She hated missions like this.

Actually, she loved all missions, but it was missions like these that she didn't enjoy nearly as much as the others. Most people would've automatically pinned it on the ridiculously hot weather, but anyone that knew her well enough would know that that had nothing to do with it.

Max picked at the dress that she'd been ordered to slip on. Good god, how she hated those miserable things. To be fair, the dress itself was really rather pretty. Nice and sleek and shiny and all those other things you'd look for in a piece of cloth. In fact, it almost looked pretty.

Still. She hated it.

Sparing a moment from angrily shoving numerous items into a most impractical purse, Max lifted her eyes and stared at herself in the mirror.

"This is ridiculous," she muttered to herself. "How am I supposed to catch anyone dressed like this? And I don't think there's someone alive that could give anyone a decent chase wearing these stupid heels."

Despite all of this, Max knew that she had no choice. Countless times she'd pleaded to never have to dress like this and countless times her pleas had been dismissed. It didn't matter if the stilettos made it ten times more likely for her to fall face first into a salad bowl; the disguise was necessary, they'd say.

"Disguise," Max scoffed, tightening a shoe strap. "I'd be better of disguised at a waitress."

It was just all so stupid! What was wrong with dressing as a waitress instead of a guest at five star restaurant? You could survey the room just as well as a waitress, couldn't you?

She really, really hated it.

"Max? Max! You ready yet?"

"Yeah," she called back, chancing a final look in the mirror and sighing to herself. "Coming now."

She took extra care not to fall over herself when leaving the room, holding her head high in an attempt to look as dignified as possible. As predicted, both Linden and Toby were waiting for her.

How come neither of them had to wear a dress?

"What? What is it, Linden? Is something on my face?" she asked frantically.

"What? Oh. No. Nothing."

Max sighed. "Then don't stare. Come on, we've got a job to do. The sooner it's done the better...the sooner I can get out of this the better."

Instead of getting to work and going over the mission as usual, Linden just smiled at her. She was about to snap at him and she'd just opened her mouth to do so when he raised his hands in mock surrender and shook his head.

"You look great, by the way," he said simply. And then, as if he hadn't said anything at all, he continued, "Right. So...the pact, yeah?"

It was such a simple, almost dismissible remark, but Max couldn't help but smile a little as the three held hands in a circle and said the words they'd always said.

Linden thought she looked good. In a dress.

...maybe she didn't hate dresses so much after all.