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He didn’t enjoy paperwork, but he certainly enjoyed the satisfaction of completing a tedious, draining task, so Sasha was happy to climb through the mountain of paperwork that awaited him after returning from his last mission with Agent Vodello.

It was only a day long mission and Milla opted to sleep on the train rides there and back, so he’d been working diligently ever since they returned. Which, as he looked at his watch, was over twelve hours ago.

Time flies when you’re bored out of your mind, he supposed. And there was still a hefty stack to go through, so he didn’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

Of course, planning on something didn’t always guarantee it happening. Especially not when Milla Vodello had her mind set on something else. Which was exactly the impression he got when his office door slowly opened and she poked her head inside, smiling as he looked up at her.

“Hello.”

“Sasha, Darling,” Milla said as she floated towards him. “How long have you been sitting there?”

“A few hours.”

“Have you eaten? Or rested at all?” She crossed her arms over her chest and planted her feet onto the tiled floor.

He pushed up his sunglasses and pointed to a pile next to him. Milla frowned as she looked over the contents - three empty coffee cups and the wrappers for a few granola bars.

“You couldn’t even reuse the cups?”

“I was busy.” Sasha shrugged, continuing to write while she spoke. The sort-of-expected-but-still-technically-unexpected interruption wasn’t going to slow him down if he could help it.

“Let’s go out.”

“Let me rephrase - I’m still busy,” he corrected, not looking up at her.

Milla stepped around his desk and floated up to take a seat on top of the pile of papers he still needed to go through, giving him the option to TK her off of there or to relent to her wishes. “Milla, you’re in my way.”

“Oh, is that so?” She feigned surprise and put a hand on her cheek. “How silly of me! I am not sure how this could’ve happened…”

He sighed and looked up at her face, taking in her current outfit as he moved his gaze upwards. She was in more muted colors than usual, a pale blue dress that shimmered but didn’t blind. It wasn’t as distracting as some of her outfits, but there was a distracting feature on her face - she had deep, dark bags under her eyes.

Come to think of it, she had bags under her eyes while they were on their mission, too. He hadn’t thought much of it at the time, but he knew she’d slept plenty while they traveled, so it stuck out to him.

“Are you alright?” he asked with a quirked eyebrow.

Milla mirrored his look. “What do you mean?”

“You look...tired.”

She looked surprised for a moment and pulled a compact out of her purse, checking herself out in the mirror. She scoffed and frowned after seeing herself. “I guess I need to try a different concealer...or maybe just get a new setting spray.”

Sasha took a mental note of the cosmetology terms that he knew nothing about. “You were sleeping just fine on the train. Is something going on?”

Milla smiled despite her outward appearance - flattered by how concerned he was. “No, no, I just haven’t been sleeping well. I slept much better knowing you were in the seat next to me.”

He frowned at that and blushed the lightest tinge of pink. “Do you...I can come over if you think it will help. If you want.”

She chuckled a bit and leaned towards him. “If you’re so worried about me, Darling, then you should come out with me!”

Sasha huffed out a breath and considered her point. He wasn’t working on anything particularly urgent, and he was quite concerned. Plus, he did enjoy spending time with Milla - just the two of them being social.

Not too social. But social.

He cracked his back and stood up, shifting his pen to the exact position it was in when he’d arrived. “Alright.”

Milla let out a small squeal - too loud and she knew he’d change his mind - and floated off his papers to give him a quick hug. Her arms around his neck always felt nice. She made him feel warm inside with even the briefest of physical contact and Sasha wondered if it made her feel the same way.

“And before you even suggest it, I’m not going to a club.”

“Darling, it wasn’t even on my mind!” Milla chuckled as she hovered next to him. “I don’t want you running off, so I thought we could just get dinner. Somewhere nice!”

He pulled out a cigarette and started walking towards the door. “Do you have somewhere specific in mind?”

She smiled. “I do.”

Rather than explain, she grabbed his hand and floated out the door, tugging him behind her so fast he barely had a chance to close his office door. Normally he’d lock it, but he was sure he’d be coming back here after dinner anyway. And as she dragged him along, Sasha felt himself staring at their entwined hands and putting more thought than necessary into the sensation. His cheeks tinged pink as he considered how much he was focusing on physical contact with his partner lately.

She was always very touchy and though it caught him off guard when they first started working together, now he was so used to it that he experienced a slight case of touch deprivation if he didn’t see her for a few weeks. Not that he’d ever tell her that...she’d probably tell him to let other people hug him, too. There was absolutely no chance of that happening.

He realized belatedly that she’d been talking while they walked to the door, and she let go of him to push it open. His hand felt cold.

The drive was filled with light chit-chat and her continuing to not tell him where they were going. It didn’t really matter since she was driving, and she knew what food he liked so he didn’t doubt they’d have food he’d eat. Even when she brought him to parties or clubs that weren’t his style, she always made sure there was something there for him.

Milla smiled brightly as they pulled up to the restaurant. Sasha looked out the windshield and immediately recognized it, unable to stop himself from smiling. “ Dehaene’s? Is this a special occasion?”

She parked and smirked at him, shyly tugging at her hair. “Does it have to be?”

He leaned back. “We haven’t been here since I was promoted to Senior Agent.” Sasha raised an eyebrow at her. “...should I be paying tonight?”

“Oh, Darling,” Milla reached over and pressed on his seatbelt buckle. “You were always going to pay!”

He smirked as she got out of the car and considered what she might want to tell him. Either she was being promoted finally as well (he felt she should’ve been promoted after their mission in Barcelona, but Zanotto claimed it ‘wasn’t the right time’) or she wanted to talk about something more...personal. Probably the promotion.

Sasha got out of the car and followed her to the door. He should order the same champagne they had when he got his promotion - she’d probably like that.


Dehaene’s was a French restaurant about an hour’s drive from the Motherlobe. It was important to keep their headquarters in a remote location, but that meant food options were limited unless they went for a bit of a drive (or flight, but Sasha was against using the jet for anything other than missions). The food menu was small, wine and champagne menu thicker than his arm, and the atmosphere was dark and romantic with low lights from fake candles and classical music on a constant loop. It was a frequent date/celebration spot for Psychonauts, to the point where they started getting discounts if the host recognized them.

Lucky for them, it wasn’t busy - being a Wednesday at 9:30 probably had something to do with it. He and Milla slid into a booth and he smiled at the gleeful expression she gave him as the waiter walked away.

“So this is a special occasion.”

“Of course it is!” Milla laughed and leaned into her palm. “I just haven’t decided when to tell you, Darling.”

Sasha rolled his eyes. “Perhaps I could guess and save you the trouble of deciding.”

“Alright, go ahead,” Milla smiled. She knew that he knew and she was just excited to hear it out loud.

Before he could guess, the waiter came back and asked about drinks. Sasha thought back to their first time here together - when they’d returned from their first successful mission and he was feely cocky enough to ask the sommelier for a recommendation. He smiled. “A bottle of Dom Pérignon, if you will.”

The waiter nodded and left to grab their drinks while Milla just gaped at him. “Sasha! I hope you didn’t think I was kidding about you paying!”

“Well, I thought you would want to celebrate your promotion to Senior Agent with something nice.”

She couldn’t even pretend to disagree with that and opted to reach over and squeeze his hands with her own. “Thank you, Darling! I’m so excited!

“You should be.” He turned his hands over to squeeze hers back. “This has been a long time coming. I still say you should’ve-”

“Ah, ah,” she interrupted. “No complaining about how it should’ve happened sooner. Don’t you know what this means?

“Assuming nothing’s changed since my promotion…” he mumbled. “Fifteen percent pay increase, the premium health care plan, access to all personnel files and company resources, and you get to-”

“- I get to choose my own missions!” She beamed at him and took her hands back, needing to move them around to properly express her excitement. “There’s been some psychic criminal activity in São Paulo, so I’m taking that and then I can see my family while I’m down there!”

He smiled. “I’m sure they’ll be excited to see you.” Though he was excited for her, there was a little thing nagging at his mind...she probably wouldn’t be gone for more than a few weeks, but usually they went on missions together. Did she want him to tag along? Meet her family?

The champagne arrived and they ordered their food - Milla excitedly gulped down two glasses of champagne before Sasha could even finish one. He liked wine, but he was always a slow drinker.

“So when are you leaving for Brazil?”

Milla tapped her glasses. “I was hoping to go soon...and I know you have vacation time saved up, but I don’t want to rush you. You probably have a lot of work to finish.”

That answered his question. “I didn’t realize you wanted me to come along.”

“Of course, Darling!” Milla smiled brightly. “My family would absolutely love you. And we’d only be there for a few days.” She paused for a moment. “Ah...if you want to come, of course! You could always leave after the mission if you didn’t want to use your time off, I just thought it could be fun. Relaxing, even.”

“It’s been a while since my last vacation,” he mused. “I’ll be bringing my laptop, though.”

Milla let out another squeak and grabbed one of his hands again. “Oh, Sasha, I could kiss you! This will be so much fun!”

Before he had a chance to tell her she could certainly kiss him if she felt so inclined - their food arrived, and conversation shifted. But he was very excited to travel with her, especially considering this would be their first vacation together. Maybe he could take her to his home, next, though it’d been many years since he’d last spoken to his father.

Regardless, he was satisfied in knowing that she just expected him to come along with her. Though their relationship wasn’t officially more than a...professional friendship, he really enjoyed their time together and it seemed she did, too. Maybe this vacation could lead to that personal conversation he was thinking about earlier in the day.