2007-07-04: Sum Of Our Parts


Nova_icon.gif Max_icon.gif

Summary: A meeting between partners to-be. Max gets a new suit.

Date It Happened: 4th of July, 2007

Sum of Our Parts

Hartsdale, NY - Primatech - Cells

Max is bruise-free for what's essentially the first time since his capture. This is good, it leaves him free for a proper workout. There's not much else to do when you're locked in a vacancy. He's already run through sets of crunches, jumping jacks, squat-thrusts, and many other exercises that only the insane and masochistic indugle in. Now he's working his way through some push-ups, each rep marked with a quiet verbal count. "Seven… Eight… Nine…"

Also bruise free is Nova, her own aches and pains well faded by now. No guards accompany her this time, so there's likely no excursion for Max - considering what she's holding, Nova feels more like a messenger girl than anything else. She's also dressed a little different, more feminine in fitted jeans and ankle boots, and a blousey shirt, with a single piece of jewelry - a silver bracelet around one wrist. Wherever she was or wherever she's going, she's dressed for it, and this is her detour. The door is unlocked, and she steps inside, balancing what she's holding on one hand. Folded clothes, although what they are exactly is obscured, as they've been folded up inside a sheath of crinkly tissue paper. A book, also, rests on top of it. "Keeping busy," she comments, as she focuses on locking the door behind her once more.

Max doesn't miss a beat with his counting when Nova enters. "Ninety-three… Ninety-four… Oh! Agent Armstrong. I'm sorry, I didn't hear you come in." As he pushes himself into a standing position, he's not entirely able to keep his eyes from straying curiously to the package she's carrying. Even more noteworthy is her attire. He looks her up and now briefly, then nods. Pretty. "Going out?"

Ninety-four indeed. Nova snorts softly, standing just in front of the door and placing a hand over the items she's carrying. She does, however, glance down at herself for a moment when he asks that question, and gives a shrug. Her top isn't very frou-fou at all, just a little figure-hugging with loose, whimsical sleeves high on her arms - still a little contrasting to the broadness of her shoulders, the overt strength in her arms. It's a good try, anyway. "Checking in on someone we're keeping an eye on," she says, with a small, dismissive shake of her head. "This is me blending in." Her trimmed nails rap on the cover of the book she's holding, studying him a little.

"The disguise suits you." Max's smile is small and tight-lipped. Once again his eyes flicker down to the parcel and book. "What's that?" he asks, one eyebrow raised. Though he's remained stoic, he's long since read over Mohinder's books and papers several times by now. The possibility of any distraction is enticing, to say the least. After his fight and subsequent shower, Max has been supplied with clean clothing. He changes in the cell, which has the advantage of being both brightly lit and thoroughly observed. But at least he doesn't stink.

"Gifts from the powers that be," Nova says, with her own small, reserved smile. "Looks like the shrinks and whathaveyous are taking a shine." She doesn't explain the gifts, what they are and why - she just hands them over. The book on top is a paperback, and by the looks of the cover, it's a recent reprint of some kind of classic. A watercolour, abstract photo of a man, and across the middle, title and author are both printed: Steppenwolf, Hermann Hesse. The paper shifts a little when she holds them out for him to take, showing a slice of sophisticated pinstripe fabric.

Max is pleased to have something new to read, no matter what it is. Far more important to him is the clothing, though. A smile tugs at the corners of his mouth. In response, his mouth-scar twitches several time. "And that? Have we finally decided that it's time to clothe me like a proper man again?" Will. Not. Grabbyhands. He's clearly interested, though.

Nova's not the most perceptive of agents, but she's not blind. It's clear the idea of clothing - of good clothing, at that - is appealing to the man opposite her. She appears amused, in a business-like way, and she pulls apart some of the paper. The folded garments - a suit of dark, near black grey, and subtle white pinstripes, along with a crisp white shirt that likely shouldn't be folded, but beggers can't be choosers - are given to him to observe, her arms then folded across her chest. "Bored of the inmate PJs already, Swan?" she asks.

"I find the cut to be somewhat dissatisfying," Max admits wryly, tugging at his collar. When he takes the suit from Nova his eyes light up and he grins fiercely. "Beautiful…" he murmurs, fingering the sleeve of the jacket briefly. Then without further ado, he drapes it across the bed and shrugs out of his t-shirt. He's dropping trou', too. That's right, he's changing. Right here, right now. Turn around, lest you subject yourself to the sight of a steaming pile of cock.

OH OKAY. Nova makes a 'well you go ahead and do that /now while I'm in the room then/' kind of gesture, and obliges by turning her back on him. She's no blushing bride, but all the same, she chooses to study the wall, hands resting on her hips. "You'll have to deal without a razor while you're in here," she says, after clearing her throat. "House rules. But otherwise they'll let you clean up now and then. Looks like you went from prisoner to guest pretty quick."

With practiced precision, Max dons suit and shirt. Notably absent from the combination is a tie, a fact which causes him to smirk. He leaves the top two buttons of the shirt nattily unbuttoned, then clears his throat when he's properly attired and tucked. "You can turn around now." At the mention of a razor he reaches up to stroke his beard thoughtfully. "I'll survive. I think it suits me."

She turns as urged, a glance sweeping him up and down, pleased to see that any threat of witnessing that kind of crikey dick, as it were, has been evaded. And the suit isn't half bad on him. "Better," she says, seriously. Compliments, Nova-style. The presents are given, so it's probably time for her to go. Except she seems to have more to say, anyway. First, however, her gaze falls on the reading material he's collected from Mohinder, and with some curiousity, she paces on over towards the text books and folders, a hand reaching out for whatever's on top. She hadn't really noticed this stuff before. "Light reading?" she asks, to prompt.

"You could say that," Max replies. The text books are primarialy on biology and genetics, and the files are filled primarily with scientific gobbledygook, though careful study will reveal that they vaugely refer to several Evolved and their abilities. "Doctor Suresh has an agile and inquisitive mind. I enjoy our theoretical discussions. He brought me these so I might be better prepared for our next chat. As he has the benefit of accredited training and a well-funded lab, I often find myself at a disadvantage."

A file is picked up, the loose pages flicked through. She's not quite reading it, but she's curious as to what about such things interest Max. It's not an obvious choice, in her mind. "Enjoying our company a little more these days, then," she comments, and glances up at him before returning to the files. "From what I read up on you, that's a bit of a flip." There's obvious curiousity in her voice.

Max grits his teeth to speak between them, and for a moment the frustration is visible in his eyes. "Do not mistake kindness for weakness, Agent Armstrong." He blinks, and suddenly his impassive mask is back in place. "Now that we've reached an agreement I have nothing to fear from your organization. Assuming that's correct, I have no reason to continue fighting you. After talking to Doctor Eames at length, I must admit that we all seem to have similar goals."

That earns Max a sharp glance over Nova's shoulder, but by the time she looks, he's back to that cool calm exterior. "Good," she says, without irony, looking back down at the file before carefully setting it back in place, taking care not to ruffle the order. Her hands slide casually into the pockets of her jeans as she returns her attention to him. "What happened the last times we tried chasing you down?" she has to ask.

"The first time I ran. Before then, Men In Black were a myth for me." Max steeples his fingers thoughtfully. "The second time I killed both agents. I was… understandably upset, I think. The final time I killed one of the agents and sent the second back." He meets Nova's eyes unashamedly and elaborates. "So the rest of you would know to expect me. A very unfortunate series of misunderstandings, I'm afraid."

"For the agents, at least," Nova says, and despite the fact that Max is talking about men and women in league with Nova, she offers him a wolfish half-smile, barely a flash of teeth before it's gone again. "Well. Our organisation is greater than the sum of our parts, and I guess you…" She flicks a glance to the ever present monitor cameras as she chooses her phrasing. "I guess you drew their interest more'n sent a warning. Guess intensity's valued."

Max nods agreeably, pleased to have gotten over that conversational hurdle. "I still have some reservations, but working for the Company can hardly be worse than my current situation. If all goes as promised, I imagine I will be very content." He thrusts his chin forward a fraction of an inch. His next statement is polite, even respectful. "I bear you no ill will for bringing me in. I feel it's important you know that if we're to be working together."

That seems to surprise Nova a little, but she rolls with it, inclining her head to Max. "Then we'll get along just fine," she says. The meeting is wrapping up, her curiousity sated with his confirmations, and considers doing some sharing of her own… but there's time for that when perhaps they're not standing in the middle of a glorified jail cell. She starts to move past him, heading for the door. "Maybe next time, I'll be seeing you on the other side," she says, tapping the glass window as she goes.

Max grins, flashing his teeth. "I will look forward to it, Agent Armstrong." He brushes the backs of his knuckles against the soft fabric of his new suit. "Thank you again for the gifts."

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