Disclaimer - I do not own Homeland. That pleasure belongs to Showtime. No copyright infringement or money making scheme intended. This is purely for reading enjoyment.

A/N –Hopefully it is not too difficult/too exhausting to follow…I suspect it may be. However, I wanted to try something a little different. Please let me know what you think.

So what you will need to know to read:-

Pencil = Max asking question; Pen = Virgil asking question; Sugar =Fara; Ruler = the boss; Post-its = client;

Scissors = our suspect; Tipex x [number] = correction to part of message with that number; Stamps = snooze;

Sharpener = be at the ready; Eraser = forget everything above; Files = I am bored; File labels = get me out of here!

Note pads = quiet day so far; Paper clips = well, every office needs them. Rubber bands = tied up; Stapler = torture

Hole punch= enough bullshit. It's happening! Tea bags x [number] = meeting at specific time in office

Coffee x [number] by day= lunch at a specific time out of office on certain day

Max heard the bleep that had his heart racing these past few weeks. The fax machine blinked indicating an incoming message. It was stupid to get so worked up at a message when he could barely manage to speak around her…well anything sensible.

The bleeping stopped and he heard the sound of the page being printed.

He risked a sideways glance at Virgil who was presently sitting next to the machine. Virgil hadn't moved to retrieve the paper with the message. Technically, Virgil was on watch at the moment. Max turned his attention back to his book, but the reality is he wasn't really paying attention.

"For Christ sake, Max, get the message. We both know you want to", Virgil says exasperated. "And why don't you just fucking ask her out for lunch or dinner or something. This heart skipping a beat when the fax machine bleeps is getting right on my nerves."

"I…she…", Max stutters.

"Pathetic", Virgil replies, shaking his head.

"I can't ask her. She's on assignment."

"Excuses, excuses. Be creative Max. It's lunch time and since I can't stand another second of you staring a hole through my head trying to see the screen, I'm going for some. You take over. That way you can be sure she's ok."

"I was not!", Max responds defensively. "I was reading."

"Of course you were."

"I was!"

"Max, Max, Maxi, Max, next time you're "reading" make sure the book isn't upside down", Virgil replies patronisingly, tapping Max on the shoulder as he leaves.

Max opens his mouth to argue, but realising it would be futile, stops. Instead he moves into Virgil's seat to take over keeping an eye on Fara, ensuring she is safe. She is laughing with one of her female colleagues. Max feels his heart flutter as he sees her beautiful smile.

Fara could never risk sending more than a couple of faxes to them each day in case she gets noticed too soon. They deemed it the safest way to communicate given how Companies are obsessed with monitoring emails and telephone calls. The old ways are the best indeed. Max picks up the message and takes in the contents.

To Subject Date

0202-000-1122 Office Supplies 03/07/2014

Commercial Department

1. Files – 1 pack (x100)

2. Note pads x 4

3. Stamps x 3

Private Client Department

4. Paper Clips – 1 box

5. Ruler

6. Tea bags - 1 box (x 100)

7. Post-its

Civil Department

8. Stamps x 6

9. File labels

10. Stapler x 4

Criminal Department

11. Eraser

12. Ruler

13. Rubber Bands

14. Teabags – 2 boxes

15. Scissors

16. Hole punch

17. Tipex x14

18. Coffee x 2 jars needed by tomorrow

19. Sharpener x 2

Max finishes reading it a second time to make sure he has understood everything. He then begins writing 'confirmed' next to everything. Finishing, he goes to return it to Fara, hesitating at the last second. Picking up his pen of courage, he adds something and then sends it.

Fara looks up as her fax machine bleeps. It has been the same every day for a while now. She keeps waiting for it, but it never comes. She sighs and looks over the confirmation sheet Max has returned to her. So far, everything is the same, but then...Fara can hardly believe it.

Max watches Fara with his fingers, toes and other body parts crossed. He sees her reading through everything, watching her brows furrow in confusion at the bit he had added. Then there is nothing from her. Max feels his heart sink. It's not the reaction he was looking for. He turns away from the screen, disappointment taking a hold.

Virgil comes back in to the van.

"Jesus, Max. What's wrong? You look like someone stole your sweets."

"Shut it, Virgil. I'm not in the mood."

"Really?", Virgil asks sceptically and with some bite. "When, she's smiling at you like that? She knows where the camera is…unless she thinks it's me of course."

Max swivels his head round to see Fara is indeed smiling and he's just in time to see her nod her head discreetly. He cannot prevent the smile that crosses his face or the fact his heart feels like it might burst out of his chest.

"What are you smiling about?", Virgil asks, curiously.

"I've got a lunch date", Max says excitedly, grabbing his jacket.

"You what?", Virgil asks surprised. "How did you manage that?"

"You said be creative. So, I took it under advisement. See you later", Max rushes out the van.

Virgil shakes his head at his brother's antics. The piece of paper currently sitting in the fax machine catches his eye. He picks it up and realises it is just the receipt of what Max sent back to Fara. He puts it down on the table when something catches his eye. Picking it back up, he reads it over.

To Subject Date

0202-000-1122 Office Supplies 03/07/2014

Commercial Department

1. Files – 1 pack (x100) confirmed

2. Note pads x 4 confirmed

3. Stamps x 3 confirmed

Private Client Department

4. Paper Clips – 1 box confirmed

5. Ruler confirmed

6. Tea bags - 1 box (x 100) confirmed

7. Post-its confirmed

Civil Department

8. Stamps x 6 confirmed

9. File labels confirmed

10. Stapler x 4 confirmed

Criminal Department

11. Eraser confirmed

12. Ruler confirmed

13. Rubber Bands confirmed

14. Teabags – 2 boxes confirmed

15. Scissors confirmed

16. Hole punch confirmed

17. Tipex x14 confirmed

18. Coffee x 2 jars needed by tomorrow confirmed

19. Sharpener x 2 confirmed

Main Office

20. Pencil – 1 box (50) confirmed

21. Sugar – 1 bag confirmed

22. Coffee x 1 jar confirmed

Virgil casts another eye over the page as he lifts his phone and calls Max.

"Virgil, you better not be checking up on me", Max says before Virgil can say anything.

"Just wanted to say. Be creative…my idea! Enjoy lunch and say hi to Fara."

Virgil ends the call and finds himself smiling too.