So this is written for the awesome VikkiHeat on her birthday. I know the fic's belated, but hopefully you enjoy it nonetheless. Also, I hope your birthday was a good one! =D

Disclaimer: I do not own Dollhouse.

"What do you mean Victor's already been booked for this evening?" Adelle DeWitt demanded sharply, planting her hand on her hip and sparing her resident programmer a cold, questioning look.

Topher Brink swallowed hard and kept his eyes firmly on the computer he was working at, knowing that if he turned to meet her gaze, he might just get fried where he stood by her laser glare that was unlike any he'd ever seen before. Was it some sort of British thing? Like after teaching children how to walk, talk and drink tea, their parents taught them the art of death glares? He jerked himself out of his musings on British culture, reminding himself, rather forcefully, that his very scary boss had just asked him a question.

"Uh, like I said," Topher replied, occupying himself by pretending to type something out on the keyboard, although he could still feel her eyes boring into his back, "Some company wants him all kitted out as a master of espionage or whatever to get the dirt on some rival company. He goes out tonight, won't be back 'til next Tuesday."

"Oh, God," Adelle heaved a deep sigh and massaged her temple in the hope of easing the impending migraine.

"Why? What's up?" Topher asked, still pretending to type, although there was a niggling curiosity in the back of his genius brain now as he wondered just how intense the death glare was. Dare he meet it? No. No. Better to just play it safe.

"Miss Lonelyhearts called in, saying she would like to hire out Victor for this evening," Adelle replied, "Something about a special occasion and she wanted to celebrate. She was willing to pay generously for him, especially given the short notice of the call."

"What special occasion? She get a new walker? Oh, she found her false teeth?" Topher replied, snorting in amusement at his own quip while Adelle narrowed her eyes a fraction at his back.

"It is only adults whom I employ, Mr Brink, so I suggest you start acting like the twenty-eight-year-old you are, unless, of course, you want to find yourself out of a job," Adelle retorted sharply, "And, for God's sake, Topher, I know you're only pretending to type!"

Topher whirled around rapidly, cheeks flushing a deep red colour at being caught out. She spared him a cool look before she stalked from the imprint room and Topher couldn't help but unleash a deep sigh of relief as the room cleared of her icy presence.

Later that evening, Adelle sat in her office, fingers clenched around a crystal tumbler with a small amount of alcohol remaining in the bottom. She swirled the remainder of the beverage around slightly in the tumbler before throwing it back. Her hair was falling out of the sophisticated bun it had been tied up in this morning, loose strands framing her face and her eyes were somewhat bleary and unfocused from mass alcohol consumption. She groped around for the bottle to refill her tumbler only to knock it from her desk where it fell to the floor with a smash, crystal shards skittering everywhere.

"God," Adelle growled, infuriated as she heaved herself up from her desk and staggered over to the bar where she poured herself another generous glass of brandy from a full bottle.

She heaved a deep sigh and took a long drink from it when a knock on the door resonated throughout her office.

"What?" she demanded, sharply, returning to her desk, occasionally reaching out for the couches, tables, anything really, to support her during her journey until finally she collapsed into her chair.

The door opened slightly and Topher poked his head through the crack, "Bad time?" he questioned, with a pointed look at the alcohol.

"No, no, come in," she replied and Topher slipped into the office, closing the door behind him, although keeping one hand behind his back at all times, "What is it?"

"Well I noticed that you seemed a bit more fire dragon-y than usual so I thought something was up. At first, I thought it was, you know, that time of the month, so I hacked into your Rossum medical files to see if I was right," he said that bit in an undertone, very much aware that even an Adelle who's brain was addled by alcohol would not approve of him looking at her medical file without permission, "but then I saw that today's your birthday. So, well, happy birthday!"

With a flourish, he pulled his other hand out from behind his back, revealing a heavily-frosted cupcake with a single burning candle stuck in it. Adelle's gaze cleared slightly at this surprise, flickering between Topher's grin and the cupcake.

"Make a wish," he said, placing it on her desk and nudging it in her direction all while humming the 'Happy Birthday' tune.

She exhaled a disbelieving sigh which effectively extinguished the candle. She cleared her throat and blinked several times, as though trying to rid something from her eye, before looking up at Topher and, this time, he didn't try to avert his gaze away from hers, "Thank you for this, Topher."

The programmer shrugged, his grin broadening, "Hey, what are loyal worker bees for?" There was a pause and then, "Does this mean I get a raise?"

Her eyes narrowed in response.

Once again, many happy returns, Vikki! =3