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Not Quite The Disney Ending
(2013-04-23 - 2013-04-23)
Max says three very important words. Does Jihl manage to say them back?
Jihl Nabaat Palumpolum is beautiful. There is no undeniable question about that. For once, however, Jihl Nabaat isn't in her tower, looking out at the world from her lonely, polished, cold penthouse onto the world she diapproves of far below -

Instead, she is far up in the airship ports, in the more 'private' sector - everything here is rich, beautiful, expensive, cold, and utterly untouchable, which is just exactly where the first in command of PSICOM appreciates.

And who she is.

The ship is sleek, dangerous, and -- completely empty. The Palamecia, first of the two head airships of the Sanctum Skyfleet, has been left alone for Jihl Nabaat to prowl through, to give it her go over, and to approve it before it flies out again.

She stands on the bridge, glasses on, her notepad nearby, instead watching the sky outside the window - where the bright blue of the sky has faded away into dark, with tingest of dusty rose and soft pink marr. It is a beautiful night, indeed.
Maximilien Superhumanly high security means very very little to Phantom Thief MARS - especially PSICOM security. Though Max has gained a bit of respect for them since he started seeing Jihl, he hasn't gained enough respect for them to stop tricking them.

It took him a borrowed uniform and a faked keycard to get in this time. Not much more. But when the PSICOM Soldier arrives on the ship with a smile on his face, Jihl's suspicious will probably be raised. He offers a salute, then walks over to her and...

"Bonjour, ma chere. So this is what your airships look like. I must say it is much more impressive than I had imagined, ma chere; the airships of my home are not nearly so sleek and beautiful."
Jihl Nabaat The single keycard is a very good pass for most everything. Getting onto the bridge requires some trickiness with the handplate, but nothing that isn't truly above Maximilien's skills. As such, when the door opens, Jihl turns around, a half smile on her face as she starts speaking.

"Ah, Yaag, good to se--"

that's not Yaag.

She then realizes it and waves off the salute, frowning slightly. "I thought I had /improved/ the security, not made it easier for you." She admits as he starts talking. Her attention is still on the skies outside and above, admittedly.

"It's beautiful." She sighs.
Maximilien "Oh? Am I going to finally get to speak to monsieur Yaag? I confess that since our very brief meeting, I have been very curious in holding a proper conversation with the man." Max doesn't remove the PSICOM uniform, instead settling in beside her and sliding his arm around her waist. He looks out over the side of the airship, and privately agrees. The city was gorgeous, in an unreal, abnormal way; he had never experienced such a thing while he was in his own home. It was like looking at a beautiful, elegant painting, and Maximilien had come to be very fond of it in the days he'd been spending within it.

His hand moves a bit. "It is. Your city is lovely, ma chere."

"You seem in a good mood. Does this simple airship make you so happy?"
Jihl Nabaat "Do you really want to meet Yaag?" Jihl asks, some thread of surprise trickling through her voice. "Why?" There is a defensive tone in there as well, someone who has worked very closely with one man worried about him talking to someone else she knows intimately.

She leans against him for the briefest moment, before standing up straight again. "The Palamecia- this ship - is the head of the Sanctumn Skyfleet." She says, proudly. "The Primarch can rule from here whe he is not in Palumpolum, it's my job to protect this as much as it is the Primarch."

That prideful tone is back. "Nothing bad has happened for dozens of years, under my rule."
Maximilien "I do, very much," Max replies as Jihl asks. He twines his fingers around hers as they talk, and a smile creeps across his face, though it is probably not visible under the PSICOM helmet. He'll remove it shortly, but not right now. "I want to meet him because he is your friend, ma chere, and..."

Max wobbles for a moment. He's silent for a very VERY long moment, his head tilting away from her as he decides how to put it into words. It wouldn't be hard. But what it meant to him...what it meant /for/ him...that might be a bit harder. It was, in fact, the hardest thing he could possibly say. He'd thought there were harder things, more difficult truths, but this one...

Max removes his helmet and turns Jihl to face him, so that he can look her in the eyes. His hands tug her close to him, as if he's afraid of someone else hearing.

"...and it is about time that I accept that /this/ is my relationship, and stop chasing a fantasy and accept that I love you."
Jihl Nabaat She enjoys the gentle, tactile touch, even as Max wobbles, and she tilts her head back at him, Jihl not exactly used to having him cut his own self off mid sentence. "Max?" She asks gently, even as he strips off the helmet. Privately, Jihl decides, the uniform looks good on him.

She is promptly turned around and she peers up at him, her eyes widening slightly as he manhandles her on the bridge of her own ship. She then blinks as he finally finishes his sentence.

"A--ahh?" Jihl manages to get out, then immediately hates herself for it. Her cheeks tinge pink as she finally comprehends the other half of his sentence too, opening and closing her mouth. She finally rolls her shoulders, startled at the fact that she is actually out of words.

It's not that she wasn't expecting this - she wasn't, certainly - but it's mostly about her reaction and how it pings down to the dark blackness of the very depths of her soul... and exactly what that sudden, sharp thing of light does.

"M-max--" She covers her mouth with one hand.
Maximilien "I think I like you almost as much when you are so bewildered," Max teases as Jihl stammers and blushes. "It is a rare thing, to see you so flustered, so off your balance...and though I appreciate the fearsome military beauty, I cannot help but enjoy the nervous girl you must once have been."

He smiles - really, really smiles, a broad smile - and takes her hands in his again. "I love you. It is easier to say, now that I have said it once; easier to say the words now that I have let them free. I love you."

Max dips her back and smiles. "And I cannot wait to meet your friend."
Jihl Nabaat There is a very long, quiet moment where Jihl tries to think of the last time someone ever said 'I love you' to her, and she reciprocated those words. She goes back to her years in military academy - and then further back. She finally looks up at him, troubled.

"I was never a nervous girl." She says, calmly enough. "I only am bewildered when things truly, truly, truly totally surprise me. Which you have." She is dipped, and she can't help but respond to his style, his acts of affection, even as she manages to mumble something out like:

Maximilien Max heard those words a lot. He'd heard women proclaim that they loved him before, a number of times; frequently, in fact. Never from women that he truly cared for, of course; girls, easily-impressed by the romantic imagery of the phantom thief, by the apparent heroism and princely demeanor, or by the style and flash. These were girls. They were simple, easy; they were nothing Maximilien Amadeus Renaud-Sylvianne has ever, ever wanted.

Cirra Constantine was the first woman Max had ever truly desired...and she had broken his heart left it shattered on the floor. He was still trying to get over the first scars of trust...but the people of the TDA had helped, had pushed him onwards. And then, now, here, with Jihl in his arms...

The darkness in his heart seemed so far away right now.

"I love you," Max repeats, and it just feel so good, as he sweeps Jihl back up against the airship's rail. "I am sorry that it has taken me so long, ma chere, to clear the shadows in my eyes. I am still not certain that they are gone...but this is the first step towards what I want."
Jihl Nabaat Jihl's darkness lurks closer, in a way that is almost - that almost cannot be beaten by the true bright light of love. As such, she still looks a little more off put than she normally does - which is to say, she actually looks 'off put', which she never does.

She is swept up and pressed against the hip-height rail that runs around the circular room, biting her bottom lip as he keeps talking, before she nods her head, utterly slowly. She knows the concept of first steps to getting to what one wants.

"So is that first step telling me that you loved me, or is this something I am better off being clueless about?" Not that Jihl is ever clueless about anything whatsoever. Not when it involves Max.

Especially when it involves Max.
Maximilien "Telling you that I love you is the first step towards getting what I want - not what I want from you, but what I want from life. Part of it does, in fact, include you, in case you are curious~," Max sing-songs as he spins her, putting his hands on her stomach and pushing his cheek against hers from over her shoulder. "You are a very large part of it, in fact. But..."

"I want to be able to trust, ma chere. I want to live a normal life, once all of this is over, and trust is a very large part of that. I am not given to trust, and the last time I offered someone my heart, it was rejected, and fiercely."

"But I cannot hide my face forever. I have already been shown that; I cared for someone, took the initiative, and had it broken. Then I began to care for you...and, like one who has been burned, I was afraid of it."

"I should not be afraid anymore. I wish to be part of your life, ma chere, and I wish for you to be part of mine. That is the next step to me taking what I want from life."

"So I must introduce you to my friends...properly."
Jihl Nabaat "Ohhhh." She says, drawling softly. Jihl is spun around again, her stomach pressed against the smoothly curved railing as they peer into the darkening sky. "I am glad that... you want me to be a part of it." Jihl says, a bit troubled, but...

"I do not trust easily. You should know that by now." Jihl says easily. "You have been burned. It will not be easy, for if you wish to come forward, then I will need to do so too. That will change many, many things."

"Not all for the good, either." She sighs, but continues on.

"Your friends, eh. That little detective company? Mercade Alexander? Will Sherman?" She smiles a self-satisfied smug little smile. "I will be pleased to have you know I've met Monsieur Alexander before, without needing you." She smirks.
Maximilien "You knowing them is very different from me taking you in my arms and introducing you as mine," Max replies in her ear as they lean over the rails, looking down at the beautiful city of Palumpolum. He's quiet for a very long moment; then his hand slides into hers, and he takes it in his grip and smiles.

"I will wait as long as you need. It will be hard work for both of us, ma chere...neither of us are trusting people. But I am..."

"You are worth it."

This scene contained 14 poses. The players who were present were: Maximilien, Jihl Nabaat