S... Is for a Lot of Things
99 looked at the brass 86 on the door in front of her and poised to knock. She could imagine the response she would get right down to the inflection in Max's voice. He would come to the door with a demand for whatever password he had his whims centered on at that moment. Being on the outside of Mr. Smart's password loop left 99 with no choice but to somehow finagle around the issue.
Sighing, 99 pounded firmly on the door. Half a minute and then a whole minute went by without so much as even a shuffling from inside. 99 pounded on the door again, wondering why Max was ignoring it. She knew perfectly well he was there -his red Sunbeam was parked out along the street. She moved to pound again -only this time she pounded too soon. The door swung open and her balled up fist rammed right into Max's stomach.
"Come in 99," wheezed Max, trying to ignore his agony and keep his salami sandwich from winding up on the floor.
"I'm sorry Max!" apologized 99, rushing over to comfort him.
"It's okay, 99," he said as he stepped back from her. "Why don't you have a seat on the... Ottoman and we'll get started on the paperwork."
"Right Max," nodded 99, marching over to the Ottoman by the fireplace. She glanced at the plush and inviting sofa and then glared at the vinyl Ottoman. It was clearly a strategy on his part -no one could be taken advantage of on an Ottoman.
Max looked around the room and winced. He had decided to hide Hymie and his spare parts rather than explain why pieces of robot were strewn about the room. 99 had lucked out -hers was the only seat that did not have a pile of tools or electronic gizmos stuffed under the pillows. Since his only other option was the floor, he decided to perch himself against the edge of the coffee table.
"Max?" asked 99. "Wouldn't you be more comfortable on the sofa?"
"Great," he thought, "she doesn't want me sitting near her in my own apartment. I'll hand it to her, when she holds a grudge, she keeps holding a grudge."
"No, 99," he said in all seriousness. "This is the place for me."
"Uh... okay," she shrugged, opening up her attaché case. She pulled out a manila folder and handed it to Max. He dutifully opened it up and began filling in the requested information.
"Is the Chief still mad at me?" asked Max.
"I think he's gotten over your escapades," said 99. "Max, how did you know to..."
99 never got to finish her sentence. Suddenly the lights dimmed and the room was bathed in Herb Alpert's Spanish Flea. Max looked up from the pile of forms and carbons with an alarmed expression. 99 pointed over at the couch just as it shifted into a reclining position, revealing all of Max's electrical wares.
"Max, what is that?" demanded 99.
Max winced and looked up at the light switch by the door. Hymie was standing beside it flipping random buttons on the panel. Max flipped his bachelor gear off at the control panel on the back of the sofa. He then walked over to Hymie and glared at the robot.
"Hymie, this was not the time to come out of the closet," he snapped.
"But conditions indicated that you wanted to be alone with her," said Hymie.
"Hymie, if I wanted to be alone and you wanted to help, then why are you here?" demanded Max.
99 wriggled on the Ottoman. "Max... what is-"
"Pay no attention to him," insisted Max, steering Hymie back to the coat closet he had shoved the robot in when 99 had arrived. "He has a few glitches right now."
99 got up and walked over to the stairs. "Max, I'm going to freshen up," she said. "Why don't you finish what you were doing with Hymie?"
Max sighed and gave 99 directions to his water closet and then went back to scolding Hymie. "After that display she'll probably jump out the bathroom window," he snapped. "This is your fault, Hymie."
"I was only trying to set the mood, Max," said Hymie.
"Mood for what?" cried Max. "Since when do you need gin, vermouth and Herb Alpert to do paperwork?"
"Since you started having nightmares that stem from your repressed feelings about Agent 99," said Hymie as if he were quoting a chapter from Freud.
Max rolled his eyes. "Hymie, how can you assume that? You aren't... You can't-"
"I may be made of metal," he said solemnly, "but I know what love is."
"Yes," nodded Max, "as I recall, your most recent romantic experience was with a malfunctioning telephone."
"I've also been reading your diary, Max," said Hymie. "It's encoded in my memory banks. Perhaps I should share it with Agent 99."
Max glared at Hymie and looked away. He then turned back to the robot with a glint in his eye. "How would you like a new post in Mexico -as a cab!"
"I'm only trying to help, Max," said Hymie. "It's not a secret. Everybody at Control has been talking about you and 99."
Max raised an eyebrow. "Why? Male and female agents work together all the time."
"It all started when you followed 99 to San Jirman," said Hymie.
"The betting pool," said Hymie. "You can still join."
"Hymie, that's sick and disturbing -casting lots on a man's social life," frowned Max, shaking his head. He looked away and then turned back to the robot. "What's the minimum bet?"
99, in the meantime, had followed Max's directions to a tee -only she found the bathroom door locked. It was becoming quite clear that something out of the ordinary was going on with Mr. Smart. "Max, the door's locked!" she shouted.
"Use the other door in my bedroom," he hollered back.
She sighed and made her way into the bedroom. It looked somewhat like she had imagined it: high on disheveled blankets and strewn about laundry, but short on knick-knacks and clutter. Being a spy, it was difficult to fight the urge to snoop through his drawers.
99 turned towards the bathroom door when something caught her eye. She looked around the room again until her eyes rested on a painting -a very large painting of herself. "Me?" she asked out loud. "What's he doing with a picture of me in here?"
She then turned on her heal and marched out of the room. As she walked downstairs, she found Max and Hymie still standing where she had left them. The two, as far as she could see, were glaring at each other.
"Are you ready to finish the paperwork?" asked 99.
"Might as well," shrugged Max. "It's not like I'm actually going to win a staring contest with a robot."
"Max, there's something about this case that's been bothering the Chief and I," said 99. "How exactly did you know what Marcy had gone through the night she found Fairfax's body?"
"I've told you and the Chief this before -she called me," said Max, hoping he would not have to explain the un-explainable bond he and his sister shared. "I'm sorry I was so secretive about Marcy. I didn't think you would get so upset about her. I didn't expect you to... care."
"Oh, Max... I do care," said 99. "You're so secretive at times. I wouldn't have gotten mad at you -and her- if you would have clued me inn aa little."
"99, there's not a secretive bone in my body," insisted Max, studying her doubtful gaze. "Would you believe a secretive hair on my head?"
"Max, it's just that after working together for so long, I feel like I only know half of you," said 99.
Max shifted his eyes away from 99. He recalled the dream he had -the one before the Marcy Melee- and wondered how much validity it held. He wondered if he was truly afraid of himself or of just 99. He considered that it was a whole lot of both.
"Well, gee, 99... I am a spy and there's a lot of things I just can't go around talking about," explained Max.
"You could tell me about the oil painting in your bedroom," suggested 99.
"The big one -of me!"
"99," sighed Max. "What were you doing looking at pictures when you were supposed to be-"
He took a deep breath and looked over at 99. "Oh... uh... one day I decided to pull out the canvas, the palette knife and-"
"You painted it?" asked 99.
"Of course, 99," nodded Max. "You don't think I'd hand a job like that to some rank amateur? I wanted you done right!"
99 smiled to herself. "Oh... Max..."
Footnotes, references, and other spare parts I borrowed from elsewhere.
Victor Royale gets a few unfortunate and mostly wasteful mentions in this fic. Old Vic, for those not up on the trivial lore of Get Smart, was a playboy Kaos Agent that 99 was engaged to in "99 Loses Control."
CAD stands for Kaos' Contrived Accident Division as seen in the episode "Run Robot Run." In that episode, Kaos agent Emily Neal drains Hymie's battery with her lipstick battery deactivator.
Albano's is a pizza parlor in beautiful downtown Michigan City.
Binospecs were also used in the pilot episode "Mr. Big."
Reader's Digest is real; Mystery Magazine Monthly is not.
Richelieu tried to turn 99 into a mannequin, Dr. Yes tried to saw her in half, and Kubacheck was just a big jerk.
The "Swayze" in the Swayze Wrist Communicator was pulled from newsman John Cameron Swayze of "Timex takes a licking but keeps on ticking" fame.
The phrase "Does anybody really know what time it is" comes from the Chicago song of the same name.
Gollywoggles are… I don't know what they are! Whatever they are, Max is afraid of them as noted in "Witness for the Persecution" and "Wax Max."
42, according to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, is the Ultimate Answer to the Great Question of Life, Universe, and Everything.
Hard Times is a diner with a decorative ceiling in Decatur, Michigan. I don't think the real Hard Times serves booze.
The "Oil Painting" of 99 is a much debated topic. It made appearances in "All in the Mind" and "The Day Smart Turned Chicken."
Names and stuff that was Tuckerized:
The names Fairfax, Rivers, and Temple all come from Jane Eyre.
A Sexton is a maintenance person -usually in a church.
Tipper Tarper was supplied by Smartian and pro-am wanderer Ishaan
Rocksburg, PA is just as fictional in this story as it is in K.C. Constantine's mystery novels. According to Rand McNally it doesn't exist, but in a state with towns called Bird in Hand and roads named Tapeworm, who knows!
Stick a fork in me I'M DONE!
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