Title: Agent Klutz: Week 6
Fandom: Read or Die
Keywords: Joker/Wendy, Yomiko/Nancy, Silly Liek Whoa, Diary Format
Rating: PGish


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April 22, 2001 – Monday

Dear Diary,

It has been nearly two weeks since my last entry – two weeks that have nearly been the death of me.

Or at least, the extreme exhaustion and vague annoyance of me.

I have spent nearly all of my free time putting in extra hours, to get all of my back-log of work finished and off my desk.

As for the rest, that was not included in that “nearly”, it has been spent in a much more pleasant way.

Tee-hee.

Yes, dear diary, the only thing that has kept me relatively sane in the last two weeks was the hope of those lovely non-work hours, those five wonderful evenings spent with that certain special someone, doing fun couple things.

Of course, I could only manage to coax ‘that special someone’ to do those ‘fun couple things’ a few times (twelve) within the past fortnight, but that’s quite alright with me.

A girl mustn’t expect too much, after all; just because she has an insatiable appetite for things that nice girls aren’t supposed to think about, she can’t expect her special someone to have the same constant urges.

And anyway, doing things that nice girls can actually tell their mothers about is awfully nice, too: little smiles when we pass in the hallways, brushing his hand a little longer than I really have to when I hand him things, slipping those little – ahem – notes into his desk before he gets to work in the morning...

Although, I suppose I’d hardly tell my mother about those. She’d either be horrified, or very, very impressed.

I don’t know which would be worse.

At any rate, diary dear, I think I’ll be off to daydream for a bit now. And thus, I’ll probably not be writing back any time soon.

Just as well; the ink would only start to run anyway.

Your faithful servant,

Wendy.


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Dear Diary,

I had thought that all of my especially strange days had ended when Mr. Joker got over his absurd idea of my being sent out with real field agents.

I was dismayed to find out today that this is decidedly not so.

While I was driving Mr. Joker home this evening (as last night was one of those times that I was able to coax him over for fun couple activities), I chanced to mention something about the recent impromptu mission involving Mr. Bone, and some comment or another that Miss Makuhari had made regarding something.

Mr. Joker looked at me very oddly at this, and told me very gently and soothingly that I was to ‘stop imagining things’.

I asked what on earth he was talking about, and he told me, again very gently and soothingly, that Miss Makuhari could not have possibly made the witty comment that I attributed to her, because she had not been involved in the mission. The reason for this, it appears, is that one of her was in a hospital and in no condition to do anything of the sort, and the other was dead, and thus in even less condition for a mission.

What!

This is a fairly close paraphrasing of what I said at the time, too.

In addition to words to this effect, I went on to add that Miss Makuhari was not dead, because she had miraculously survived the whole “being blasted into space” incident by falling through a haystack, with only minor psychological damage to both her and a goodly portion of the cattle going about their little bovine business in that field at the time.

In response to this, Mr. Joker invited me in when we arrived at his flat, and did it in a tone that really sounded more like an order than a polite request.


Still, I trotted happily up to his flat after him. Only to be rather disappointed when, instead of the Fun Couples Activities I had greedily begun to hope for on the way up, he made some coffee, and then sat me down to explain very slowly and carefully that nothing of the sort had happened – Miss Makuhari had not survived the rocket, and as such, had not been involved in any mission, as she was dead.

At this point, the idea meandered into my thoroughly bewildered little head to find out if perhaps the mission involving Mr. Bone, not to mention his weeks of making his own tea and filing his own papers, had been so utterly traumatizing to poor Mr. Joker that he had forcibly blocked them from his memory, so I asked hesitantly if the mission itself had actually happened. Which, of course, led to Mr. Joker looking even more concerned about his poor overtired little secretary’s mental state as he explained that of course the mission had actually happened, and did I perhaps want to lie down a while before going home?

He made an effort at a genuine smile when I said that I would if he would come with me, but then proceeded to simply carry me off to his bedroom, remove half my clothes, drop me on his bed, and then leave me there on my own!

Honestly! Men these days!

Still, he does have a very comfortable bed, which is quite a pleasant place to pass one’s time, even when he isn’t there too. I think it was about three minutes before I fell asleep.

So, now it is far closer to tomorrow than to today, and I am scribbling this strange account of things in a kitchen that is not mine, as I woke up not long ago with an arm draped over my waist.

Yes, it was Mr. Joker’s; zombies have not begun randomly tromping through his flat and leaving their limbs in strange places. And honestly, it was no small feat to crawl out of bed, as every time I moved, Mr. Joker’s dream-state apparently became more and more convinced that his teddy bear had come to life and attempted to make a daring escape, and that he had to stop it at all costs.

Nevertheless, here I am now, and a befuddled little me I am.

Oh, well; the best thing to do in a case like this is get another opinion from someone who would be more likely to know than one’s work-addled boss who has apparently begun to lose his mind.

I wonder when might be a good time to telephone Yomiko.

Your faithful servant,

Wendy.


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Dear Diary,

Oh, my head hurts. And that isn’t only because Elias, the great big idiot, found it necessary to bring in his new favourite CD. And what a find the bloody thing turned out to be: the greatest punk rock hits of today and yesterday, accompanied by the bagpipes.

No, the real reason my head hurts is coincidentally the same reason that my conscience is giving me uncomfortable pangs, too.

I managed to get in touch with Yomiko today, as I was rather anxious to rally some comforting reassurances from her that yes, Miss Makuhari was perfectly alright and attempting to coax her into a pillow fight at that very moment, and that no, I was not completely insane, although I was being something of a nuisance at the moment.

Sigh. Why don’t things ever work out the way you expect, when what you expect is also what you want?

That is to say, there was a brief, stunned silence on the other end before a noise suspiciously like someone weeping stormily and then blowing their nose into a best-seller came through the line.

I really did try to apologize, but Yomiko didn’t seem particularly interested in hearing it. She just kept bravely assuring me that she was alright, and that she wasn’t angry, just very sad obviously, and a little worried. She suggested that I should maybe try to get some help; after all, she missed Nancy very badly too, but she wasn’t about to go inventing these stories.

At this point, it began to occur to my dazed little brain that insisting that they weren’t stories probably wouldn’t help Yomiko, who had, apparently, gone as crazy as Mr. Joker.

Instead of stubbornly harping on why I was right and further traumatizing the poor girl, I bid her as cheerful a goodbye as possible, and set about trying to separate the reality of the situation from where it had gotten horribly tangled in the private fantasies I’ve apparently harboured regarding Miss Makuhari.

News to me, quite honestly, but the way I see it, the very least I can do for poor Yomiko right now is agree with her on this minor point.

Nevertheless, I fully intend to telephone Drake at my very next opportunity.

That is, my very next opportunity that might not involve getting him out of bed at three in the morning and earning me a very angry and R-rated response.

Oh, yes; and work happened quite as usual. I was not stupid enough to go about asking my co-workers for their version of the “What happened to the non-hospitalized Miss Makuhari?” story, and thus I have not landed myself in a nice, cozy padded cell with only Mr. Joker’s visits to cheer me up.

Although, those certainly would. I can only imagine that a padded room would make for some interesting possibilities along the “fun couples activities” front. Particularly if they let us borrow some of those restraints that can usually be found about such places.

Oh, dear. And there goes the ink again.

Your faithful servant (who is currently attempting to dry out her diary and figure out if she has always been this way),

Wendy


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Dear Diary,

Nothing particularly exciting to talk about today.

Work was relatively routine. You know, push through as much work as possible and hope you haven’t done it all completely wrong due to fatigue and rushing. Also, one of the girls brought cake! I didn’t have any, but I took advantage of the mad rush and had a little nap. Phyllis woke me up and gently informed me, looking like she wanted very badly to laugh but didn’t dare, that I had been talking in my sleep.

I wonder if hypnosis would cure something like this. I don’t want Joker to overhear me…er, having a rather vocal dream about him.

Unless, of course, something like that would pique his interest…

The ride there was somewhat harrowing as I continuously nodded off at the wheel and awoke to the blaring of other peoples’ car horns when I began edging over, apparently intent upon sharing their lane with them.

The ride home was distinctly better, as I managed to stay conscious the entire time.

And if you’re wondering, diary dear, I didn’t get the chance to so much as say hello to Joker today.

I was able to corner him in a supply closet at one point, but my cheerful greeting was abruptly cut off when I was shoved back into a shelf and…em…quieted in a very fun way that involved more romance novel description that I did not go through years of schooling to learn how to write.

This, by the way, was by far the highlight of my day.

Oh, yes; and in addition to nearly dying in a car wreck on the way to work, nearly dying in a cake-related stampede accident at work, and being very thoroughly cheered up by Joker in a supply closet, I have also realized, courtesy of Mr. Drake, that I am completely and irreversibly insane.

Yes. I have telephoned him.

Yes. I spent ten minutes talking to his daughter, who I think must have gotten her friendliness from her mother.

Yes. I asked him about the mission.

Yes. I sighed in relief at yet another bit of confirmation that the past month really has happened, and Joker hasn’t just been humouring me by going along with my less-than-subtle attempts to become better acquainted between someone’s bed sheets.

Yes. I asked him about Miss Makuhari.

Yes. I was dismayed when he reacted first with very guilty laughter when I reached the bit about the haystack that had saved her life, and then with anger at my horrible insensitivity at making up lies like that about a dead woman.

Oh, dear. It seems as though Mr. Drake is not the sane one, after all. Sadly, that task shall fall to me.

Don’t laugh.

He then went on to somewhat worriedly command that I never, ever mention this to Yomiko, as she is devastated enough as it is.

I wanted very badly to ask if she had been acting as such during those two horrid weeks of training that I have blocked from my memory, but I also enjoy living, dear diary, and I was not anxious to put too much faith in Drake’s not actually being able to reach through the phone and throttle me.

So instead, I bid him a very nervous and squeaky farewell, and picked up my diary to vent.

Vent, vent, vent.

Please excuse me if I am being a little snippy at the moment, diary. Finding out that one is insane will tend to put them a bit on edge.

Well, this little loony is going to do something surprisingly sensible, and go calmly to sleep now, where she will no doubt proceed to stare up at the ceiling for hours.

Perhaps I should have thought this through.

Oh!

Gasp!

It has just occurred to little over-tired lunatic Wendy that her twenty-fourth birthday happens to be tomorrow!

I wonder if it will…ehem…occur to anyone else in a way that might involve another supply-closet rendezvous.

Unless today’s was supposed to count for my birthday, along with the cake that I heartily ignored, and no one bothered to mention it to me.

I rather hope not, as I neglected to not only have any cake, but to thank the girls for bringing it in. Also, I was equally neglectful in thanking Joker for the lovely time in the supply closet.

Well, I’m sure I can find a way to make it up, that might also involve supply closets.

Although, I’ll only be doing that for Joker.

Your faithful servant who will be having pleasant dreams tonight despite everything,

Wendy


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Dear New Diary,

Having finally given up on ever finding my poor, poor old lined paper confidante, I have been forced to resort to adopting a new one. It seems that Mr. Joker’s gift – the one that was neither the gun nor the necklace that I have to force myself to take off even to shower – was Providential. Or just plain lucky.

Really, I don’t know what could have happened to my old diary. I know I slipped it into my bag before work on my birthday, but when I went to look for it that evening to write about what a truly happy birthday it had been, it was nowhere to be found.

Oh, but a lovely birthday it was. Complete with another cake (this time strawberry shortcake because the girls thought I seemed like the sort, and honestly I’d be more outraged about their baseless assumptions if I didn’t absolutely adore the stuff), a noon-hour…ehem…“visit” with Mr. Joker in his (carefully locked) office, a mid-morning “visit” with Mr. Joker in a supply closet, a mid-afternoon “visit” with Mr. Joker back in his office again…

I don’t know what’s gotten into him lately, but I’m not about to complain. Only blush and grin a whole lot.

And drool as well.

You’ll want to watch out for that, diary dear.

Nevertheless, the disappearance of my old diary is still a little perplexing.

I’ve searched my desk at work, my car, Mr. Joker’s car, Mr. Joker’s desk, Mr. Joker’s flat, my flat…It’s simply nowhere to be found.

However, one mustn’t dwell on the past. Mr. Joker has told me that a lot lately, while giving me this very sharp, very strange look.

I wonder if I’m going to find out in a few years that he has various and assorted wives in various and assorted countries about the world.

Oh, well. Onto business.

How do you do, my dear new diary? Glad to have you, I hope we shall get on well together, I’ll try not to tickle you too badly whilst writing, and such.

It’s been a hard two weeks. Without a nice little hardcover scribbler to vent in – because I didn’t want to give up on it too soon, you know – I’ve had to resort to emailing my friends regularly, which has started both Sylvie and Julie on the Quest to Find Wendy a Boyfriend.

I’ve tried to explain to them that my boss (who I simply can’t refer to any other way, likely indicating a dangerous power imbalance in our personal relationship or some such load of garbage) would likely object, but they seem to be of the opinion that we won’t be lasting long anyway, so I might as well have a back-up plan.

It is my opinion that my friends really ought to try running their own lives once in a while, and leave mine alone.

A back-up plan! For heaven’s sake! I’ve already got a job that takes up almost every spare second of my time, a boss who periodically comes home from that job with me (or else takes me home with him), and two nagging friends who take up the rest of my time with descriptions of all the nice boys they know that would be just perfect for me. Where do they imagine that I would find time to invest in one of these nice boys as a ‘back-up plan’?

How is it that I love my friends dearly up until the point that I begin talking to them regularly?

Am glad to report, however, that the greater frequency of interaction with Joker has not begun to have this effect yet. Even though he seems to have the same rather alarming fetish for telling others how they ought to be running their lives; somehow it’s cute when he does it.

Almost as cute as the happy little smile he has right now (because yes, I am scribbling this little note whilst curled up on one end of his couch) that I’m using the diary he gave me. Strange…in this light, it almost seems to have a hint of evil glee in it, and I could swear that he just murmured, "Everything is going according to plan." Curious.

Clearly, I am suffering extreme exhaustion that has made me begin to hallucinate. The only thing for this, I fear, is a good long sleep, after several hours of Fun Couples Activities.

So. Off I go, then.

Your faithful servant,

Wendy


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Dear Diary,

Not much has happened today, aside from the fact that someone came into Mr. Joker’s office without knocking this morning, and very nearly caught me in the middle of giving him a very friendly good-morning. Thus, I was forced to implement a very silly little trick that looks as though it belongs on a particularly bad situational comedy, and pretend that this was merely my friendly nature in action.

It was a little embarrassing to leap joyfully at both Alex and Marianne and give them each a massive bear hug whilst winding my legs around their waist and nuzzling happily away, but anything to preserve our little secret. Although, I did feel a little bad when Marianne lost her balance and we both ended up on the floor.

Then I spent the next half hour or so dragging her to the lunch room and making ice packs and forcing analgesics and tea on her until Mr. Joker came and called me off.

The rest of the week hasn’t been much worth mentioning, although I did finally get my back-log of work cleared up yesterday, as I managed to finally get through to Mr. Joker that I wasn’t going to ever get caught up if he kept giving me bigger-than-usual work loads each day. So, he gave me three days to get everything on my desk finished.

What a nice man.

Drip-drip-drip.

That, by the way, was sarcasm, and not me thinking happy thoughts about him.

Nevertheless, I am completely caught up again, even though it took staying until around nine each night and coming in early each day to accomplish that small miracle.

This, unfortunately, has led to no fun couples activities with Mr. Joker, but I’ve been coping. Been too bloody tired to contemplate anything more physically taxing than falling asleep on his shoulder.

But I did get home at a decent hour yesterday, and thus have come into work this morning rejuvenated and ready to do things to him once again.

Hence our very nearly embarrassing situation this morning.

Once Mr. Joker had dragged me forcibly out of the lunch room and apologized to Marianne for my helpful nature, explaining severely to me on the way back to his office that I was to stop molesting the staff or he’d be forced to rehire after killing them in a jealous rage, it transpired that he had arranged for me to have an annual medical examination this year.

It’s strange, though; in the five years I’ve worked for him, this is the first time I’ve been for one.

The medical itself was strange, too, and involved me being put under. I begged a few extra minutes from the doctors, and ran to ask Mr. Joker if this was normal. He assured me that it was, and the kiss he gave me on the forehead was so altogether sweet that I fairly floated back to the medical room.

The rest of the day passed more or less without incident, although I was fairly groggy throughout it, so something may have happened without my noticing it.

On the way home, something a little odd happened. Mr. Joker mentioned that I had been making some absolutely absurd claims recently, about Miss Nancy Makuhari, of all people. She was a special agent with the Special Operations unit, called in for cases requiring that particular “woman who can walk through walls” touch, but she turned out to be working with the people cloned from the stolen I-jin samples a while back, who were our enemies despite the fact that they came from our bloody stolen samples, and it’s all very perplexing.

It’s equally perplexing that I should have been claiming, as Mr. Joker told me I had been, that she was along for that horrid situation involving Mr. Bone and the Magically Delicious Pastry of Universal Implosion. And it was, apparently, the one killed in the rocket that I was telling strange tales about. How odd. At least if it had been the one currently in hospital, it would have made a little more sense.

Well, I suppose I can only agree with Mr. Joker that my outrageous and silly claims are the result of overwork. I’ll ask him about taking my week’s vacation fairly soon.

And so, dear diary, I end today upon the delightful certainty that, after over two months of strange adventure after strange adventure, my life has settled once more into the sweet, comforting monotony I have come to so appreciate.

With the added bonus of being slightly older, wiser, and closer to my boss.

Tee-hee-hee.

Now, if only I could shake off this nagging sensation that I’m forgetting something terribly important…

Oh, well. Perhaps it’ll come to me in the morning. For now, sleep is more important.

After all, I want to be well-rested for a weekend filled to the brim with CD organization, grocery shopping, and late-night romantic comedies if I have the energy. And hopefully a surprise visit from a certain someone.

Although, if he does come by, I’ll have to make sure he understands that I intend to watch the movies, not be distracted by his urge to play.

On second thought, I can always rent the video.

Your faithful servant,

Wendy


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