Scene Listing || Scene Schedule || Scene Schedule RSS
No title.
(2013-07-02 - 2013-07-07)
No description.
Maximilien Maximilien Amadeus Renaud-Sylvianne has had a rough couple of days. He's gone through the mind of Isaac Hanlon; he's been contacted by a dark and terrible power; he outright destroyed (he refuses to say killed) the hollow Feige Abramson's head; his adorable little sisters were rescued from the same dangerous maniac. It's understandable, then, that Max wants to take some time off with one of his favorite girls.

So here he and Jihl are in China. Max's costume has actually changed, here; instead of his white tuxedo and red cloak, he has Chinese formalwear, a white-gold-and-red silk robe with the red symbol for Mars embroidered on the chest. Max's hand is settled around Jihl's waist; a flower (a lily) is in his hand as they walk through the Imperial City's beautiful gardens.

"As a little boy, I heard many stories of China's beauty," Max observes as they walk. "I went to Hong Kong once, as a young man...but it was certainly nothing like this. Tell me, my pet...what do you think?"
Jihl Nabaat Jihl Nabaat heard that some things have gone down. She does not pry; she knows Maximilien well enough that he'll tell her when he either wants too or when he thinks it is the right time to share. Even now, they have secrets from one another.

Thusly, she got Maxnapped to China.

Jihl wears a short-sleeved black cheongsam, and she's not quite sure why. The black is a stark contrast against her skin, but the silvery color of the embroidery perfectly matches her silver-blonde hair, so she figures it works.

"It is beautiful. We do not have a place like this - we did not have a place like this - on Cocoon." she explains this simply, looking at the flowers carefully.
Maximilien "Non? Nothing like this at all?" Max inquires, reaching up to snag a flower from one of the trees in the garden. He lowers it to Jihl for her to inspect. "The Chinese say that they are the most civilized nation on Earth. They invented paper, gunpowder...ideas that the European nations did not hear of for centuries were in full practice in China. It has a mystical air about it, does it not? An almost mythical place, untouched by time. I do not know if the China of my world is anything like this, but I hope it is." He smiles a little as they cross over one of the flowing streams, stepping along the tiny bridge.

"I wish you could see my home, my Paris. Not the Paris of the past but the glistening city of lights...even after the war, it remains the most beautiful city in the world. One day, perhaps I will get to show it to you."
Jihl Nabaat "Not that I remember. Then again, after academy, I was assigned to Palumpolum and Eden and... haven't ever really left those two major cities since I was a young adult, just out of the academy." Jihl admits.

Vacations are not her forte.

"It sounds beautiful; I look forward to seeing it."
Maximilien "It is. It makes this beautiful garden look so sad. As a child, I would go up upon a roof and look out as the sun faded over the horizon; all the lights of Paris would spring to life, dancing their way across the city. Or, dancing. Sweeping. A tidal wave of lights springing to life; the Arc de Triomphe, the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, and all the countless houses..." Max sighs.

"And now it has been swallowed by shadows. All of it; all that I ever knew, gone, and I do not believe I will ever see it again."

Max's fingers make their way along her hip; his other hand releases the flower, and he turns to her, fully, his free hand sliding into hers. "I was offered a chance to save the one thing I care about from that world by something dark and terrible, my pet. I was offered a chance to rescue my little sister by a thing in a dream that has no name."

"But I am afraid of that thing. I could not look it in the eye. I could not look upon it without fear in my heart, something I have not felt for a very long time."

"I want to save my sister. But I am afraid that it may cost me something dear."
Jihl Nabaat Jihl's head tilts as she listens to Max describe all these things that she knows nothing about. Then he admits that it is all gone, by darkness, and he fears he may not see it again. Jihl opens her mouth, then closes it as he pulls her to face him fully.

She looks up at him, her eyes locked as he finally admits something of his past to her - about his sister adn what he was offered - and there is an instantaneous moment where the expression that flees across Jihl's face is something akin to both guilt and embarassment, one that she schools pretty quickly.

"Oh..." She finally manages to get out. "... what do you think it cost you?"
Maximilien "It has not cost me anything, yet." Max pulls her up against him, looking down at her. "I have not agreed to any such deal as of yet. I am not yet so desperate that I want to court with dark things, not yet so fearful of never seeing her again that I cannot wait a bit and find alternatives. But...if I cannot find an alternative...if I cannot discover such a way to free my sister..."

Max's hand tightens around hers. "I simply...wanted you to know that, my love. That's all." He leans down and presses his lips against hers; when he draws away, there's a flower in her hair and a smile on his face.

"Are you enjoying China? Or are you still thinking about your papers and books, and all the things that might go wrong in your absence?"
Jihl Nabaat Max tugs her closer, and she gives a nod. "I ... I can't say I don't understand, because I do." Jihl admits to Max. A little too well, and there is something that briefly haunts her eyes. A darkness, in and of it, a sadness, too, almost.

The kiss occurs, and her hand comes up, delicately drawing her fingers across the lily, giving him a small smile back.

"I am enjoying China, it's lovely. And I trust Yaag enough to, mm, not have things blow up if I am gone for more than twenty-four hours."
Maximilien The darkness is notable, at least for Max; he's keenly observant, even in a situation like this. Being UNOBSERVANT in a situation like this would've gotten him killed a very long time ago, after all.

"What a change from when we first met. You refused to leave your office; you refused to walk away from your work. Now look at you! Out here under the lilies with a handsome lover. We should come out here when the moon rises in the sky; I understand that pool behind you sparkles with its light." Maximilien spins her, his hands around her stomach so she can see the pool. His lips brush against her ear.

"I know you are not perfect," Max murmurs, "I know that you are not a good woman. I know you have done terrible things for your country; I am not blind. I see the way they fear you."

" does not matter to me. You are one of the most important things in my life. Who you have been in the are changing. Look at yourself, there, in the pool; look at how beautiful you look. How womanly."

"Is this so bad?"
Jihl Nabaat Fingers dig, curl into Maxs' grip before he abruptly spins her around again, leaving her staring out at the beauty. Jihl rests her head backwards against his shoulder, before she closes her green eyes and listens to him talk - but she does not look in the pool.

She can't look into the pool, because she sees something no one else here - someone else no one else here - can see.

She shudders, abruptly - it's very obvious that she cannot seem to comprehend - maybe 'accept' is the better word here - what Max is trying to get her to understand.

"I can't." She says, her voice shaky.
Maximilien "Cannot what?" Max asks. He's not unaware of her shaking; she's shuddering right next to him, after all. He looks over her shoulder at the pool, then back at her. "What can you not do?"
Jihl Nabaat "I can't be ... this beautiful, womanly thing. I can't." Jihl whispers the words, softly, fiercely, even.

"You know that, right?" She squirms out of his grip, or at least attempts too - she knows he might be a little clingy at times. "I'm sorry, Max, I just ... I just can't. I am never going to be." That darkness, sadness, and anger is all back in her eyes - which normally are already dark.
Maximilien "Why do you think that?" Max asks, as she tries to squirm out of his grip. He doesn't let her; he turns her back around to face him, his hands tightening around her waist. He can be clingy, but she's clearly panicking, and now he's more worried than he is anything else.
Jihl Nabaat Max very firmly keeps his hands on her waist and manages to keep his grip, and Jihl looks up at him, her pale lips set into a firm line as Max asks her... well... probably the most important question he's ever managed to ask her -


"The terrible things I've done... that I have kept doing while we have been... whatever in the worlds it is that we've been doing - it is not that easy to get over. It is dark, and pain, and happiness in the joy of that."

She looks down - away from him.
Maximilien "I am afraid that I do not understand," Max replies, one of his hands moving up. His fingers push her chin back up to look into his eyes; he doesn't want her looking away from him at the moment. "What is it that you fear, that stops you from being a woman? What have you done, to scare yourself so?"
Jihl Nabaat Jihl is forced to maintain eye contact. You'd think she'd be good at this sort of thing, seeing as she uses aggressive eye contact on the poor civilians quite frequently, but it's one thing to do it, another to be on the other end of it.

"Um." She says, delicately.

How to /phrase this one/.

She rubs her forehead. "Nevermind..." She finally says, quietly.
Maximilien Max continues to look into her eyes. His own are very bright; they're very sharp, as he looks into her eyes as though they were the window to her soul.

Max leans down, pressing his lips against hers. "There is nothing," Max murmurs against her, "That cannot be forgiven, if you truly seek forgiveness."
Jihl Nabaat His brightness is marred by her darkness, and strangely, it seems that to Jihl, it's the way that everything has always been his brightness trying to help not squench, but change her to the light.

It almost is impossible.

"I don't think you're right about that." She whispers.
Maximilien Max lets his fingers trace across her cheek as they talk. The sadness in her voice is palpable as they talk; his other hand leaves her hip, finding its way to her fingers, that he might close his around hers to reassure her of his presence, that he's there, that he's right next to her. More importantly, he wants to reassure her that he isn't judging her - that he isn't mad at her. What right does he have to judge her, after all? As if Maximilien Amadeus Renaud-Sylvianne was some sort of saint, some sort of higher authority to be praised and worshipped.

No one hated Max more than Max.

His fingers tighten around hers. He doesn't say anything. Words at this point would merely be bantering philosophy between them, and that wasn't what Jihl needed - it would only be what she wanted to hear. What she needed - or at least what Max felt she needed - was the knowledge that he, at least, cared about her even as he looked into the darkness in her eyes.

His lips brush across hers again, gently. It's not a longing, grasping, needy kiss - it's a gentle kiss, a soft kiss, as the sun finally starts to die and the lanterns are lit across the Imperial City in preparation for the coming darkness. No matter how dark it got, the lights would always shine.
Jihl Nabaat There's probably someone out there that hates Max more than Max. It is, however, not Jihl Nabaat who hates Max more than Max. He gently reminds her that someone is willingly standing there beside her, someone that is willing to try to help out--

And she feels utterly, /absolutely/ miserable about it.

The fact that she's actually upset about this also makes her upset at herself for losing control over her own life - that perfectionist, utter, tight control that she has had for ages. After the delicate kiss, she looks away from him again - both out of shame, and anger at herself - and anger at him for knowing not to talk. Damn it all, Max.
Maximilien Max continues to say nothing as the lights of China blaze through the city, the sun's quiet descent blanketing them with darkness. Some of the servants move through the garden, lighting its lanterns; they are wholly ignored by the Phantom Thief as he puts his arms around Jihl's waist, tugging her close to him again. Silence descends upon the garden as the moon starts to rise.

Max's arm goes up against the small of her back, but he does nothing more.
Jihl Nabaat Max pulls Jihl closer again, and unresisting, she leans back against the Phantom Thief; shifting her weight, she doesn't quite.. hide her face in Maxs' shirt, but she doesn't let anyone see her face, either -

- and a few minutes later, the damp spot on his shirt is probably the reason why she's not looking around - the dangerous women of Cocoon, the one who strikes fear into everyone's heart, seems to be... crying.

Uh... oh...?
Maximilien Jihl sobs into Max's shirt; it's a quiet cry, an embarassed cry, and Max is immediately delicate enough not to just point out that she's doing it, or ask her what's wrong, or any of the other classic mistakes. He's been around crying women before; he knows how to handle it. Light, nimble fingers slide up into her hair; he runs his hand through it gently as she cries into his robe. He presses his lips to the top of her head, his other arm tightening around her, reassuringly.
Jihl Nabaat Jihl knows she's crying! There is no question about that. She knows she's having a embarassed, quiet cry, and even as he gently handles it, she gets even more upset, more angry at herself for doing it, until, after a few minutes, she pulls away from him.

Clears her throat. "Ahem."
Maximilien There's a handkerchief in Jihl's hand as she pulls away from Max; at the same time, he leans forward, his fingers brushing under her eyes to wipe away the tears. She clears her throat, and Max smiles.

"Qu'est que c'est, l'amour? I hope I have not said something to upset you; this trip was supposed to be relaxing, not distressing."
Jihl Nabaat "Qu'est... what?" Jihl asks as she gets Maxed at -- er, pardon, Frenched at. There is an actual difference between the two. She tilts her head at his question, before, lying - and knowing he knows she is-

"I'm fine."
Maximilien Normally, this is the point where a person would say 'don't lie to me', or say something aggressive and be insulted by the lack of trust.

Max does no such thing. He just steps forward, his hands on her hips, and smiles. "Very well."

His arms go up, and he pulls her into a quick hug before releasing her, murmuring something into her ear as he does so.
Jihl Nabaat Max murmurs into her ear, and guilt just overrides everything else Jihl has felt tonight - an intense sort of guilt, one that makes her flinch before she steps away from him again, still gripping his handkerchief in her hands.

"I know."
Maximilien Max smiles. He just...smiles, there, in the lantern-light of the Imperial City's garden. The wet spot from her tears that stains the silk robe does not bother him a bit; the chill of the air would die soon enough once they got back to their room, after all.

"I am going to go back to the room, l'amour, and see if they have prepared our dinner. Do you know the way back? I can escort you if it is unfamiliar, but if you wish to take your time, I do not want to rush you. You can, after all, easily take care of yourself."
Jihl Nabaat Max continues murmuring to her, and Jihl continues standing there absolutely frozen for a very long few minutes, before she abruptly realizes that she needs to respond to his question, and she gives him a very faint smile. Very, very faint.

"I'll be back to the room in a few minutes." She finally murmurs, inclining her head.

She looks up to the moon in the sky, where the darkness is lit by the stars. "I promise."

This scene contained 30 poses. The players who were present were: Maximilien, Jihl Nabaat