As the gang made their way back to the safe house after successfully getting the photos they needed, no one spoke, as they were all still thinking about the impending heist that evening.
Bentley was still trying to formulate a plan in his head as he had his head buried in the blueprints and recon photos, but nothing was coming up. As for Sly and Murray, the hippo was too busy concentrating on driving to let his mind wander, but Sly was starting to get antsy.
Even though it's only been a few weeks since the painting heist, it felt like forever to the raccoon. At this point, he would have given practically anything to get a chance to get out for once, but he knew that he was only going to worry Bentley, so he refrained from doing so.
Now that he had a chance to pull another one on Henri, though, he definitely couldn't wait to do it.
Once the gang finally managed to reach the countryside, Sly decided to strike up a conversation to defuse the tension inside the van.
"So, uh…do either of you guys have any ideas about how we're gonna paint the van?"
Sly winced as he saw Murray's expression falter through the rear view mirror, but thankfully it didn't linger.
"Well, why don't we just paint over the logo?" suggested Murray.
"As much as I think it would work on most people, I doubt a missing logo would deter someone like Anton. I think we need to fully repaint it a different color." said Bentley.
"Do we have any paint that we can use?" asked Sly.
Bentley's eyes widened, as he suddenly realized that he completely forgot about that.
"Sorry, you guys. With all of this preparing for the heist, it slipped my mind completely."
"It's okay, pal. Hey Murray, we're gonna have to head back to town to get some paint. You up for that?"
Murray didn't answer, instead turning the van around and heading back the way they came.
With the festival still going on, getting through town was still a chore, but eventually the Cooper Gang managed to get their hands on a few buckets of paint and some rollers.
Unfortunately, with the delay, the sun was starting to set, so when they finally returned to the safe house, Bentley hopped out of the van and immediately started making his way inside.
"Get that van painted as quickly as possible. We only have a few hours until the ball begins, and we need to make sure that the paint's dry, so we don't give ourselves away."
"So, what are you gonna do?" asked Sly as he looked at Bentley's retreating form.
"We still need a plan, just in case you haven't noticed. I'm gonna look through all of our data and figure one out."
When Bentley finally disappeared through the door, Sly shrugged and turned around to face Murray and the van, grabbing one of the paint rollers.
"So…what do you think? Any color in particular you're fond of?"
Although Murray didn't really want to go through with it, he quickly skimmed through all of the paint buckets and picked a few of the colors up, placing them next to the van.
"What do you think about this? We paint the van black, and put some cool racing stripes right down the middle!"
As Murray spoke, he gestured towards the van, showing Sly where he wanted everything. Sly thought for a moment, picturing it in his head before finally turning towards the hippo, a smile on his face.
"It's not the most subtle paint job, but I like it. Let's get to work."
Murray nodded, and the two of them got to work painting the van as quickly as possible while at the same time avoiding making a mess.
Unfortunately for them, neither of them was very skilled at painting, so while they did manage to get the van looking pretty good, half of the paint ended up splattered all over themselves.
Sly looked at himself for a moment, disappointed in himself that he managed to get this messy. Shrugging, he decided that he was going to clean himself up, before suddenly realizing something important.
"Hey Murray, did you happen to see a shower somewhere in the house, by any chance?"
Sly mentally swore, before turning back towards the hippo.
"Well, you don't really have this problem, but I'm probably gonna stand out with all of this paint on my clothes and my body."
"Maybe Bentley's seen one. You could ask him."
Sly opened his mouth to retort before realizing that Murray had a point. He made his way over to the front door and went through it, quickly searching through the bottom floor before finding the turtle once again in the kitchen.
"Hey Bentley, you seen a shower anywhere in this place?"
Bentley paused in his work, wondering what made Sly ask that kind of question, before he turned around and got his answer.
"What in the world happened, Sly?" he asked, annoyed.
"We, uh…got a little too into it with the paint. We got the van done, though."
Bentley face palmed before turning back towards the computer.
"I saw a bathroom upstairs when we were looking through the house yesterday. It probably has a shower, but I have no idea if it even has running water."
"Alright, I'll guess we'll go check it and hope for the best." said Sly.
Before Sly and Murray could head upstairs to check, Bentley suddenly spoke up once more.
"Be quick about it, please. We're already cutting it close with the schedule, and I don't want to lose any more time."
As Bentley returned to formulating the plan, Sly and Murray headed upstairs, and after a few minutes of opening doors, they finally found the bathroom.
The two of them looked around the surprisingly spacious room.
"Whoever owned this place must have really gone all out on the bathroom." said Murray.
"You can say that again. Come on, I see the shower over there."
The two of them walked over to the shower, and Sly opened the glass door, reaching inside towards the handle that would normally turn it on.
"Here we go." said Sly before finally twisting the handle.
The two of them waited with bated breath as nothing happened, until a stream of water started pouring out of the shower head.
"We've got water!" said Sly as he fist pumped in celebration.
After a few seconds of celebration, Sly shooed Murray out of the bathroom before Murray realized it, closing the door behind the surprised hippo.
"Hey, don't waste all of the hot water!" he yelled through the door.
Unsure if Sly heard him, Murray decided to head back downstairs as he waited for the raccoon to finish. He headed over to the kitchen, curious to see how Bentley was doing on the plans for the heist.
Unfortunately, Murray wasn't the quietest person in the world, as Bentley saw him out of the corner of his eye.
"So, I hear water running up there. Did you guys manage to get the shower working?"
"It's not exactly a full-on shower, but yeah, we did get it working."
"That's good. Sly would stick out like a sore thumb with all that paint all over him."
The room fell silent for a moment, before Murray asked what he was originally planning to ask.
"How's the plan going for tonight? Did you find out anything good?"
Bentley paused for a second before answering.
"I've almost got our plan mapped out. I just need a few more minutes, and we should have one set."
Murray opened his mouth to ask something else about the plan, only to have Bentley wave him off.
"I'll tell you guys about it during the briefing. Besides, I think I heard the shower shut off."
Having not heard what Bentley heard, Murray had to quickly make his way back upstairs right as Sly came out of the bathroom, a towel around his waist.
"Where'd you find the towel?" Murray asked.
"Closet next to the sink. Gotta tell you, though, that shower felt very nice. Paint was a little annoying to get off, though."
"Because of the fur, right?" asked Murray.
Sly grumbled and rolled his eyes before heading into the bedroom and shutting the door.
Murray went inside the bathroom, closing the door behind him before taking his paint-covered shirt and mask off, flinging them off into the corner.
Murray stepped into the shower and turned the handle, immediately bouncing backwards when he was met with cold water.
Annoyed, he thought about getting out of the shower and confronting Sly about it, but he decided just to deal with it and get back at the raccoon thief later.
So, as he endured the lower temperatures of the shower, he quickly scrubbed at all of the spots of paint he got on his body, which thankfully came off easily so that he didn't have to stay in the shower longer than he needed to.
After finally managing to clean himself off completely, Murray shut the water off and opened the glass door, heading over to the closet Sly mentioned and grabbing a towel. The hippo gave an involuntary shiver due to the cold shower he had to go through, but thankfully it didn't lead to any lasting problems.
Once Murray was finally dry, he wrapped the towel around his waist and heading out the door, giving Sly a glare as he passed by him on the way to the bedroom. Thankfully for the hippo's future plans, Sly didn't notice said look, so while he did knowingly use up the hot water, he didn't know that Murray had some big plans for him.
After Murray finally managed to get a spare set of clothes on, he headed back downstairs to find both Bentley and Sly in the living room, huddled around the blueprints to the building that they were going to be hitting tonight.
"Ah good, you're just in time, Murray. Take a seat and we'll get started." said Bentley.
Murray took a seat next to Sly, and Bentley cleared his throat.
"Now unfortunately, we don't have a whole lot of options to get into the building undetected, so this one's gonna be pretty difficult."
"Don't worry about it, pal. I'll be fine." said Sly, giving Bentley one of his usual smiles.
"Right. Anyway Sly, once we get to the ballroom, Murray will park the van a few blocks away, and you'll head up to the roof, just like this morning. Take out any of the guards that are in the way, and head down the skylight on the corner of the building. That should take you into a spare room that from what I've heard is not gonna be used during the ball."
Bentley paused to take a breath before continuing.
"This is where the hard part comes in. The artifact is gonna be on display in the center of the ballroom near where the dance floor is, so you're gonna have to use the guests as cover and hope for the best."
"And what do you mean by that?" asked Sly, giving Bentley a wary look.
"Unfortunately, with the limited amount of money we have being on the run and all, I couldn't find a place to get you a suit, so you're gonna have to go in like you are now. You should have enough time to get the artifact out, but you're probably gonna need to make a run for it, because the guards are probably gonna see you. That's where my idea comes in."
Both Murray and Sly listened intently as Bentley continued on.
"I've been looking at some of the news coverage of the Festival, and the sidewalks are packed with people. Sly, this means that you can use the crowds to disappear and lose any of the guards before getting back to us so we can make our escape."
Bentley fell silent, and Sly and Murray took it as a sign that the turtle was finished. Sly paused for a second as he thought about what Bentley was suggesting.
"Man, Bentley, I'm not too fond about the whole 'getting caught' thing, but if that's the only way we can do this, I guess I don't have a whole lot of choice."
"Sorry, Sly. I wish I had something better than that."
"It's okay, pal. Besides, what kind of fun would it be if it's not difficult?"
Bentley rolled his eyes before grabbing his laptop and heading for the door.
"Come on, you guys. The ball starts in an hour, and we've got a bit of a drive ahead of us."
And so, the gang made their way out the front door, confident that they would be able to pull it off, and yet at the same time slightly nervous and hoping that nothing will go wrong.