2010-01-03: Baby It's Cold Outside



Date: January 3, 2010


On the first day of back to work my true love gave to me, a joygasm and a cup of coffee.

"Baby It S Cold Outside"

AP Offices - NYC

It's friggin' cold outside. So much for Cody's mood as she stomps into the building, scattering snow all over the floor from the bottom of her combat boots. The short haired blonde is wearing one of her many ingenius undercover disguises, this one is really just a new toque and a pair of mittens knitted to look like sock monkeys. At least they're warm, and they keep her company during those really long hours while she surveilles a house that she's convinced is abandoned.

First stop is that little vending machine, then the coffee pot, then somewhere with a comfortable chair. It doesn't matter where the chair is, she's ready to warm up in the president's lap if she has to.

Haggard. That best describes how Max is looking today. Haggard and thin. A few fine creases in his face have been artfully concealed with cosmetic powder, and more has been applied to soften the dark half-moons under his eyes. Some of his muscular frame has been spent while he was on sabbatical, leaving him sparse and wiry by comparison and lending him a more angular appearance.

He's wearing a black-on-black suit, a pair of shoes that have been polished half to death, and black gloves that have been sewn to fit snugly.

Cursing under his breath, Max lets himself in and shakes of his share of the snow. Unsurprisingly, he also makes a beeline for the coffee pot. He smiles winningly when he spots another occupant, but doesn't pause in pouring himself a cup. "Good God," he groans. "I truly can't abide the cold. Couldn't we have relocated somewhere warmer?"

"Tell me about it," The woman complains in quite the grouchy tone. "I was in Jordan, they brought me here from Jordan for this… and all I've done so far is sell hotdogs and shovel sidewalks." The good news is, as she removes her dark glasses, the tan line around her eyes has faded. She isn't wearing quite as much makeup as Max, in fact, he probably looks like a geisha compared to her.

As she waits for her turn at the pot, she rolls her ceramic cup between her hands. "I'm Baker, by the way." She's not really sure what else to say. He's dressed much better than she is, in a suit even. Thinking that he must be one of the powers that be, she steps back a pace or two and turns around. The cup is set down on the table while she checks herself for a sudden inspection. Gun, check. Taser, check. Notebook, check. After satisfying herself that she's ready, she grabs the cup again and turns around with a rather brilliant smile of her own.

By this time he's finished with the coffee pot, thank God, and she practically dives for it. One cup of the thickest, strongest, blackest, coffee is exactly what the doctor ordered. The vending machine is glanced at just before a swift kick to the side of it releases some of the chocolatey goodness inside. Nothing is better than strong coffee and free chocolate. Nothing except, that chair.

Once his coffee is poured, Max shrugs out of his wool overcoat and drapes it over the table. Without removing his gloves, his wraps his hands around his cup to warm them. A quick sip to check the quality of the brew elicits a distasteful grimace, but he goes back for seconds.

"Swan," he rumbles pleasantly, transferring his cup and extending a hand. "Max Swan. Research Division. Pleasure to meet you."

Cody claps her hand against Max's and grips it rather firmly and gives him an easy going smile as the shake is administered. "Cody Baker, Hunter." She certainly doesn't look like a hunter. If her legs are any indication, she's likely pretty skinny underneath her puffy eiderdown coat. After the shake, she places her coffee and gratuitous candy bars on the table and shucks the brown monstrosity that she's wearing. "So, are you researching anything new and fascinating? Like how to keep the detainees from escaping when they're in transit?"

She flops down into the chair she'd been eying and raises her boots onto one of the other three surrounding the table. She crosses her legs at the ankle, not seeming too concerned that the man is one of the ones that would demand fifty pushups or a few laps around the building in a t-shirt and shorts.

"I suggested killing them prior to transport, but that didn't go over very well." The barest wisp of a smile tugs at the corners of Max's mouth, but his eyes remain hard and cold.

He takes another drink from his cup, leans back against the table, and crosses one long leg comfortably over the other. "You do have me to thank for the gas, darts, and pills that neutralize our more potent guests. Sadly, I've been a bit indisposed since that bit of innovation."

A few very long pulls from the bitter brew is taken before Cody places her newly emptied mug on the table. "Well then, thank you for the gas, darts, and pills. Not that I've gotten to try them out, but I'm sure I will soon. I'm going to try to angle in on getting back Samedi, I mean, they'll need all the help they can get on that one." The crinkle of the candy wrapper has her dazed for just a moment before she tears into the bar.

It's like no other pleasure on Earth. The first bite has her eyes rolling into the back of her head and the woman sinks down into her chair with a very long 'MMmMmmmMmmmm.' It requires deep concentration, mulling over the myriad of flavors mixing in her mouth. The caramel, the peanuts, the chocolate… all so very very good. It's like Max isn't even there. Until she swallows, then her blue eyes dart in his direction and she holds up the unopened bar, "Want one? This stuff is addictive, I swear no man on Earth can do what a bit of chocolate can."

"I beg to differ," Max replies. Again, that small smile tugs at his lips. This time the sparkle makes it to his eyes, though. He pauses, sips again, and raises one eyebrow. "I can do things with chocolate that might surprise you. Thanks, but you can keep it. I'm enjoying watching you enjoy it."

When he turns around to refill his cup, he doesn't bother trying to supress a chuckle.

Another bite and another little sound of pleasure escapes at about the same time as the chuckle, so Cody doesn't even hear it. Not that it would matter if she did, she's in heaven right about now, so much so that her hair is kinking a little as it dries. "Yeah, you might be able to do things with chocolate, so my point still stands." The bar is finished off in three bites. The woman is either a glutton with a quick metabolism or she's growing a ghetto booty and managing to camouflage it well.

With a small sigh, she straightens up and tucks away the second bar for later. She'll really need it on snow patrol. "So, uhh… Swan… How close is your ear to the ground around here? I mean, do you hear people talk much?"

"I find that talk affects me very little," Max says placidly. "In any case, rumors don't often circulate down to the lab. It's a bit of a dungeon, if you haven't heard."


"Why do you ask?" Though he's drinking his coffee black, Max picks out a stirrer and swirls it around in his cup, more for something to do than anything else.

"I've never been given the full tour, to be honest, I have no idea where the labs are." Cody does narrow her eyes a bit at the man as he swirls his little plastic stick around in the coffee. Not menacingly, more like she's studying him closely. "I can't imagine you holing up in a lab, I mean, you look like you used to be pretty fit." 'Used to be' only because he's so thin and gaunt today.

The woman straightens up and slams her booted feet on the floor with a rather large couple of clomps. "I just want to know about this rumor that's flying around, the one about them putting the stomp on evolved because of the security breaches. I mean, whose to say how many of my partners are going to be out in the cold, right? Besides, it's really close to uhh… Ukrainian Christmas… or something. You can't fire someone one Ukrainian Christmas, it's just bad karma."

Tap-tap-tap-tap. Tap-tap-tap-tap. Tap-tap-tap-tap. The sharp, rapid-fire tapping comes courtest of Max's gloved fingers drumming against the tabletop. "I did used to be fit," he replies blandly. Rather than a rebuttal, it's a statement meant to buy him time to think.

He gives his head a quick shake and lets out a sigh. "I can't say I care for that particular rumor. Can't say it surprises me, either. Me, I'd worry more about what they'll try and do after they fire… them."

Nodding somewhat, the woman hops to a stands and moves to refill her own cup. "You know, I really need to do myself a favor one day and hide the pot for a few days… just to get the stuff nice and thick. It's the best that way. Three day old soup. Can't beat it." Just to give it that extra kick, she pops it into the microwave for a half a minute. "So you used to be fit, huh? You should get back into that, don't want to get old before your time. Besides, the makeup doesn't do much for you."

Grin. Then a chuckle that she doesn't bother to hide.

When the microwave beeps, she pulls the cup out and takes a gulp. She winces and nearly chokes as the hot liquid sears down her throat. It's probably some sort of karmic backlash for her comment about the makeup. "Okay… sorry man…" she squeaks, pounding on her chest and coughing. "I didn't mean the thing about the makeup. It's cute, really."
One very slow blink and incredulous glance later and Max still can't believe his ears. "You have balls, new girl. You clearly have shit for brains, but you have balls."

He can't help but smile as he picks up his cup and coat. "I think we'll start our new friendship off with small doses. Besides, midnight oil doesn't burn itself. Nice meeting you."

"Eh, don't count me too short there labrat. My sentences don't have the frills of Shakespeare, Keats, or even Churchill… but you never know, I could surprise you." Another large gulp follows that first one, this time she's prepared for the scathing liquid and it passes with relative ease. "But if you need a spotter, I'm your girl." And giving him the ol' finger gun, Cody clicks her tongue with a grin and pulls the 'trigger.'

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