Maxwell Smart’s brain hurt.
He had a lot on his mind lately and now his brain was starting to hurt. Max sat at his kitchen table on a beautiful Friday morning. The sun was shining through his apartment window, birds were singing, cars were moving and getting ready for work, and Max sat at his table in the middle of breakfast, thinking.
He was going over different things from that morning, like what case he would be working on this weekend and whether or not the Chief was serious about giving him next weekend off like he promised. He looked down at his breakfast and saw the same thing he saw almost every morning: a cup of coffee and one piece of toast.
Usually Max had two pieces of toast, but on the account that he had just eaten one piece, therefore that left him with one more piece of toast.
Max didn’t have all that much time to make elaborate breakfasts like cereal or the famous bacon and eggs platter. This fact made Max think even harder. In all reality, even though his thoughts were mumbled, he was thinking about settling down.
The inevitable conclusion and end of a bachelor lifestyle. Max enjoyed being a bachelor, he really did, but there was something that just kept poking at him and that was the thought of marriage.
Marriage, the institution of undying love.
Max had been to just about every wedding at CONTROL and there was just something different about the agents who ended up getting married. They changed. Some for better, some for worse, but Max wanted the change for better. Then it happened again. Every time Max thought about marriage and things of that nature, he thought about 99.
Agent 99 was Max’s partner.
More like best friend.
They had known each other for a very long time and had worked together for some time as well. She was a wonderful agent: high scores on marksmanship, she graduated top of her spy class, she’d been awarded the Lamont Cranston award two years in a row for shadowing, and she was a valuable agent to CONTROL.
And best of all, she was attractive. Very attractive. In fact, attractive didn’t begin to describe Agent 99’s looks. She was…well, she was only 1% off from being a 100, but in Max’s book, she already was. In truth, Max had a slight crush on her from the very beginning, but now he was growing more and more fond of her.
Fond of her? Max thought. What a gross understatement! Max did a half smile. Gross understatement. 99 would be proud at his understanding of such a sophisticated pairing of words. Max’s smile got bigger.
Another good thing about knowing 99 was the fact that her intelligence was wearing off on him. Not to say Max wasn’t intelligent already, but he gained more knowledge just being around 99.
There I go again, he thought. Thinking about 99. Well, he couldn’t help it. He was very fond of her. To get to the point, the man was…
Just then, there was a knock at Max’s door. He left the kitchen and stepped into the living room to make sure he did hear something. Again the knocking took place. “Who is it?” Max called.
“It’s me, Max,” said the lovely voice on the other side.
Speak of the devil, he thought. “Just a minute, 99.”
Max hurried and finished the last piece of toast he had in his hand and opened the door. On the other side was a beautiful young lady, with long brown hair and these gorgeous blue eyes. Max’s smile soon faded when he realized something.
“Sorry, 99,” he said, closing the door slowly. “We need to give the password.” Max then shut the door.
“But Max,” 99 called from the hallway. “You’ve already seen me!”
“But how do I know it’s you, 99?” Max called back, leaning against the door. “Sure, you may look like 99 and sound like 99, but how do I know you’re the real 99?”
“Because I look, sound, and act like the real 99.” She said, sarcastically.
“There’s no need to be sarcastic, 99,” Max retorted, catching the sarcastic tone in her voice. “If that is your real name.”
99 sighed. She’d been doing this routine ever since she had met Maxwell Smart about 3 or 4 years ago. She’d also been doing this dance with him: finding out how he really felt about her. She already knew she was crazy about him, which would be the only reason she’d ever partake in a scene like the one she was doing now.
“Alright, Max.” She said, not wanting to argue with him. “How’re we going to solve this?”
“All you gotta do is give me the password.” Max said. Secretly, he was enjoying this. Obviously the woman on the other side was 99, but then again he couldn’t be sure. It was always wise to take precautions, especially in their profession.
There were always KAOS agents around the corner, waiting to knock you off or kidnap you. A guy couldn’t be too careful these days.
“And the password would be what, Max?” 99 asked.
“Sp…not this time, 99.” Max said, laughing. “That may have worked yesterday, but it won’t work today. You’ll never find out the password and that’s final. You will never ever know that the password is spies, so just…” Max stopped.
He had done it again.
He left the door and opened it to see a smiling 99 on the other side. “No one likes a cheeky secret agent, 99.” He said, before she could say anything herself. 99 walked in, smiling, and didn’t say a word.
“Want some orange juice, 99?”
“No thanks, Max,” she said. “I just had breakfast.” She stared at his shirt and saw crumbs everywhere. “And apparently so did you.”
Max looked down at his shirt and saw the crumbs from his toast. “Toast again, Max?” 99 asked, walking over to him and brushing the crumbs. “You really should eat a more balanced breakfast.”
“I know, I know.” Max said, nodding his head. One thing Max hated was being treated like he was a little kid or something, but not with 99. He actually enjoyed the attention she poured on him.
“There,” she said, wiping the last bit of crumbs off his shirt. “Now the Chief won’t yell at you for not being properly dressed for work.”
“You know,” Max said, walking to the couch and putting on his jacket. “You don’t have to fuss over me, 99. I’m a big boy now. I assure you when I left home, I was my own man. Granted, I was a poor man, but none the less, a man I was.
“I know where everything is and everything is in its rightful place. Well, maybe except for that broom by the window or the towel on the staircase or even that KAOS agent tied up in the closet, but despite all of that, I…what was I saying, 99?”
“You were saying it was time to go to work.” She said, leading him to the door.
The two left the apartment and stood outside in the hall. Max was searching for his keys, in order to lock the door. “Max…”
“I know I have my keys.” Max said, searching his pockets over and over.
“Just a minute, 99. I certainly can’t leave my apartment unlocked.” Max continued his search. “Burglars and thieves could come in and steal all those memories I’ve cherished through out the years. I just couldn’t go and leave everything unprotected. I may be a secret agent and I may be trained to kill, but I’m very sentimental, 99.”
“Yes, Max, but…”
“You of all people should know that.”
“Yes, Max, I do know that.” 99 said. “But if you had let me say something, I would’ve told you that I have your keys.”
She held up a set of keys that she had taken from her pocket. “I borrowed your car, remember? So I could drop those papers off for the Chief in New Jersey.”
“Oh.” Max said, taking the keys from her. “I knew that.”
99 just smiled at him.
Max locked the door and the two headed for the parking garage of Max’s apartment building. 99 got to the car and waited for Max, who had stopped shortly before reaching the car.
“Forget something?” 99 asked, leaning against the hood of Max’s blue convertible.
“I’m trying to decide if I feel like driving today.” He said.
The problem with being a bachelor was that Max had to drive everyday, even when he didn’t want to. He thought about it again and then tossed the keys to 99.
“Nope.” He said, walking over to the passenger side. “I don’t want to drive today.”
The two got in and took off. 99 drove and Max sat, thinking again. 99 noticed Max was oddly quiet today, something which usually never happened.
“Something on your mind, Max?” she asked.
“I’m just thinking, 99.” Max said, looking at all the things they passed.
“Do you ever just think to think?” he said. “I mean just random things that just pop into your mind. Of course I’m thinking about this case the Chief wants us on. That’s top priority.”
“Of course.” 99 said, making a left turn.
“But just thinking…” He was actually thinking about what a good driver 99 was. Ordinarily, Max would never let anyone drive his car. He only let the Chief use it once in all the years he had worked at CONTROL, but 99 had free wane of it.
In fact, he’d do just about anything for 99. If she told him to jump off a bridge, he’d probably do it, though he hoped she would never ask him to do that.
“Are you getting next weekend off?” Max asked, turning to look at her.
“I think so.” 99 said. “The Chief hasn’t said anything for sure, but it’s most likely. Why?”
“Cause I have next weekend off.” Max said, looking out the front window. “He promised I could have it off and the Chief’s pretty good about keeping his word, especially if we do an excellent job on this case. So I’m thinking I’ll have it off.”
Max was silent for a while and then asked, “Do you want to do anything? If you’re off, I mean.”
99 smiled, as she pulled into CONTROL’s parking lot. “You don’t have to ask, Max. What do you want to do?”
“I don’t know yet.” Max said. He did have something in mind. Something romantic, actually. He figured it was high time to settle this thing between him and 99. “A movie? Or dinner? We’ll figure out something.”
99 parked the car and looked at him. It wasn’t often that Max didn’t have an itinerary on what they were doing. He always had a plan of action it seemed. “Well, this is certainly a first.” She said.
“A first what?” Max asked.
“You don’t have an idea of what we’ll be doing next weekend? Are you saying Maxwell Smart doesn’t have a plan of action? As of yet?”
“I have a plan of action!” Max exclaimed. “I just have to sort it out, that’s all.” He opened the door and got out. “I’ve been thinking a lot this week and I haven’t had a time to sort things out yet.”
Max headed for the secret entrance with 99 right behind him. She finally caught up to him as he went through the first door.
“Thinking about what?” she asked, as they came to a second door.
“You said you’ve been thinking a lot this week. What’ve you been thinking about?” They came to a third door that opened for them.
“Oh…well…” Max started. “A lot of things.”
A fourth door.
“Well…like…like…” He stammered for a couple of seconds. “…stuff.”
They finally reached the end of the hall and came upon a phone booth.
“What kind of stuff?” 99 asked, getting in to the booth.
“Well…like…like…” Max was speechless. He just couldn’t tell 99 he’d been thinking about her this week and the last couple of months.
99 was getting just a tad bit worried. She watched as Max lifted the receiver, dialed a number and replaced the receiver. Max was speechless, something that was so uncommon.
He’d been rambling on about different kinds of stuff that he had been thinking about that week, most of which didn’t make any sense. She thought it was cute, Max trying to be an intellectual thinker and telling her things she know he just didn’t think of, just to impress her, but she was more worried than anything. This just wasn’t like Max. They didn’t really have any secrets from each other. Well, except this one BIG secret.
Why can’t you? Max’s brain asked. You said you wanted to tell her how you feel. Why not just tell her? She’s looking for an answer. Just tell her the truth…
I can’t do that! Max answered. Riding in the secret elevator to the Chief’s office is not an appropriate place to be telling the woman I love that I love her.
Max’s thoughts stopped as well as his ramblings as he thought about what he said or rather had thought. That was really the first time he had actually mentioned how he felt about 99. He looked at 99, who was giving him this weird look.
He loved her, no doubt about it. He had been sure a couple of months ago, but he had never thought it aloud in his mind. He loved her. He really truly, deeply loved her.
He looked at 99, almost like he had been awakened by a dream or some sort. “What was I saying?” he asked, slightly confused at what he had been talking about.
The elevator stopped in the basement and opened its doors. 99 quickly hit the close door button and the doors closed.
“Max, is something wrong?” she asked, now more worried than before.
“No.” he said, quickly. “No, 99. Nothing’s wrong. I’m fine, really.”
“Are you sure?”
He smiled at her. “I’m sure.” He gave her a quick peck on the cheek, while he hit the open door button. The doors again opened and gave way into an office lobby. On the left hand side was a desk that was being occupied by a dark-haired man.
“Morning, Max. Morning, 99.” The man said, greeting them both with a smile.
“Hi Larabee.” 99 said.
“The Chief’s expecting you guys. Go on in.”
“Thanks, Larabee.” Max said, heading for the office door. The door opened and Max and 99 went in.