2010-02-16: The Agent Wears Prada



Date: February 16, 2010


Max gives Cody a treat… spoiler: It's not breakfast in bed.

"The Agent Wears Prada"

Building 27

It's about 4am, Building 27 is still very quiet aside from the skeleton crew there to watch over the barracks. In Max Swan's office a woman in a towel sleeps soundly on the black leather sofa, it's not the most comfortable place to catch a few z's, but it'll do. The annoying light underneath the door has forced her to pull her brown puffy coat over her head, leaving the towel to cover the rest. If she was coherent at all, she might have reversed the two, but she's not.

Every once in a while a shadow interrupts the annoying light, possibly one of the guards pausing outside Max's office. Less frequently the doorknob turns, only to have the person outside stop because it's locked. There's someone in the office, someone who is talking in their sleep.

In the hall, Max pauses outside the door and glances at the knob. It only takes a trickle of his power to unlock it and send it swinging open. He steps into his office, closes the door quietly behind himself, and heads for his desk to unload his new purchases. Two disposable cups of coffee in a cardboard container. A plastic bag filled with lox, bagels, cream cheese, and utensils. A second bag contains the soft, telltale bulges of clothing. The next few moments are spent tidying things into place and laying out the food.

When the door swings open, Cody starts a little and then freezes underneath the coat. She's kind of like an ostrich right now, or the victim of a Tyranasaurus Rex… Mostly, she's just trying to figure out where she fell asleep before getting up. There's a pain in her chest, and her hand runs over the gauze bandages before she remembers everything that happened and that it wasn't just a nightmare. That same head runs over her scalp as a new growth of blonde curls spring up. She'll have to figure out some way to explain the rest of it later.

As Max moves around, arranging his purchases, Cody takes a deep breath and smells the coffee. "Mmmmmm" she moans, finally rising from her slumber. The coat is held up to her chest as she does so while one hand gathers the fallen mess of blonde hair to tuck it into her sleeve.

Max smiles crookedly as he spins around. He's exchanged his workout gear for a slimly tailored suit that's pin-striped in shades of light and dark gray, a white shirt with collar loose and the top two buttons undone, freshly shined Italian boots, and a new pair of gloves made of leather so fine and sheer that they cling like a second skin.

His eyes wander. A little. He spreads his gloved hands disarmingly and asks. "What do you want first, coffee or clothes?"

"Everything in me is screaming for coffee, but I think clothes would be better." The coat is laid carefully to the side so the hair doesn't fall out and she slowly stands and turns her back to him. The towel is readjusted so that it's covering her entire torso and soon she's facing him again. "Those pills really took something out of me, I still feel pretty groggy."

Her eyes wander over Max's frame and her lips slowly curve into a small smile. "Thanks, by the way, I was just going to super glue myself shut." Then she crosses the office to pick at the clothing in the bag. "You get the right size?" Not that it matters, she'd wear practically anything at the moment.

"When you spend as much time with a tailor as I do, you always get the right size," Max quips. He pulls a carefully coiled garment bag from the second plastic sack, unzips it, and withdraws his prize. It's a womens' trouser suit, black, with a wide-collared white blouse. It'll fit Cody very snugly, except around her injured chest. Max offers her the ensemble and says, "Agent, if you want a breakfast date with me, you'll have to look the part."

After accepting the suit, Cody searches the rest of the bag and then looks up at Max. "Always the right size…" She's a little dismayed at the lack of undergarments but she doesn't voice it. "So are you going to leave the room or should I?" She's edging toward the door, just in case, as she asks the question. "Do you know if my backpack is still in the gym? I need a few things out of it." When her back finally hits the door, she reaches behind her to the knob, all the while staring at the bearded man in the finely tailored suit.

Max cocks an eyebrow quizzically. He didn't mention the hair. He's not going to mention this. He's never experienced post-traumatic stress, but he's read about it. "Relax, Agent. Your gear is in the closet." He chucks a thumb over his shoulder to indicate the door behind his desk. "And I'll go. Make sure you eat something before you get yourself into any more trouble." That said, he picks up his coffee and heads for the hall, pausing to stand to the side so Cody can move from his path.

But she doesn't move out of his way, Cody just cocks her head slightly to the side and looks up into his eyes. "So you're canceling our breakfast date before I even get a pair of underwear on? I'm disappointed, Swan." The quiet tone of her voice practically screams that she's being sincere. She pauses for a few moments before finally moving out of the way and making her way to the closet. "If you'd just wait, I'll only be a few minutes until I'm ready." How long does it take to get a pantsuit on anyway? Cody's never actually worn one. Jo wears them all the time though, so it can't be too hard.

Wince. "Underwear," Max chides himself. "Sorry about that." He doesn't seem sorry for long, though. His raised eyebrow reaches new and mischevious heights and the smile is back on his face. "I can wait. Hurry, though. I'm starving."
Happy to have mistaken discomfort for nervousness, he reaches for the doorknob. "And check your bandages while you're getting dressed. They probably need to be changed. Aid kit's in the closet with your stuff."

Before he heads out the door, Cody can be heard muttering "I wouldn't have bandages to change if we would have just used crazy glue." Then again, they never would have at that special time either, the one involving the needle and scissors. The closet is opened and the door propped ajar as she drops the towel to the ground and quickly begins rummaging for the elusive undergarments and a pair of socks tucked into her backpack.

True to her word, Cody peeks out into the hallway not even five minutes later. Her hair is put up into a mass of curls on the top of her head and the pantsuit? Well it's quite snug. "Next time you might want to get a size bigger. I think that if I had a dime in my back pocket you'd be able to tell if it was heads or tails." How she had the time, one will never know, but the couch has been cleaned up and the shopping bags have found their way into the garbage.

Stifling a laugh at Cody's comment, Max looks her up and down again, this time with the clinical eyes of a horse trader. "It fits perfectly," he argues good-naturedly. "And it looks good on you. You have the legs of a thoroughbred."

Satisfied with his choice of apparel, Max moves around behind his desk, takes a seat, and sets his coffee down. "No redness or swelling, I hope?" he asks conversationally as he picks up a bagel.

"None so far," Cody remarks idly as she rolls a chair beside the desk, kitty corner from Max's. "Do you want to check?" she adds with a quick wink and a smile. She leans over and grips up the second cup of coffee and takes a long drink. During her second gulp, she closes her eyes and lets off a completely happy hum. "You know exactly how I like it. Strong enough to put hair on a chest." Not hers though. Maybe. There was that one time in Cyprus when she was trying to disguise herself as a man.

Max inclines his head an accepts the compliment with a small nod. "I can look you over after breakfast," he rumbles pleasantly as he spreads a thick layer of cream cheese on his bagel. Next comes thick slices of lox. He pauses to glance up at Cody. "After all, we know how fast you can get into the suit. I'm curious to see how fast you can get back out of it."

Cody mimics the man's action with the bagel, spreading the cream cheese just a little thicker and completely shameless about piling the lox on her bagel. She eats like a horse, she's never apologized for it and she won't start now. "I think that I could get out twice as fast, depending on my motivation." She smiles before taking her first bite. The glint in her eyes betrays a hint of mischief.

"That's what I like to hear," Max chuckles. In true counterpoint to Cody's style, he is neat to the point of being dainty. He takes small bites, chews each one thoroughly, and makes frequent use of his napkin. This doesn't keep him from enjoying the food, though. The lox is excellent quality, and the bagels are still warm from the morning's first baking.

She finishes well before he does and while waiting for him Cody raises one leg to cross over the other, sitting like a lady. She does have her moments of propriety, dressed like this, she needs to draw on all of them. "That was good," she comments as she takes a few last sips of her coffee. "If we get to be good friends we should do it a little more often. I promise I won't wreck it by bringing something a little less refined." Power bars, cereal in tiny boxes, things that are still moving, the possibilites of how Cody could ruin a moment like this with food are practically endless.

"Promises, promises," Max purrs. He takes his time with his last few bites. Savors them. When he's finishes, he pats his mouth with his napkin and pushes his things aside. He brushes his hands down his front to smooth his suit neatly into place and then looks up at Cody appraisingly. "Now. Do we really need the pretense of playing doctor, or shall we start getting… friendly?"

Cody's lips twitch into a small smile as she eyes Max carefully. "We can do both, can't we?" she says idly as she leans back in her chair. She hasn't gotten up to make a move yet. Besides, she doesn't know what his limits are, the vision of the man cutting her off at the knees and burying her alive isn't something she wants to deal with before she's supposed to be awake in the morning. She reaches up to her hair and tugs at an invisible hairpin, letting loose the mass of blonde curls on her head.

"I do need to have a look at those stitches," Max concedes, mirroring Cody's smile with one of his own. He stands up and considers the careful arrangement of file folders, reports, and office supplies on his desk. A place for everything and everything in it's place.


With one arm, Max sweeps papers, pens, and laptop computer into a pile on the floor, leaving his desk bare. "Your examination table awaits," he says graciously.

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