, no, this is one of mine. It'll work," Jane said, and started explaining.
Eddie whistled. "It's been nice knowing you two," he said, resigned. "If you're still alive this time tomorrow, give me a call and I'll join you."
They drove for nine straight hours to get to Virginia. The sun was setting; Jane smiled at him and asked, "Are you ready for this?"
"No," he admitted.
She took a deep breath. "Yeah, me neither."
"There's no going back after this," he pointed out. "We could be walking into the lamest self-inflicted trap ever."
"Well, then, I guess we'll just have to be very, very smart."
They left the car and entered the Langley compound hand-in-hand.
"Agent Griggs, please," Jane said upon reaching the front desk.
"We have no record of an Agent Griggs, ma'am."
"We don't know the contact protocols for his division. Find me someone who can tell Bernard Griggs he has two walk-ins," John said pointedly, and the receptionist did a double-take. "Trust me, he wants to see us."
She quickly typed something on her computer, and, after a minute, said, "He'll be here shortly."
Bernard Griggs was, to the best of Jane's recollection, the CIA agent in charge of investigating I-Temp and countering their hits. Officially, his division did not exist; the Agency could not acknowledge the existence of an American-based high-end multinational specializing in murder.
True to his word, he walked through the front door minutes after their arrival.
"Mr. and Mrs. Smith," he breathed out, stunned; the corners of his lips twitched, and he held out his hand. They both shook it.
"You've read our files, right? You've seen the things we've done?" John asked.
Jane hurried to clarify, "We're not here to kill you."
Griggs eyed him pensively. "I thought not—but in any case, there are three men in this lobby ready to shoot you should anything happen to me. A splashy killing smack dab inside Langley seems to be very much your style, Mr. Smith."
"John, please." He grinned. "And yes, but I don't think the missus would much approve."
"Indeed." Griggs turned his attention to Jane. "Your reputation precedes you, ma'am; you're something of a legend at the office."
She bowed her head, smiling. "We were wondering if you might have a use for our services, Agent Griggs."
He nodded slowly, gaze flickering from one to the other.
"We'd be happy to deal with whatever trouble our former employers send our way—we wouldn't let that interfere with our duties here."
"We're not an actual branch of the Agency," Griggs said. "We wouldn't even get you a pardon for your crimes. If you're ever caught, your many murders will in all likelihood get you a life sentence, and we won't bat an eye."
John shrugged, nonplussed. "We won't get caught."
"No, I don't imagine you will. What are your terms?"
"We want to do field work," Jane said at once.
"Oh, I wouldn't think of placing you elsewhere. Anything else?"
"If something happens to either of us, we want free rein to investigate and rescue." Griggs nodded, and John added with a broad grin, "Do you mean we'll actually have an official license to kill?" Jane threw him a look. "What? It's a legitimate question!"
"It's more unofficial, really—we're black ops. The government doesn't acknowledge our existence. But yes, when sanctioned and approved by the proper channels, you will commit murder in the name of your country." After a moment, he added, "I don't even know if you two were born here, actually. Where are you from? I have at least twenty possible locations, and no background whatsoever."
"Boston," John said immediately.
Jane hesitated before saying, "Shreveport, Louisiana."
John turned to face her, surprised. "You don't even have the trace of an accent."
"I'm good with languages."
"That you are."
Griggs stared at them in disbelief. "You're actually married," he said, "You're actually, honest-to-God, white-picket-fence, argue-about-the-toilet-seat married."
Jane raised an eyebrow. "Yes."
"We're not big on the picket fence thing, though," John said, making a face.
"No, I don't imagine you are." He looked from one to the other, and made up his mind. "I'd be happy to have you on board. I'll have Legal draw up a contract; we can discuss the finer points later. Do we have a deal?"
They nodded. Jane flashed her husband a smug grin. "Told you we wouldn't end up in jail," she said.
John remembered Eddie's request and said, "Do you want us to try to persuade some of our friends to tattle with us?"
The prospect seemed to please Griggs. "We're always in need of more agents."
"You got it."
John and Jane sat on the chairs facing the therapist, sharing a smug grin.
"I'm interested in the progress you've made in the last few weeks," said Dr. Wexler, observing the change in their body language. Something was different; they kept turning the swiveling chairs in each other's direction and looking at each other with open affection. It was a far cry from their past sessions' blatant evasiveness.
John spoke up first. "Er... We're doing all right, aren't we? I mean, listen, I'm not going to lie to you, there were times I just wanted to," he made a strangling motion, still smiling, "kill her."
Jane grinned, clearly amused, as if sharing an inside joke. "Likewise."
"But I couldn't take the shot."
She bit her lip; her eyes took in his body, and he responded with clear lust. Whatever had happened, the past few weeks' events had restored the passion in their relationship, and that seemed to have improved their interaction a great deal.
Dr. Wexler nodded. "That's a good sign. Sometimes you have to battle through."
"That's marriage, right?" Jane said, unable to keep the smile off her face.
"Yeah." John shrugged. "You take your best shot."
"Oh, we redid the house!" she volunteered, and John nodded along; they clearly expected the therapist to take that as some kind of metaphor. He did.
"Remember, there will always be challenges," said Dr. Wexler, wondering if they realized that fixing whatever was wrong in the bedroom wouldn't magically fix everything. They seemed to be doing well, regardless. "But you can handle them, together."
John was unperturbed. "Hey, we have so far."
She turned to look at him, laughing, incredulous and exasperated but not angry; one month ago, his lack of support would've driven her up a wall. "So far? What—?"
"I'm leaving room for the unknown!" John replied, defensive.
She scoffed. "So far."
Dr. Wexler felt that it was better to investigate the subject further. "Do you feel that your relationship styles are more conducive to—"
John interrupted him with a self-satisfied, "Ask the sex question."
Jane glanced at her husband, discomfited. "John," she complained under her breath.
Dr. Wexler raised his eyebrows, remembering their first session. He'd asked the couple how often they had sex, on a zero to ten scale, and they'd desperately avoided the question. "Uh. Well, then—"
John opened his palms wide. "Ten," he mouthed.
Jane noticed and rolled her eyes; Dr. Wexler smiled. "That's excellent. But remember, there are aspects of your relationship that are even more important than sex; you can't forget to be honest with each other every step of the way, or you may jeopardize the closeness you've managed to achieve in the past few weeks."
"We know," Jane said at once, nodding.
"Yeah, believe me," John said, reaching for her hand and squeezing it. "We've definitely learned that one."
Jane took a deep breath, turning to look John straight in the eye. "Connie," she said out of the blue. Dr. Wexler had no idea what that meant, but after a second, John understood her meaning.
John sat up straight in his chair, at once intimidated and clearly touched. He whistled, hesitated for the briefest second, and said, "Henry."
Dr. Wexler had never seen Jane grin so broadly. She practically leapt to John's chair, and they kissed.
"Nice to meet you, stranger," the therapist heard her say in an undertone.
John stroked her cheek and smiled.
After a moment, realizing the insanity of her outburst, Jane rushed back to her seat, flushed. "Sorry," she said, biting her lip.
"It's fine," Dr. Wexler said, choosing not to intrude on what was clearly a private matter. Therapy wasn't what this relationship required to improve, he reflected—they would never feel as comfortable with anyone else as they clearly did with each other. They only needed time.
All things considered, Mr. and Mrs. Smith were a rather perfect couple.