“…That was so lame.”
“Sorry I can’t end every story with a thrill ride,” Reno sounded defensive but really wasn’t, that was just his voice. And to be fair, it was the truth. Not ever mission ended with excitement or excrement-stained suits.
Cissnei opened her mouth to either agree or argue, it was a toss up, but stopped short as she did a double-take through the break-rooms glass wall. She made a face.
“Why is Maur walking like that?”
Reno swiveled around, his chair squeaking as he stopped and watched as Maur, known outside of the Floor as Martial Arts, made his way down the hall between the cubicles.
His gait, usually steady and a little stiff, was more of both now. Wooden almost. Rocking back and forth with each step as if trying to make it appear normal and perhaps as if he had some reason to be very proud of himself.
“He’s got a bad case of the swagger,” Emma said into her cup of coffee.
“Probably got laid for once,” was Reno’s contribution to the conversation.
“Or sat on your EMR and it’s still up his ass.”
Reno pulled an astonished and disgusted face and was still holding it when Maur walked - strutted? - into the break room. “The fuck’s wrong with you,” Reno demanded without preamble.
“Nothing,” was Maur’s gritted teeth smiling reply. “Why would there be something wrong?”
“You are walking like a twelve year old boy who just discovered free-balling,” came the chipper reply from Nunchaku, who had entered the room moments before, bumping hips with Emma to get her out of the way of the coffee pot.
Maur at least still had the capacity to snort in amusement even if it did come out to loud and too hard. “It’s nothing,” he insisted, spinning a chair around and sitting down.
Or trying to only to shoot back upright before he had gotten all the way down.
“Out with it, Maur,” Emma insisted in her best Mom Voice. “What has happened to you?”
“Nothing! I just had a minor procedure done this morning. Nothing to worry about.”
“You had surgery and didn’t tell anybody?” Reno’s voice was incredulous as he spun slowly, arms limp and dangling, in his chair. “Boss isn’t gonna like that at all.”
“No, not surgery,” Maur interjected quickly, folding his arms and trying to look as casual as anyone could when they appeared to have a metal rod stuffed up their ass. “Just a… cosmetic thing.”
Four pairs of eyes fixed on him and he swallowed hard. Every face registered varying emotions. Emma’s concern, Cissnei’s level stare, Reno’s amusement, and Nunchaku’s scandalized shock.
“What the hell did you have done?” the latter asked, mouth hanging open.
Maur twitched visibly, “That is none of your busi….”
“DID YOU HAVE YOUR ASSHOLE BLEACHED?” Nunchaku was not known for being able to contain his excitement when he was on to a particularly juicy idea.
“Of course not! That doesn’t feel as weird as…,” Maur stopped short.
And Emma picked it right up, “As what? What did you do, Maur?” Anyone who knew her knew that she was going to launch into a very long and tiring lecture about his discomfort, lack of communication, and the poor planning that was giving him so much grief.
He had to tell them or he would be here for the next hour, listening to Emma berate him for his foolishness in the face of aging. Emma Had Opinions and he had no desire to hear them when he couldn’t sit down for it.
“Botox,” he managed to say and maintain some of his dignity. “I got some Botox put in.”
“In what?” was the universal question.
And the last of Maur’s dignity left the room on the sigh that came with his answer. After at least thirty seconds of complete silence, Cissnei rolled her eyes and asked what, to her, was the most sensible question of all.
“Your ballsack already hung halfway to your knees. Don’t you think that kind of money would have been better spent on getting rid of that weird birthmark that looks like a duck?”