Upon arriving at the museum, Max could feel his head explode and his fun afternoon going down the tubes. As they walked in, 99 began to point out certain paintings and sculptures. Max began feeling overwhelmed by all this useless information and the nagging voice in the back of his head started to pop out again. Max had always known that he and 99 had some differences. Besides the obvious, 99 was so much more…refined. Not that he, Maxwell Smart, was uncultured, but 99 was just…oh so more refined than him.
Kinda like now.
She was spouting off names like Dolly and mayonnaise or so he heard. He figured it was probably all that stuff she learned during their Bronzefinger case, but he remembered going on that tour with her later and she was hitting on stuff they didn’t have in the required tour. But instead of being in awe with her art knowledge, but feeling slightly inferior. He was feeling slightly embarrassed by it, too. 99 certainly never made Max feel inferior when they were partners, but now as engaged partners, Max was starting to feel as though this relationship was way over his head.
99 for her part, was enjoying the museum. Even as a child, she enjoyed looking at the exhibits and the paintings on the walls. They fascinated her and she thought they truly were works of out art, a person’s soul and feelings coming through their hands and hitting on canvas. Looking over at Max though, she could see her beloved was NOT enjoying himself. Max seemed to be distracted, looking all over, and certainly his expression showed his bored out of his mind.
“Max, are you listening?” she asked.
Max’s head whipped around. “Um…” he stumbled. “Yes 99, of course.”
“Are you sure?” she asked, stopping them both. “I mean, if you wanted to go…”
“No, no, 99.” Max insisted. “I’m having a good, a great time! Really!”
“Are you sure, Max?” 99 asked again.
Max looked her in the eyes and just melted. He knew she was having a good time and for that, he should…no no…WOULD suffer a Saturday at the art museum. Because he loved her and wanted her happy. Simple as that. Rubbing her shoulder, he replied, “Yes 99. I’m sure. I want to stay.”
The spy certainly didn’t mind the museum, especially with the impressive Agent 99 as his tour guide. And she was quite good, he thought. She was pointing out things he didn’t even think the REAL tour guides knew and she was telling this to him. The way she explained the paintings and their artists made him weak in the knees. Her eyes held so much expression in them, lighting up in her excitement. He didn’t even realize he was staring lovingly at her until he saw her blush.
“Something wrong, Max?
“Huh?” He stammered. “Oh! No, 99, nothing’s wrong, I just…”
“I just…” He could feel himself starting to blush and he grew increasingly embarrassed by it. Was he going to do this all through their marriage too? Taking a deep breath, he managed to look her in the eye, ignoring the voice that told him to kiss her. “I really like how you’re showing me everything,” he said, giving her a small smile. “You’re a really good tour guide.”
The young woman blushed again, surprised at the sincerity that came from her fiancée. “Thank you, Max,” she whispered, placing a hand on his arm. “I’m glad you’re enjoying yourself.”
The two spies would’ve been content to stand there by the American artist row, gazing into each other’s eyes if the loud speaker hadn’t announced the afternoon tours that were starting up. The French artist tour – the one that 99 was so keen to go on – would be starting in just a few minutes and Max looked around, wondering where it would begin. 99 on the other hand, had been listening to the announcement of the Dinosaur Exhibit, which would also be starting in a few minutes. “Come on, Max,” she said, taking his hand and leading him towards the Dinosaur tour, which would starting in what they called THE BONE ROOM.
“But your French tour is that way.”
The agent gave a shrug of her shoulders. “They do the French tour every weekend,” she replied. Stepping closer to him, she continued with, “I thought you might enjoy the Dino Exhibit. They only do that about once a month.”
“Are you sure?” he asked. He didn’t want to not go, especially when that was the whole reason for going in the first place.
“I’m sure.” She gave his hand a squeeze and his cheek a small kiss. Smiling goofily, Maxwell Smart followed his fiancée in to the exhibit.
Agent 99 of Control had been involved and had seen many things in her time, especially in her cases with one Maxwell Smart. In the four years they had known each other, she had come to know Max for who he really was – a good, kind man. Now, while 99 had always been known for her looks and her vast intelligence, people usually guessed the reason she wasn’t 100% at everything. Well, at least everything dealing with Maxwell Smart. She gave him credit for her own ideas, protected his ego when needed, bolstered when it felt if he had been defeated. For her, it didn’t seem strange at all to be attracted to this man with the sophistication of James Bond.
But again, while 99 spent many a time dealing with Max on a purely emotional level, her logic told her that Max wouldn’t feel the same in some time or he wouldn’t feel the same at all. She was a realist – any attraction to her from Max’s end was purely lustful in nature. Maybe that’s why she took the assignment in San Jirman a year and a half ago. It had been a bust, a wild goose chase, but the Chief had praised her anyway and relented to her request for a vacation. So she had stayed and had winded up in a restaurant not far from Victor Royale’s casino, which she would end up meeting him more and more through out the weeks. Coming home to Control and Max made her want to go back, to be with her fiancée.
She would always remember that day, the day she told Maxwell Smart she was leaving him and Control for greener pastures. More importantly, she would remember the look of hurt she could see in his eyes.
Shaking her head, 99 thought back to the present. The present where MAX was her fiancée. Truth be told, she had been a little worried since returning home the night before. It didn’t seem real, a nice, wonderful dream that she had always had. Upon waking that morning, she had confirmed it really happened when she looked down at her left hand and saw the small microphone ring Max had bestowed on her.
But she had still been doubtful. Yes, SHE was ecstatic about getting married, but was MAX excited? She had been so nervous and anxious before she heard his familiar knock on the door. She could tell by his face that the museum hadn’t been on his list of fun things for the day, but the fact that he hadn’t insisted on doing something he wanted to do…well…
Throughout the day, 99 had been surprised. First, of course with Max’s agreement to go the museum. The Max of years go would have argued the point until she relented and they did something he wanted. The Max of today, though clearly disappointed, had made an effort to try and enjoy himself. How could 99 not steer them in the direction of the Dinosaur exhibit? Their group was rather small, maybe about 12 people with them included. The two stood in the middle of the group, looking around and listening to the tour guide. 99 did notice that Max seemed a little more interested in the types of dinosaurs and their lives than he would have found the French exhibit.
Her second surprise came when she found him moving from her side to following behind her. Her suspicious were immediately up. Did he see someone? Were they being followed? The group wasn’t moving all that fast, perhaps Max was trying to find a way to better blend in. Stopping at the triceratops, 99 tried to observe those around them, trying to pick out anyone peculiar.
And that’s when it happened. Max hadn’t been on the look out for anything. He had been trying to maneuver himself around so he could hold her. He had been standing awfully close to her – no doubt smelling her hair again – before his arms went around her waist, tentatively. Now, Max wasn’t known for his outward displays of affection; in fact, 99 was the one who was more or less in charge of that department. So this act clearly surprised them both, more so Max as he wasn’t entirely conscious of doing so. She could feel him start to withdrawal, perhaps out of embarrassment, but held on to him, bringing his arms further around, while snuggling his chest. He was rigid for a moment before he relaxed and gave her a small squeeze. And they stayed like that for the duration of the tour.
All in all, the couple had spent most of the morning and afternoon in the museum. By the time they got to the car, 99 could feel Max was getting tired. She offered to drive, allowing Max to burrow himself in the passenger seat and drift off into a nap. He looked so peaceful, so childlike, 99 did her best to make sure that the trip to their next destination wouldn’t wake him.
When Max woke up, it was an hour later and he was still in the car. However, the car was not in his garage, but in the parking lot of the local amusement park. He blearily blinked his eyes against the lights that were just starting to turn on thanks to the sun going down. He turned to 99 in confusion and found her smiling sweetly at him.
“I thought we’d end the day with something you’d really like,” she said. “Seeing as you spent the day with me at the museum.”
A message went from Max’s brain, as well as from his heart, both leaving at the same time. Both went about he loved her and how much he couldn’t wait till they were married. The message from his heart said she was so lovely sitting there, smiling at him, that she had a beautiful smile and that he wanted his children to have that smile. The one from his brain said he had been silly earlier, that he truly did enjoy the museum and that he had plans to take her back to see her French artists and anything else she wanted to see.
In the end, neither message found their way to his lips because Max had done what he had wanted to do all day. He kissed her, passionately, pulling her closer when she responded. When he pulled back, he said the first thing that came to him.
“I love you, 99.”
“Oh Max,” she sighed, happily. “I love you, too.”