"Bet you I can." Toby tapped his bottom lip with one finger, looking up at Sylvester and Happy with a smug grin. His gaze flicked over their heads to the couch where Walter had planted himself for the last two hours. The man was completely absorbed in his laptop screen; his fingers would dance rapidly across the keys in a short burst of energy before stilling for a few seconds, whether to admire his work so far or consider his next move, Toby wasn't sure. Though if I had to guess...smart money's on the admiration.
Happy frowned. "He's not going to cooperate with you. The last time I told him a joke when he was like this, he stared at me like I had two heads."
"I totally understand why someone would stare at you." Toby grinned.
She poked Toby in the side. "If I were you, I'd forget the whole thing."
Sylvester shook his head. "I agree. It sounds funny, but I don't think he'll play along."
Toby spread his hands, palms up. "That's the beauty of the shtick; he doesn't have to. Or should I say, he doesn't have to willingly..." He took a step closer to them. "See, the way this bit works, is he's the straight guy – everything he says plays right into my hands. Got it?"
Happy rolled her eyes. "I hope it's not catching."
Toby clapped his hands together once and pointed to them with both index fingers. "This. Will. Work. You'll see." He bounced on the balls of his feet a couple of times before meandering towards Walter's "workspace", Happy and Sylvester in pursuit. They stopped just outside the room and peered around the corner.
Toby plopped down next to Walter on the couch. Without looking up, Walter pressed his lips together. "If you were trying to bounce me off the couch, you didn't have enough leverage."
Toby cocked his head to one side. "Nice to see you, too," he muttered. Then, in a louder voice, "So, Walt, buddy...what's that on the screen?" He slung an arm over Walter's shoulder and pointed to the computer monitor.
"What is what?" Walter's monotone indicated he was deep in thought. Perfect...
"That." Toby indicated a sequence of computer programming on the screen.
Walter's eyes twitched as he looked in the direction of his friend's finger. "Code."
Toby winked at Happy and Sylvester. He put on a pitiful face. "Oh, I'm sorry to hear that. Have you seen a doctor?"
Walter frowned but didn't pause in his typing. "I feel fine, Toby."
Toby frowned. "Fine? I thought you said you had a code."
"Yes, I do."
Toby crossed his arms. "Well, have you at least taken some cough medicine? Drank some orange juice?" He put on his doctor face. "You shouldn't mess around with something like this, Walter."
Walter continued to type. "I ate a healthy breakfast this morning; you made sure of that, remember? And you of all people should know that taking medication when you're not ill is a bad idea."
Snickers came from behind the wall. Walter didn't seem to hear them.
Toby put his hand on Walter's forehead. "No fever. You should take your code more seriously."
"I am trying to take it seriously. But I cannot when you interrupt me like this." Walter typed furiously.
Toby nodded his head up and down slowly. "I see. Whatcha doing with the code, then?"
"Hacking," Walter answered.
Toby raised his hand and slapped Walter on the back a couple of times. The laptop slid forward and Walter barely caught it before it hit the floor. He sat up, rubbing his back with one hand. "Ohhh...why did you do that, Toby?"
Toby's expression didn't change. "You were hacking."
"Yes. And striking me only ruins my concentration." Walter's voice had a slight edge to it. He gritted his teeth together. "What's wrong with you?"
"Nothing. What's wrong with you? Hacking...that sounds like way more than a code to me. Possibly pneumonia. At least let me get you a drink." Toby looked back and forth between Walter and the others. "Some apple juice, perhaps? You need some vitamin C."
"I'm not thirsty, Toby." Walter looked up. "Our client is depending on me to solve this dilemma, and I can't concentrate if you keep bothering me."
Toby crossed his arms over his chest. "C'mon, whatever you're doing can't be that important, can it? What are you doing?"
"If you must know, I'm trying to find a bug in the system," Walter muttered, edging away from Toby's side of the couch.
"Mmm. Sounds to me like the bug found you," Toby said without missing a beat. "What with you hacking and all..." He moved closer to Walter and took off his hat, twirling it between his hands, before plopping it back on his head. "So what happens if you don't find this bug?"
Walter's eyes returned to the screen. "If I'm unsuccessful, our client will lose a significant amount of data."
Toby cupped his hand to his ear. "A significant amount of what-a?"
Happy snorted and covered her mouth quickly. Sylvester grinned, one hand gripping the side of the wall.
Toby's face registered confusion. "Hey, look, I know I'm bothering you and all, but that's no reason not to tell me what you're working on."
"I just told you. Data." Walter's typing became louder.
"I'm hurt, Walter," Toby continued, putting his hand over his heart. "After all, I'm a part of Scorpion, too, not to mention your best friend...we have no secrets between us, right? So tell me, what's he going to lose?"
Toby crossed his arms and turned away, pouting. "Well, all right, if you don't want to share your 'top-secret project'"- quote marks in the air-"with me, fine." He picked at some non-existent lint on his jacket. "Guess I can't really blame you for being Mr. Cranky when you've got a code."
Walter let out a loud sigh. "That's it. I'm going up to the roof. Go bother somebody else, Toby." He shut the laptop and stood, rubbing his neck as he strode towards the spiral stairs.
"At least tell me who the client is," Toby called, cupping his hands around his mouth.
"Acker- Chu," Walter called back over his shoulder, mentioning the name of a prominent law firm in New York.
"Bless you," Toby replied, his legs stretched out on the couch.
Walter paused, then shook his head and headed up the staircase quickly.
As soon as he was gone, Happy and Sylvester entered the room, laughing.
Toby raised his eyebrows. "Sooooo...was I right, or was I right?"
Happy paused in the doorway and clapped slowly. "That was actually...well done, Curtis."
Sylvester nodded. "I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it."
Toby leaned against the corner of the couch, moving his legs down onto the floor. He patted the seats next to him, and both geniuses sat down. He bowed at the waist with a flourish. "Thank you, thank you, you've been a wonderful audience..." He rubbed his index finger and thumb together. "Pay up."
"Uh, I don't recall actually making a wager." Sylvester said. "Which means it's a 99.986% certainty that we didn't. Unless..." He closed his eyes, thinking.
Happy put a hand on his arm. "Relax, Sly. We didn't." She put her hands on her hips and frowned at Toby. "You're living in a dream world if you think I'm going to pay you for that. Was it entertaining? Yes. Worth $100? Not really."
Toby grinned mischievously. "I never said anything about money. But, hey, if you want to drop me a C-note, be my guest." He thought for a minute. "I was actually thinking more along the lines of dinner and a movie, though."
Happy smirked. "Sounds good to me." She winked at Sylvester before turning back towards Toby. "You boys have a good time, okay?"
Toby scoffed. "Very funny. I meant with you, Happy." He looked over her head at Sylvester. "We'll settle our debt later, okay?" Sylvester nodded as the phone rang. Holding one finger up, he left the room, presumeably to dig it out from under whatever pile of scrap metal or stack of comic books it was buried under.
Toby looked back at Happy again. "So...you game?"
"Only if there's lots of explosions," Happy replied.
"You mean in the movie or at the restaurant?" Toby asked.
Happy opened her mouth to say something, but the sound of the door interrupted her. They turned on the couch to see Cabe enter the room, talking on his cell phone. "Yeah...yeah. Don't worry, my guy's taking care of it...I'm at his place right now. I'll let you know, Mr. Chu. Bye." He closed the phone and put it in his pocket. Frowning, he stood with his back to the couch, hands on his hips, surveying the room.
"Can I help you, Cabe?" Toby asked.
Cabe turned around, squinting. "Yeah. Walter here?"
Toby nodded. "Yeah." He winked at Happy and looked down. "Just don't get too close to him. You might catch his code."
The agent crossed his arms. "His what?" He shook his head. "Never mind. Where is he?"
Toby raised his eyes and pointed towards the staircase. "He went data way."
Cabe thought for a moment, then shrugged. "Thanks." He jogged up the stairs quickly.
Happy poked Toby in the arm, then the ribs.
Toby flinched. "Ow! Hey, what are you doing?"
"Trying to find the button to turn you off." She poked his forehead, knocking his hat off.
Toby held the hat in front of his chest like a shield. "Don't have one. And even if I did, you couldn't push it."
Happy sighed and rolled her eyes. "Boy, I walked right into that one, didn't I?"