Disclaimer: Generator Rex and all characters therein are owned by Man of Action. This story is non-profit, and done totally out of fun and love.
Author's Note: I had to start writing for these two, since I not only like the dynamic, but Six/Holiday actually includes my favorite phrase in shipping nowadays: Consenting adults. These are just all ficlets about random times, so they don't all go in chronological order. Hope you guys like!
Rules of Engagement
For the fifth time in about as many minutes, Agent Six gripped a squirming Rex by his collar, and forced him back into his seat.
"You were the one who insisted on meeting the new doctor when they arrived today," Six reminded him, terse. "So, sit still."
"Yeah, but," the boy pouted, crossing his arms, "I didn't think he'd take so long. This is boring!"
Taking 'so long,' actually translated to 'five minutes late.' And while that didn't excuse Rex's restless behavior, it still made Six's usual scowl deepen a fraction. Punctuality was something he'd come to expect from his coworkers (aside from Rex, because the only thing he'd come to expect from the boy was trouble and headaches). He'd have to have a talk with this Doctor Holiday when the man finally showed up.
There were other things to talk about with the new nanite expert, anyway. Namely, the young, mouthy ward they'd both be handling like two monkey trainers at the zoo. At least Bobo tended to stay in one place longer, and wasn't so apt to climb anything with a shelf. Six could not, for the life of him, figure out how one eleven year old boy could find every nook and cranny in such a sterile lab, and then manage to shove his body in there to play impromptu (and unwanted) Hide and Seek.
Rex had asked what happened to the other doctor that used to be Six's partner, an old, affable man named McCoy. The official story had been that he'd retired and moved to a nice, comfy condo in Florida. The real reason was that good old Doctor McCoy had suddenly went from a tiny, hunching bald man, to a huge, screaming monster made mostly of teeth and claws. Rex was still barely in training, and Providence wasn't about to risk losing its best tool in an attempt to recover an easily replaceable scientist. To his credit, Six had made the whole affair as painless and quick for the doctor as he could. Not that the thing that had nearly sliced his head clean off could really be considered McCoy anymore.
The lab door slid open with a hiss, and Six, despite himself, felt his left eyebrow arch. He hadn't quite known what to expect with his new partner. White Knight had only told him the doctor's name, and that they were an up and coming nanite expert that could best handle Rex's myriad of weekly tests. Other than that, he'd been left to wonder. Whatever Six may have expected, it certainly hadn't included a skirt and knee high boots.
Beside him, Rex let out a low whistle. "Dibs on the new doctor!" he murmured, already out of his seat and rushing forward to greet her with bravado.
The tall woman met the sudden slew of juvenile and utterly blatant come ons with an amused and gentle dismissal that was rather admirable. Six was already making plans to have Bobo be told that he needed to know when to shut up around the kid, because there was no one else who spent time with the boy who'd teach him to say things like, 'If I followed you home, would you keep me?'
She finally made her way over to him, extending a hand as she gave him a warm smile. "Agent Six?"
Without returning the smile, he gave her hand a quick shake. Her grip was firm enough. He supposed. "Doctor Holiday."
The one thing that annoyed Six right off the bat with his new partner was that she was so emotional. No; he needed to amend that. She was so emotional, and she felt the need to tell him about her emotions whenever the mood struck her. Which was often.
"Sometimes, I think it's awful what we do," she said once, looking over bio readings from a test she'd performed on Rex earlier in the day.
"You think it's awful that we protect the world from rampaging EVOs." The sarcasm in his flat tone was unmistakable, but she expertly ignored it.
"I think it's awful that, at the moment, we're killing most of the EVOs we're coming into contact with," she clarified, taking a sip of her coffee. She liked it sweet like candy, no cream. It nearly made him gag the first time he saw her make it.
"It's a necessary factor. This is war."
"Is it?" He couldn't really tell which part of his statement she was questioning. Maybe both. "Out of all the EVOs Providence goes after, most of them were just normal humans going about their daily lives. It's not like they asked for it to all be taken away. Whatever happened to the phrase, 'There, but for the Grace of God, go I?'"
"Until Rex is able to fully utilize his nanite abilities, the best Providence can offer is to either contain or kill any threats."
"And when he does learn to control them enough to be useful, we'll start sending out a child to do adults work."
It wasn't that Six hadn't thought that himself, or that he was even okay with it. But reality would not turn into rainbows and puppies simply because the new doctor widened her big green eyes and asked for it to do so really nicely.
"We'll do what we have to do to win. It's not meant to be pretty; just effective."
"You have a very stark view of the world, Agent Six."
"You learn to remove your rose tinted glasses after working here."
"My glasses fell into the wishing well I threw all my pennies into a while ago."
"Then why still question the only methods available to us?"
"Because the moment I give up hoping one of those wishes comes true, is the moment I have to accept that the odds of us winning are ridiculously low. We're banking on a socially inept boy who doesn't even know his real name. Things like this only work out in movies and fairytales."
"Careful. You're beginning to sound like a scientist."
She seemed amused at that, then sad. However, she halted the conversation there with a shrug and her head turning back to her test readings.
When she first got the job at Providence, she wasn't quite sure she was prepared for it. The primary reason being was that, she never went for an interview. She didn't even apply. One day there had been a letter in her mailbox congratulating her on recent breakthroughs in nanite research, and that she had earned a place in the Providence science facility. She was expected to be at her new job that Monday. The letter had made it quite clear that failure to show up would not be tolerated.
Oh, and they were changing her name to Doctor Holiday. They liked anonymity.
It was unnerving, to say the least. Yes, she had recently become obsessed with the development of nanites (if she was going to be infested with them, the scientist in her was determined to know how the buggers worked), but she hadn't thought her research had warranted any interest from outside sources. Certainly not from one as big as Providence.
Clearly, one of the higher ups had other thoughts on the matter.
Actually getting to Providence had been a rather interesting one. The Keep was a flying, metal monstrosity that held enough power in it to neatly destroy both the Americas with minimum effort, and she'd had to drive to the nearest air force base (with luggage in tow) to board it. The mere sight of it made her think she stepped into a Michael Bay film, and she wryly hoped that it at least meant there'd be some cute men on board.
She was terribly disappointed when her debriefing came from a Captain Calan, a lantern jawed man with a scar, and wandering eyes that lingered a little too long on her chest to make Holiday feel anything but contempt toward him.
Her disgust was quickly waylaid when he explained what her actual position in Providence would be. The government support for her nanite research she had expected. She'd even suspected that she'd be given actual EVOs to experiment on. She did not, however, predict that she'd be given a human one. Particularly an eleven year old boy who somehow had not only retained his sense of self, but could truly control his nanites.
It was like she'd been handed the Rosetta Stone. Only this one was broken, and the pieces were glass fragile.
A contradiction of interests that was as bright as the sun stood in front of her. The boy was easily the key to figuring out just how nanites worked, and how they'd eventually be able to control them. He was also just a boy.
Doctor Holiday was a scientist, but she was still a human being that maintained what most people in Providence would consider an inconveniently high moral standard.
Meeting Rex made the situation all the more difficult. He was a fresh faced, bright eyed child with no memory and the social skills of a puppy. So eager to please, and so, so clueless as to everything that was going on around him. He'd figure it out with time, she suspected, but at the moment her top guinea pig was nothing more than an innocent little boy with a crush on her. It was heart breaking.
Of course, her co-handler (her partner?), Agent Six, seemed to have none of the worries and reservations she did. Orders were orders. Morals and emotions weren't to play a factor in it.
Agent Six, unlike Captain Calan, was lanky and had such proper posture, Holiday wondered at times if Rex's crude comment about a stick being shoved in a certain place wasn't quite so off the mark. He barely smiled, barked out orders to Rex like he was more a soldier than a child, and had the patience of a drill sergeant. He also had a tendency to talk to her at times like he found her only slightly less annoying than he did Rex. Once he'd made a comment that 'real scientists' wouldn't go around wearing short skirts (it was barely above her knees-- was he blind behind those glasses?) and it took a lot of self control on her part not to stab him in the arm with the needle she'd reserved for Rex.
The agency she worked for was secretive and stripped one of their identity, her main test subject was a child, and her partner was a jerk.
No, Doctor Holiday was not sure she was prepared for this, at all.
Six did not like Holiday's unnecessarily mothering attitude toward Rex. Holiday, in turn, did not like Six's gruff treatment of the boy. And no matter how many times they discussed it (and it was always a discussion, because Six never raised his voice, which Holiday found even more irritating than his stubbornness) they could never agree. So, they each took care of Rex in their own way. Six prepared him ('verbally beat' Holiday insisted) for the day Providence would eventually send him out on missions. Holiday took care of ('coddled,' Six once snapped) Rex's emotional growth. She'd be damned if he continued to be so clueless as to how to properly act around other people.
They both completely ignored the fact that their polar opposite ways of handling Rex's growth balanced to a degree that by age fifteen, the secret weapon of Providence could almost be passed off as a normal boy. Almost, if one overlooked the obvious.
Bobo had come very close to telling Six what darling parents they made, but the withering look he had gotten from the usually sweet doctor gave him fair warning that the katana wielding agent would be even less forgiving.
From very early on in her career at Providence, Doctor Holiday had decided that nothing would distract her from her new job. All things considered, she figured this would be a fairly easy task to accomplish.
She began to suspect she may be wrong one day when Rex had been making a few rounds in The Petting Zoo. He was getting the hang of a new hover jet-like machine he'd recently made ("The Rex Ride!" he'd declared with pride to her), and Six had thought a lap or two around something with real obstacles would be most efficient in the matter. Holiday had argued it was too dangerous, but Six had seniority over Rex's training, so the twelve year old had been thrown to the wolves, so to speak.
Or, to be more specific, to the plants, as one of them lashed out with a vine, crushing the already teetering ride, and sending the child flying. With an unprofessional shriek, Holiday was rushing over to her control tower, ready to hit any and all emergency buttons she could. She didn't care if she looked like a panicking fool. This was Rex, and he was a boy, not a soldier, just a boy who maybe she had grown a bit fond of--
But the sound of metal efficiently slicing through air and tissue made her hand pause, and Holiday looked up and watched Six make quick, clean work out of what one could only now assume had been an EVO'd tree. It looked more like a pile from a lumber yard at the moment, and Six was already replacing his katanas as he snapped at Rex to pay more attention, was he trying to kill himself, and get up and get out before he caused another problem.
If she had just met Agent Six that day, Holiday would've seen his yelling as nothing more than a cold hearted man taking his anger and frustration out on a flinching child. However, she'd been Six's partner for a year, and she'd picked up certain personal ticks of his. The sudden stiffness of his shoulders. His hands tightly clenched. How his arm sharply jerked when he pointed Rex to the exit. The utter control in his voice.
Six hadn't been just angry. Six had been scared.
It was a revelation that, despite herself, made Holiday look at Six differently from then on. She'd seen a glimpse of something deeper than the frigid, stoic agent that he always showed, and she was curious and determined to find out if she could see more.
So, Holiday did what any good scientist would do. She formed a hypothesis (Agent Six actually has a heart), and then went about trying to prove it through proper observation and testing.
Her 'tests' consisted mainly of conversations, ranging from the inane ("What do you mean you never watched 'American Idol?'") to the serious ("Do you ever think we'll live to see the end of this?"). Anything to pull out something from him that consisted of more than just his normal scowl and monotone.
This usually failed. But that didn't mean Holiday was going to give up. No scientist worth their salt quit just because their experiment hit a bump in the road.
Until one time in the middle of the night --or was it early morning?-- when they were both filing reports, Six abruptly asked, "Is there something you want to say to me, Doctor?"
Her head jerked up, but he wasn't even looking at her. It was a rare occurrence for Six to initiate a personal conversation. The last one had been about her taste in music, and that hadn't ended well (seriously, what soulless person hated Madonna?). "Pardon?"
His eyes remained on his paperwork. "For the past few weeks you've been staring at me as if you expect me to suddenly grow extra limbs. So, unless you've had some sort of breakthrough in your nanite research, I'm assuming you have something to ask me."
Mortified would've been the only way to describe her at the moment. He had noticed. Well, of course, he had. He was Agent Six, and she was told the number actually meant something along the lines of 'there are only five people in the world scarier than him,' and she believed it. Still, she didn't think he paid that much attention to her to even notice a couple extra glances here and there.
To her credit, Holiday maintained her outward composure. She took a slow sip of her already cooled coffee, and calmly said, "I'm a scientist, Agent Six. Observation is what I do."
That made him look up. "You're observing me." Not a question.
"I observe everyone."
"I'm not an experiment, Doctor Holiday."
On the contrary, she wanted to argue. He most certainly was, and sometimes she'd wager a more interesting one than Rex.
"I'm not saying that you are." But she was thinking it. "I can't help my nature, though."
"I suggest you attempt to," he said, flatly. "I don't appreciate being stared at."
And that's when impulse, nerves, lack of sleep, and three cups of sugar laden coffee won out over good sense. "I don't see why."
An eyebrow rose above his sunglasses. "What?"
Holiday shrugged, unable to help herself from blurting out, "Well, I just don't see why you don't like being looked at. You're very handsome."
Somewhere in the back of Holiday's mind, the part of her that was still mostly awake and functioning screamed that she was a complete idiot, and then collapsed in a heap in some corner, lamenting about the good old days when she used to have a regular work schedule and at least seven hours of sleep at night. The rest of her brain did its best to stop her from suddenly stammering like a child and looking even more of a fool than she'd just made herself out to be. So, on the outside, Holiday just stared straight at her partner as if she had said the most normal, obvious thing in the world.
And that's when something interesting happened. Agent Six blushed.
It was light. So faint, that if Holiday had been any other person she probably would've missed it. But there was a definite pink tinge to his face for a good few seconds, before he turned away, huffed something about crazy, sleep deprived women, and then gripped his paperwork like a lifeline.
After a moment of confusion, Holiday felt a surge of triumph, and mentally noted that her hypothesis was one step closer to be proven true.