2010-02-15: The Finger Lingers



Date: February 15, 2010


Demetri Martin: It's interesting the way "finger puppet" sounds okay as a noun… ladies.

"The Finger Lingers"

Building 27

It's close to midnight, maybe even a little later when Baker stumbles through the door of Building 27. She has a backpack stuffed to the gills with anything she might need and her overloaded messenger bag on her hip. Oddly enough, she's dressed in a pair of men's pajama bottoms and her lovely green military jacket and a pair of combat boots. She looks very much like a woman running away from home in the middle of the night.

Winding around the corridors, she is careful to avoid cameras until she gets to the gym and subsequently the locker rooms attached to them. Once she arrives in the room, she drops the backpack and her messenger bag and sheds her coat. She hasn't even glanced around to see if it's already occupied, it's the middle of the night, no one should be around except the skeleton crew.

Over in the men's locker room, Max has just finished changing into a pair of black satin boxing trunks. With methodical, practiced motions, he wraps several layers of bandages around his gashed ribs and secures them in place. Tape around knuckles and wrists, high-topped boxing boots on his feet, and he's finally out the door to the gymnasium.

When Max crosses paths with Cody, he looks her up and down with his eyebrows raised speculatively. "What's your status, Agent?" he queries. "You look a bit… preoccupied."

Caught. Cody's not fast enough to pull the coat back over her bruised body. The purple and yellow blotches covering her arms don't look like they've been made with any sort of bodily contact, they appear to be caused from the inside. "Yes, well…" The woman winces a little bit and places a hand to her chest where some dark blood is seeping through her tank top. "I was just heading to the shower and to get some medical supplies." Her blue eyes flit to her backpack and messenger bag, then quickly back up at him. She's not stupid enough to think that he's not astute enough to realize what she's doing. "Then I was going to peruse the classifieds for a new place to live."

Max lets out a low whistle at the sight of Cody's injuries. "We need to get you patched up. You're in luck, though. I have some experience in these matters." A lopsided smile tugs at the scarred side of his mouth and he crosses his arms over his bare chest. "You'll live for a few minutes, at least. Go get cleaned up. I'll grab a medkit."

That's that. No awkward questions. No pulling rank. Could have something to do with his fresh bandages. He turns around and strides back into the men's locker room.

Leaving her coat and backpack where it is, Cody just hefts the messenger bag and heads to the women's locker room to do just as the doctor ordered. The steamy shower isn't good for the ribbons of cut flesh, but it does wonders for her mind and the rest of her body. The tiny rivulets of red stained water flow to the drain as she stands under the spray with her eyes closed. Her hair falls again from her head and the new outcropping of blonde curls, fresh and clean form in tight little ringlets over her scalp.

When Cody finally peeks around the corner from the locker room, she spies Max and waves him toward her with one hand. "Come in, there's no one in here. I'd rather be in the locker room in just a towel instead of in the gym with just a towel." She says with a low voice. She doesn't have an extra change of clothes in there with her, but if he's going to play doctor, she'd have to remove them anyway.

"Fair enough," Max agrees. He limps in holding the same medkit he used to treat his own injury. He sets it down on a bench, settles himself down next to it, and strips the glove from his good hand. Once the kit is cracked open, he dons a pair of latex gloves an starts picking out a few essentials. Alcohol swabs. Antibiotic ointment. A threaded needle. Scissors. Tape. Gauze. And bandages. Lots of bandages. From the pocket of his trunks, he produces a prescription pill bottle and offers it to Cody. "Percocet. Should take the edge off. I wouldn't take more than two, unless you have a head for them. Then grab a seat so we can get started."

Taking the bottle, Cody eyes it for a moment before looking over at him. Turning her back on the man, she lowers the towel wrapped around her frame and tucks it around her waist. Then she opens the bottle and shakes out two of the pills. "I've never taken a pain pill before, not even after getting shot. Do you think it'll be necessary?" When she turns around, she balks somewhat at the needle. That thing will be stitching up her chest with the aid of the one armed man. Slowly, she sinks to the bench beside him and takes a small breath inward as she chews the two pills and swallows.

Max's eyes roam briefly over Cody's figure. He's only human. "I think it's a good idea," he confirms, settling his gaze on her injuries. "I'm going to get you sterilized while those take effect."

He rips open an alcohol swab and begins to wipe the wounds with gentle, confident strokes. "Let me know if you need me to stop," he murmurs, his voice held at a low, soothing pitch.

While most people would flinch at the sting, Cody doesn't seem to. Her eyes are closed and she's taking slow and carefully measured breaths with every swipe of the alcohol. "I'll be okay. I've felt a lot worse than a few little cuts," her voice is disjointed, catching with each stroke. She's not good enough at controlling her pain that she doesn't feel anything. In fact, as she grips onto the edge of the bench, her arms are flexed and her knuckles seem to be growing whiter.

It doesn't take long for the pills to take effect, perhaps just as he finishes the cleaning. Her lips curve into a small, self confident smile, and she opens her eyes to look at him. "Let's get the foreplay overwith and head into the real action."

When the swabbing is finished, Max sets his towlette aside in favor of the small, sharp scissors. He meets Cody's gaze directly as he lines up the little blades. "Okay, then. Brace yourself."

With smooth strokes, he snips the edges of each wound until they butt together neatly. Then he picks up the needle and knots rows of stitches as skillfully as any seamstress. When the last one is tied, he snips the remaining thread clear. "Okay. Take a breath, then I'll wrap you up."

Taking a small breath inward, Cody holds it for a moment before letting it out slowly. "You know, this is really not the way I wanted you to see me half naked the first time." She says candidly, not moving from her place on the bench as he finishes snipping the threads. "Or how I wanted to play doctor the first time…" A silly, drunken little grin spreads across her features as her good natured attitude returns with the help of the two happy little pills inside of her.

She holds her arms out to the side as she waits for him to begin his bandaging process. "Hey Max, next time we do this, let's not use needles and scissors. Sure they can be fun, but …"

The crooked smile is back on Max's face as he applies ointment to Cody's stitches and then tapes a square of gauze over them. His fingertips linger as he secures one last strip. "A lot of 'firsts' and 'nexts' in there," he observes. "But you're right. Stuff like this should stay in the lab."

He reaches up to give Cody's cheek a bold, inquisitive touch. After a moment, his hand slides up to tangle in her hair. "You should probably get some rest," he observes dryly.

Three fingers are held up between their faces and Cody lets out a little chuckle, "Three." She says with a bit of a lilt in her voice, "Two firsts and one next. So that means we have to get half naked at least two more times. It'll give me one more chance to make a good first impression, purple isn't really my color."

Her hand drops once his hand reaches into her hair and she half lids her eyes. "I'm going to work all night, but I think things are…" Pause. "…just a little fuzzy." Indeed, her eyes are a little glazed over but her breathing is calm and regular. The pain pills are definitely doing their thing. "Can't sleep now, security's been compromised. Targets are fighting back…"

Max is instantly alert. Playtime is over. "Where? Which targets?" He should've thought this far ahead, but he was distracted by Cody's… injuries. He's brisk again. Businesslike. "Talk to me, Agent. I need to know what happened."

And not just because of his unreported incident with Ms. Strauss.

Cody's eyes fly wide open as Max suddenly shifts gears and goes into businessman overdrive. "I handled it." Cody says lowly, narrowing her eyes. "I dunno if more know where I live. Lived… I'm moving. Got everything in my bag. Everything important." She looks around, just a little disoriented on small details. "Except a shirt, I don't think I have a shirt." Slowly, she gets up off the bench, wobbling just a little more than a little. "I don't think my feet are attached to my body anymore."

"I'd loan you mine, but I'm fresh out." Max shrugs his shoulders and tugs absently at the wrappings around his ribs. His smile is back in evidence, but it's somewhat subdued. "No offense, but you look wrecked. You know where my office is," he continues. "Why don't you grab some rack time on the couch in there? I'll go pick you up a change of clothes and something for us to eat. And some coffee."

Forgetting the messenger bag for a brief moment, Cody feels along the wall back toward the gym before turning around to collect it and hold it tightly against her chest. She's still without a shirt and all she's got on is a towel wrapped around her waist. Not a good thing in a building that has cameras all over the place. "You have a couch now? Man… you must be moving up in the world… All I got is four desks in four cubes… in a supply closet." Her words are a little slurred and in her drug induced stupor, a bit cryptic. "I should get a couch."

She does have the foresight to grab her coat on the way to his office. Wrapping the over sized military jacket around her frame she hides most of her shame, or what will be shame in the morning. Cody isn't the least bit sleepy though, just a little loopy. So the people monitoring the cameras might get treated to a very bad rendition of a can-can as she makes her way to Swan's office.

As Cody stands and staggers away, Max winces and lifts his hand to point at the nearest camera. A tightly focused EMP beam pops sightlessly and soundlessly into existence, shorting it and several of its fellows. No records of this incident. Then, shaking his head bemusedly, he heads back to the men's locker room to change.

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