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No title.
(2013-05-09 - 2013-05-09)
No description.
Maximilien The Cloud Nine is quiet tonight. Everybody seems to be mostly out of the building, and that's a blessing, all things considered - Max didn't really want noise tonight. The Phantom Thief did his best work when he was alone, and tonight is no exception as he rifles through some of the files in Mercade's office. Yes, the paper ones are public access; yes, the computer ones are password-locked to anyone who isn't Mercade (or a gifted hacker, like Isaac or Max); yes, Max probably doesn't need to sneak around to look through the files. He just...he enjoyed it. It was a relaxing way to practice his career without really worrying about anything.

Not that he normally worried about his career. Normally he worried about his relationships a great deal more; they were much more dangerous and much more worrying than his thief skills. Ironically.

Max is currently sitting in Mercade's chair, the light of Mercade's computer and the presence of his open files the only hint that he's there. Well, that, and the usual jazz music on the jukebox has been changed to O, Fortuna.

Max likes O Fortuna.
Jihl Nabaat A few days ago, Max has randomly radio'd Jihl up adn had did some things and said some things that made her worry. After a few days of no contact - she understands the concept of stepping back and giving people time to do things and come to stuff --

She eventually walks into the Cloud Nine.

She tilts her head at the base of the stairs. She's never heard O Fortuna. She then quietly ascends the stairs - the only warning Max gets is the soft 'click, click, click' of her heels on the ground underneath as she wanders down the tunnel towards the light.
Maximilien Max isn't exactly making a secret of his presence (if he REALLY wanted to clean the place out, most of the residents had accepted that Max probably COULD'VE cleaned the place out without anyone actually knowing until the next day), so he's not really thinking about the sound of clicking heels. He just cycles carefully through Mercade's files; he pauses on Cirra's for a quiet moment, then carries on with his cycling. It was sort of his version of boredom, except that instead of just lazing about, he was breaking and entering and invading Mercade's privacy.

He was also doing their accounting, which is surprisingly decent until you realize that he does accounting the old-fashioned way, where he sits there counting the money from the safe that he had no permission to get into. Or, well, it would be, if the TDA had more money.

So there's a little pile of munny on the desk, the computer's open and he's cycling through files, and there are paper files strewn about to satisfy his curiousity. He's not distracted, per se, but, well, it's not like anybody coming in would see anything out of the ordinary, and if it was real danger, he'd probably be fine. He'd learned to recognize burglars, what with being one; most burglars didn't wear high heels.
Jihl Nabaat Click, click. They're not that high, and not that heelish, but they still make that same noise. Finally, Jihl appears in the doorway - she unerringly looks at Max behind the computer, his frame set aglow by the very same computer he's using to be curious.

"... Max?"

She whispers his name, a certain odd tone in her voice.
Maximilien Max looks up and smiles at Jihl as she arrives. "Bonjour, ma chere. pleased to see you, though I did not expect to see you /here/, I confess."

He sets the paperwork down and turns the chair to face her. He's already noticed the odd tone; he's trying to do his best to figure out how to approach this situation. He's quiet for a really long time, considering, as he taps his slender finger against the chair quietly. "...speaking of confessions, have something I wish to tell you. I made a foolish mistake, ma chere, and I fear that it may cost me something very, very important to me. Will you sit with me, and listen?"
Jihl Nabaat "You were odd for a few minutes, then broke off contact with me, and then did not think to ever call me back. Of course you should have expected to see me." Jihl says this, almost icily. She doesn't want to be hurt by him.

She can't let herself be hurt by him -

So this is all going down a very interesting route. She looks at him for a few minutes, before she finally inclines her head, almost regally. "I will." She says, softly, sliding into the closest seat. You'd bes start talking.
Maximilien Max nods. He actually looks like he's been beating himself up about this for a couple days, so he probably hasn't spoken to her because it's taken him this long to get his emotions under control. For all that he's a master of putting on masks, around the two people he tries *not* to do so, he's incredibly vulnerable, almost without control. When Jihl sits down, he smiles, leaning forward and resting his head against his hands. He's also having a quiet conversation on the linkpearl, as he tries to draw up strength for this. It's not exactly an easy thing to admit.

"I love you," Max begins quietly, and it's not the pleading sort of I Love You, but rather a segue into the story, "And I care about you, and I have no desire to hurt you. I wanted to remove myself of all the chains of my past - the things that have been holding me back from being completely open with you. The only chain I could not get rid of that was in my way was...well."

Max shakes his head. "The lady Judge. I went to her home, to finally divest myself of her completely - facing the problem, and moving on, as it were. And..."

His head slides down into his hands. "And somehow, I said exactly the right things despite the months of attempting to say them before, and one thing lead to another, and..."

Max rolls his free hand, his other hand still on his head. "I feel a fool, Jihl; each time I attempt to take a step forward, I take two steps backwards, as though I am crawling up from a pit of poor decisions and nearly reach the top, only to come plummeting back down the shaft. Please, believe me - I had no intention of hurting you, Jihl. If I did not care for you, this conversation would not even be happening."
Jihl Nabaat It is that look that Max just looks - so utterly confused -- that makes Jihl tilt her head. She leans forward, resting her clasped hands on her desk between them. He says he loves her, and she can't help but blink a couple of times. Uh. Well. She colors slightly.

She lets him finish talking before she finally nods her head. The lady Judge. Cirra Constantine. The Judge is certainly, undeniably, a rather interesting woman - and if Max likes her well enough to say 'I love you', she certainly understands why he'd sleep with her.

She lifts her hand.

"I totally understand." She says softly, her voice cool. "The fact you are sitting here, and look ready to say, cry, tells me that you truly believe you have screwed up. You have." Jihl sighs. "I am a ... forgiving woman, though, so to say..."

"... and I have two comments." Her mouth quirks into a half-smile. "You did not invite me to join in. This implies I need to go sleep with her, so that we both have cheated on each other, with the same person. Shall I go do so?"

"That is, go sleep with her, oui?"
Maximilien Max just stares at her for a long moment. He's actually, literally, really speechless. The amount of times Max has been really, legitimately speechless in his life is really like /twice/; once because of something Sylvie said, once because of Emi, and now once because of Jihl Nabaat. He's just...silent, staring at her.


He shakes his head again. "You are...serious, then." His voice is wary, like he knows he's walking into a trap.

"...I...I am speechless, ma chere."
Jihl Nabaat Jihl tilts her head to the side, that half-smile quirking her lips still. "That's a 'non', then, so to quote?" She says, pulling her hands back into her lap, leaning against the back of her chair in the office, uncrossing and recrossing her legs.

"Or, so to say, mmm, I do not know the word for it, but all three of us?" She offers.

"Max, darling, it is ... not to say I am not upset. I am very upset. I have informed you of this before, what it means for me to be... well, dating you. However, I think ..."

"I want to try to make this work. Still."
Maximilien Max is quiet for a long moment. He doesn't address the former comment; he's deep in thought on the latter one. It's very important to him, too; he needs to find a way to voice that. Something more than words; Max no longer trusts his word. His word has already been broken - something he has never done before. Max has been very proud of being able to say that he didn't ever make such mistakes; now...he feels as if he's fallen off a very long pedestal.

But Jihl is there to catch him.

Max stands up. He walks over to her chair, his fingers moving into her hair, and he leans down into a deep, deep kiss. He didn't need words; actions always spoke louder.
Jihl Nabaat Jihl pretty much knows /exactly/ what is coming, and that's neither because they are both predictable, or kisses always make things better - it is because actions /do/ speak louder than words, which is why, when it comes down to it, Jihl just screams TERRIBLE with her actions.

Except for right now, they're murmuring softly and Jihl has no intention of letting anything or anyone overhear her.

This scene contained 12 poses. The players who were present were: Maximilien, Jihl Nabaat