Disclaimer: I own Maggie's little plotline.


1955—Brown Mansion

Maggie stood outside the big oak door to Emmett's lab considering her options. The first and most devastatingly obvious was to turn around, grab her pocket book, and run away. Just head for the hills and never come back. The second, and also the one she was having the most difficulty with, was to go inside and take control of her future. It sounded so deceptively easy, just like charming cobras or making it in show business. Both of which, incidentally, she would've taken over the task at hand.

Maggie took a deep breath and rapped lightly on the door. The tray of tea and cookies rattled in her hands and she gripped it tighter. Please don't answer, please don't answer…

"Come in!" Emmett's voice called.

A wave of nausea washed over her, making her sway slightly. Maggie steadied herself on the doorframe.

Come on, Maggie girl, you can do this! Just do like Amelia said. What do you have to lose?

Nothing, that's what. If something horrendous happened she'd just quit and that would be the end of that. With her new resolve set firmly in place, Maggie turned the doorknob and entered Emmett's laboratory.

He was leaning over a funny looking contraption and didn't look up as she came in. Maggie took several tentative steps forward before clearing her throat. Emmett's head jerked up. For a moment his chocolate brown eyes took everything in, then he nodded toward a little table and went back to his work.

"You can set it there, thank you," Emmett said.

Maggie carefully slid the tray onto the table. She poured a cup of tea and carried it to him.

"Doctor?" Maggie prodded. Emmett looked up again.

"Oh yes, thank you," he muttered, taking the cup without enthusiasm. He set it down immediately and resumed his position over the machine.

Maggie bit her lip. This was not going as she had hoped. Emmett wasn't saying or doing any of the things she'd imagined and consequentially she was ill prepared. She'd have to think of something and fast. Sit on the desk perhaps? Or maybe some sort of innuendo...

"Damn!" Emmett cursed suddenly, "hand me a screwdriver would you."

"Phillips of flat head?" Maggie answered automatically. She was still mulling over different scenarios to get Emmett's attention when the look on his face caught her by surprise. "What?"

"You know screwdrivers?" He asked, bewildered.

"My father owned his own construction business," Maggie said, blushing.

"What else do you know?" Emmett asked. He turned his whole body in her direction.

"Well…hammers, nails, pliers, screws, pretty much anything to do with construction really. Not to mention the electrical stuff he taught me…circuits and wiring." Emmett was gazing at her with something like awe. Maggie's face grew even hotter. Really, tools? That's what it takes?

"I've never met a woman who knew about wiring before," Emmett said, admiration oozing out of him.

"Oh well…it's nothing really," Maggie smiled.

"Don't be modest, it's very impressive," Emmett said softly.

"Thank you," she breathed.

They gazed at each other for a moment. Then Emmett cleared his throat and shifted awkwardly in his chair. Maggie looked at the ground, embarrassed.

"Maybe you could stop in sometime and, er, give me a hand?" Emmett asked, avoiding her eyes.

Maggie ventured a look at him and smiled.

"I'd like that," she said.

"Oh, well, fine then!" Emmett met her gaze and beamed. Maggie noticed his ears go half a shade of pink.

She excused herself then, not wanting to ruin the moment. Her hand had just made contact with the doorknob when Emmett called to her.

"Perhaps…um…well, perhaps you might also like to have dinner sometime? Outside of the house I mean," he added.

Maggie's heart skipped about eight beats. In fact, she was quite sure it froze altogether.

"I'd love nothing more, Dr. Brown," she managed to squeak.

"Emmett, please."


Maggie didn't remember the walk back to the kitchen, nor did she recall much of the rest of that day. She was floating, flying. Who knew that screwdrivers could bring a girl such happiness.