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Chapter 1

 

Something wasn’t right. That was the exact same thing running around in Maxwell Smart’s head. He and 99 sat in a dark theater, sitting through TO HAVE OR HAVE NOT, the movie that teamed Bogey with fellow actress and later wife, Lauren Bacall.

Max had always felt that he and 99 were the Bogey and Bacall of the spy world. But even now as he sat through one of his favorite movies, he felt something was terribly amiss. He looked over at 99.

She held her head in her right hand and was tracing the lid to her soda with her left. She had this look on her face that was unreadable, but Max knew that something wasn’t exactly right. The look told him she was thinking of something that might cause him a lot of physical pain.

I’m going to kill him.

The same sentence went through 99’s head like a freight train. She didn’t want to be at the movies or even watching movies with Bogart in them. She understood and knew all too well that Humphrey Bogart was her husband’s movie idol.

The sun rose and set on Humphrey Bogart. Always had, even before she had met him. She understood that, but…and that was always the clincher. BUT…the man had willfully ignored a romantic setting…a very important night in the life of Mr. and Mrs. Maxwell Smart…an anniversary of sorts…the man had chose a movie star…a dead movie star to boot…over a romantic evening with his wife.

A woman he hardly gets to see in the day, despite the fact that she practically worked at CONTROL…that wasn’t the point! her brain screamed. The point was he should’ve WANTED to have the romantic evening and just relished in her presence.

Max looked at the movie and was totally absorbed. It wasn’t until he glanced at 99 that he realized something was definitely wrong. She had practically thrown the popcorn at him when he had asked for it and he was becoming more and more unsure about doing their movie ritual of kissing during the credits.

He attention went back to the movie. He loved Bogey and Bacall movies. He never really had appreciated them until he met 99 and from then on, he just seemed to like them more. He smiled thinking about his earlier analogy. The Bogey and Bacall of the spy world. He liked that. He looked over at 99 to tell her. She shot him a look that quickly made his smile disappear.

That convinced him. There would be no kissing during the end credits.

I’ll torture him, then I’ll kill him, 99 thought.

She had spent this whole time thinking about how she’d make Max pay for this. The thought made a smile come to her face as she thought of the many ways to torture Max, ranging from the silent treatment to the Chinese Water Torture routine. This was not over between her and Max.

The Smarts ended up sitting through three classic Bogey-Bacall teamings, before an announcement was made that the next movie would be the classic, CASABLANCA. Max’s face lit up at the mere mention of the film that put Bogart on the map as a leading man and top actor; 99 rolled her eyes before getting up and storming out of the theater, with a confused Max following her.

“Hey, 99!” Max called as he followed her to the car. She stopped at the passenger side and impatiently waited for Max to open the doors. He caught up to her and looked at her.

“Is something wrong?” he asked, slightly out of breath and very confused by his wife’s odd behavior.

99 just got in the car and sat with her arms folded. Max got in, started the car, and started to drive out of the parking lot. “We’re stopping at the secret baseball field,” Max said, breaking the tense silent in the car. “I promised Zach I’d get his bat fixed.”

“Fine.” 99 said, staring out her window. “Let’s do everything you want to do.”

When Max got to a stoplight, he couldn’t take it anymore. “Alright, 99,” he replied, turning to her. “You can’t fool me any longer. Something’s wrong. Now, we promised each other that we wouldn’t hold any secrets, so if there’s something you want and need to tell me, you should do it.”

99 turned to look at him very slowly, doing everything in her power to stop her from strangling this man in front of passerbys and drivers next to them and then having to be convicted of murder. “Alright, Max.” she said finally. “You really wanna know?”

“Of course, 99.” Max said. “Besides, you seem to be upset. Talking about it will make you feel better.”

Outside of the car, we see 99 let lose. Drivers around them can see she’s yelling at him, but they can’t hear what is being said. The light soon turns green and Max continues driving. In the car, he’s silent for a minute then turns to 99.

“I’m sensing a lot of hostility from you, 99. Are you mad at me?”

99 rolled her eyes at him and took a deep breath before answering. “Max,” she said, staring out the front window. “I’ve been planning tonight for about a week now. It just so happens that tonight was the CONTROL baseball practice, which meant that Zach and Maxine couldn’t bother us for any reason. This was supposed to be a special night tonight, Max. It was a very special… anniversary.”

Max almost had a heart attack. No way he had forgotten his wedding anniv…Max stopped in mid-thought and thought about something else. He mentally went through the months and the days and realized his wedding anniversary wasn’t for another four months.

“Um…99…” Max asked, confused by this whole anniversary thing. “Tonight isn’t our wedding anniversary… is it?”

“No, Max.”

“Oh.” Max heaved a sigh of relief. But his excitement was quickly enclosed in confusion again. “Well…then…what…?”

“You probably wouldn’t even remember, Max.” 99 said, her voice growing quieter.

“No, really, 99.” Max insisted, as the car rounded the corner of the field’s parking lot. “You have to tell me cause I might remember. I think. Tonight was our anniversary of…” his voice trailed off, hoping she would fill in the blank he’d left open for her.

“The first time we ever met.” 99 finished, holding back tears at the fact that Max couldn’t even remember THAT.

Max thought he was having a heart attack. He couldn’t believe he could’ve forgotten the first time he had met 99. That moment changed his life, gave him new meaning of the word love, brought an end to his bachelorhood.

There were only a few things that really mattered to Max, his top ten moments that made his life better. THAT moment was one of them. In fact, the more he thought of it, he realized that the best moments of his life usually involved 99. He couldn’t believe he had totally forgotten that.

And what was worse, he actually had thrown it away in lieu of a Bogey marathon. The car pulled into a parking space, with its occupants not uttering a word. 99 got out quickly and headed for the field, while Max sat for awhile. He finally exited the car and followed 99 over to the batting cage.

“99,” Max started, looking for the words that would make this whole thing right again. “I…I… am…really sorry.”

“Max, it’s fine.” 99 replied, keeping her eye on Maxine’s pitch.

“No, really, 99.” Max started again. “I’m really sorry. You should’ve told me.”

99 turned to look at Max. As much as she loved him, the man had a way of pushing her love to a degree. “Well, I’m sorry, Max.” she said, sarcastically. “I just thought the lights being low, the candles lit, the table set, the champagne in ice, and me wearing revealing clothing would somehow clue you in, apparently I was wrong.”

“There’s no need to be sarcastic, 99.” Max said, getting a tad bit annoyed with this new found attitude his wife had adopted since they had left the house. “I’m just saying that perhaps you should’ve said something…”

“Max,” 99 said, crossing her arms in order to stop herself from killing this man. “I told you as soon as you got home, that I had planned a special evening for the two of us. That special evening did not have room for Humphrey Bogart.”

“Well, you know what, 99.” Max retorted, also folding his arms across his chest. “I’m sure Mr. Bogart would be a lot nicer to me than you are right now.”

That’s showing her! his brain applauded. This was not going to be an argument he was going to lose. Max hated giving in to an argument, even when he was wrong, and especially to 99, who always managed to use her charms to distract him from winning.

“Max, are you telling me Humphrey Bogart is more important to you then your wife?” 99 asked. She was not about to lose this fight and she was certainly not in the mood to use her charms to distract Max from winning.

Sometimes she just couldn’t believe how Max could take a simple discussion and turn it into a full blown argument. In fact, the more she thought about it, most of their arguments were usually instigated by Max.

“I did not say that, 99.” Max had really had it now. Now the woman was putting words he never said in his mouth. She started it, his brain replied. If she had just told us this was the anniversary of the day we met, then everything would’ve been fine. “If you had just told me that tonight was a very special night…”

“Max, I DID tell you! I told you at least five times tonight that tonight was a very special night!”

There’s no need to yell, 99’s brain said, trying to take back control before something not screened would be said.

There’s no need to yell, Max’s brain said, realizing that he and Max were in trouble. Max’s brain, along with Max, hated it when 99 got mad, especially when they were the cause of it. Okay, Maxi, his brain said. We need to calm down before we say something really uncalled for…

“You know, 99, sometimes I wish I had never met…” Max stopped in mid-sentence and took a deep breath. 99 was in shock, but too mad to actually let her feelings be known.

“Wished you had never met me, Max?” she asked, still annoyed by this whole fight they were having. Thankfully, the baseball team was too absorbed in their game to notice the tiff the Smarts were having.

“Is that what you were going to say, Mr. Smart?”

Now listen, 99…99’s brain knew this thing was getting really out of hand. The years being married to Max had suddenly produced a temper that 99 rarely used, but when she did it was mostly under control…unless of course she was in an argument with Max.

All you have to do is apologize, Max. Max’s brain felt it was working overtime tonight. The last thing he wanted his mouth to say was that he wished he’d never met 99. That was agony. He didn’t even want to contemplate what life could be without 99.

That was the worst kind of torture, worse than any torture KAOS could ever come up with. Max, just apologize and everything will be o…

“Yeah.” Max said, still peeved at this whole fight they were having. “That’s exactly what I was going to say.”

NNNNNOOOOO! Max’s brain screamed at him. You dumb, stupid idiot! How could you say something like that? Our life is ruined!

NNNNNOOOOO! 99’s brain screamed at Max. You dumb, stupid idiot! How could you say something like that? Our life is ruined!

The Smarts stood, staring at each other, still mad at one another and totally shocked at what Max had said. Their silence was broken suddenly by their son, Zach calling to them.

“Dad! Foul ball! Heads up!”

The Smarts turned in confusion to Zach’s announcement, when something clocked Max in the eye. He fell to the ground, before passing out.

 

 

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