2010-02-25: Happy Hour



Date: February 25, 2010


Cody and Max prove that they can compromise.

"Happy Hour"

Building 27

No jacket. No tie. Rolled up sleeves. Hands bloody to the wrists.

Max has been working.

Rather than clean up in the locker room, he opted to use his office. Mostly because it was closer. Now he's seated at his desk, repeatedly dunking his hands into a bowl of warm water. When he has most of the blood washed away, he wipes the rest off on a towel and turns his attention to the old-fashioned leather doctor's satchel that's sitting on his desk. He unsnaps the clasps, pops it open, and withdraws something that looks like the offspring of a steak knife and a corkscrew. Unsurprisingly, it's also covered in blood. Max cleans it off and sets it aside, then repeats the procedure with several more of his "tools."

Probably about the time that Max is finishing with his last tool, Cody marches to his office and knocks quickly at the door. She's dressed in a pair of faded jeans, a long cardigan sweater that's unbuttoned at the front, and a long sleeved t-shirt. Her footwear is the usual pair of combat boots, polished to a dull glow and no scuffs. When she hears no answer right away, she tests the doorknob and knocks again as she peeks her head just inside the door. "Happy hour Swan, are you up for something?"

She pauses for an invitation before she ventures in further, if there's one thing she's learned about the bearded man on the inside, his exterior is all propriety. Something she's slowly getting used to.

"Sure. Come on in and I'll buy you a drink," Max offers, apparently unperturbed at being seen in his current condition. He drops his tools back into his black bag with a clatter of metal on metal. Both the bag and the bowl full of red-tinged water are set on the floor behind the desk to make room. For his next trick, he produces the ubiquitous bottle of scotch and two short glasses from his bottom desk drawer. "Will this do, or did you have something in mind?"

Slipping inside the office, Cody gently closes the door behind her. "Well, to tell the truth, I found this little Jordanian bar downtown. They have backgammon boards set up, do you play?" She crosses the room to the desk and pulls the 'guest' chair up to her usual place along the side, kitty corner from Max's chair. She raises her left ankle to rest on her right knee and jiggles her boot in a nervous twitch. "But if you'd rather stay here, I'll let you buy." Her lips curve into a slow smile as she looks up at him. "So how has your day gone so far?" She's expecting a pleasant response, considering his state and the bowl of red water.

Max ponders the offer briefly and then spends an equal amount of time considering his scotch. It's a 25 year Glenmorangie. Hard to top. Then again, backgammon and…

"I'll go, but you have to wear one of the outfits I bought you," he negotiates. "And you drive. Just give me a moment to change and have a peek in the mirror."

PLONK! He replaces his bottle in the drawer. The idea that Cody might refuse his terms never crosses his mind.

"I'll uhm…" Cody snaps her fingers and sucks in a breath through her teeth. She takes a quick peek in the direction of her own 'office' and licks her lips. The outfit isn't a problem. They're in the building. "Yeah, sure, I'll change. There's just one problem…" Something else that may not have crossed his mind, "I don't have a car. I can pay for the cab from the ferry but.." And she clicks her tongue against her teeth. "If you have one, I can drive it."

The counter offer delivered, she gives him a winning smile and slips her foot to the ground. Slowly, she comes to a stand and places her hands in her front pockets.

"I don't need to own a car," Max replies, smiling smugly. He leans back and props one shoe on his desk, displaying the metal inlaid in the sole. "Why drive when you can float?"

Groaning lazily, he unfolds his large, muscular body from his chair and starts unbuttoning his shirt. "I'll call the cab. Meet out front in… say… ten minutes?"

Her eyes drift immediately to his fingers as the material of his shirt parts, it's distracting. So when he begins to speak again she lifts her eyes to meet his and her jaw drops just a little as she utters a single syllable "Huh?"

It takes a small shake of her head to clear the scenes running through it at the moment but soon she's a little more coherent again. "Uhh… Yeah! Ten minutes. Got it." She turns her back on him, squints her eyes shut and she clamps her lower lip between her teeth in a 'yowza' face. Without another word, she raises her hand to give him a small wave and slips out of the door.

Max watches her watch him. Then he watches her leave. He's smiling as he redresses himself in a heather gray blazer and slacks over a white v-neck. He might've had her now, but he'd rather wait until later. After a shower. Or better still, in the shower.

A cab is called. He checks his hair in a small pocket mirror and touches it up with a few dabs of gel. When he's satisfied, he tidies everything up and heads for the front of the building.

She's not early, rather, she's a few minutes late but Cody's looking as impeccable as he is. Her jeans and t-shirt have been switched out for a suit jacket that is a shade of gray just a bit darker than his and a pair of cigarette leg pants. The black patent leather heels are a bit unusual for her and it shows, she's not the most graceful thing in stilettos. In fact, it might be her slow gait in heels that made her a bit late.

"I hope you're not planning on making me run any marathons in these," she quips with a half smile. Her hair is light brown, changed from the blonde in his office and put back in a smooth French twist. "Because if you are, I'm going to have to just take the loss."

While Max was waiting, the cab arrived. He also had a chance to look up the rules to backgammon on his phone. He tucks it away as Cody approaches. "The effect is well worth the effort," Max assures, appraising her with one eyebrow lifted and his hands flowing appreciatively through the air. Then, minutely, he gestures toward the cab. "Shall we? It's not a chariot, but it was the best I could do on short notice."

Cody tilts her head and puckers her lips into a small smirk when Max gives his assessment. "Glad to see I make the grade, you're looking your usual perfect self. I really like the suit." There's wordless appreciation as her eyes turn a little wolfish. When he gestures to the car, she ducks inside and slides to the far door. Her sharp eyes flit to the cabby's license, his name, and then she takes a look at his eyes in the rear view mirror. It is only after Max joins her that she leans forward and rattles off an address.

As usual, Max forgoes his seatbelt. He's a superior being and is above such trivialities. Instead, he slides over to loop his arm around Cody's shoulders. It's a gesture that's partly affectionate and partly possessive. "You'll have to be gentle with me," he confides. "This will be my first time playing backgammon. I'll try anything once, though."

Leaning into Max, Cody quirks an eyebrow upward at his request. "I wouldn't insult you by doing less than my absolute best." She purrs in response, her eyelids closing halfway as she gives him an easy going smile. "But I promise I won't cheat much, if that's a fair concession." Her hand slides to this inside of his knee where her long fingers hook just underneath the hollow. Coffee, chocolate, power bars, Max, now Backgammon, Cody's list of minute addictions just keeps getting longer.

"I can live with that," Max concedes, smiling back around his scarred lip. He gives her a squeeze and settles himself more comfortably for the ride.

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