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No title.
(2013-10-26 - Now)
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Jihl Nabaat On occasions, Jihl Nabaat has to go into Palumpolum for her work. One such night has resulted in a mass of issues that means she's not getting out anytime soon, and has needed to stay over in the city instead of going home to France. As such, she ruefully leaves Max a message when she can.

At this point, she's moved into her shiny, untouched apartment in the high-rise; she's kept it for reasons like this, enjoying a bit of leftovers from their last meal as she signs things over and over again.

She shakes her wrist, and glances out the nearest window, sighing quietly.

"Boooring." She mutters to herself, before looking away to her paperwork again.
Maximilien Boredom is something that Maximilien Amadeus Renaud-Sylvianne is *extremely* good at alleviating, almost as much so as poverty (very few people who know Phantom Thieves remain poor for long).

So when he gets the message (while hanging upside-down in some unfortunate man's home, picking his way through the safe), Max considers his options.

Eventually, he just straight up takes the item, slips into the shadows, and disappears.

Normally he would never consider using the Corridors like this, of course. The shadows were...they were unnerving, to say the least. But he knows his way to this place, after all.

Max reappears inside the apartment, silent as always. He makes his way over to Jihl and draws his arms around her waist, pulling her up against him as he had always begun doing. "Bonsoir, m'amore. Comment allez-vous?"
Jihl Nabaat Jihl gets Max'd. You can imagine; this is almost as fun as it imagines, and she tilts her up and back as she gives him a small smile. "Hello, Max. I wasn't sure if you were going to come out; I'dve been home tomorrow night, you know."

She gestures at the stack.

"That is /precisely/ what is up." She pulls a face.
Maximilien "Ah, I see," Max replies as he rests his chin on her head. "I was uncertain if I could make it."

His eyes skid over to the pile of papers. Then they swing back down to her. "So you are going to spend much time signing papers and working hard long into the lonely evening."

"They must be very important papers, then. I should surely not distract you from your work."

There's no part of Max's tone that indicates he intends to not be distracting.
Jihl Nabaat "I would prefer to do them in France, yes, but this has some oddly happy familiarities to how you used to start us off a few months ago, when it comes to this relationship." Jihl says this in a tone of complete and utter amusement, well aware of that tone in his voice.

"But thank you for your kindness in making sure I am not distracted; I even ate well, leftovers from our last meal."
Maximilien "I am good for only so much," Max agrees merrily, "But I feel that distraction is among my most impressive skills."

It comes with the territory. He's a distraction *artist*. It's a necessity for a thief of his nature and style, after all; a Phantom Thief has to be one part magician on top of everything else.

"You have changed so much, you know. From when we first met, when I broke into your laboratory to steal from you. When you were a cold woman who took no time for herself, who existed only as a cog in a machine." Max purses his lips. "Sometimes I wonder if I have saved you, or changed you to the core."
Jihl Nabaat "... well, it comes with the stuff you do, you know, the distraction stuff, as far as it goes." Maxs' last statement causes Jihl to stop mid-squirm in his grip, as she was attempting to turn herself around.

"... I..."

She hesitates. It's a very, very good question, and she's not sure of the answer, nor sure that she wants to know the answer. She peers up at him, cautiously. "I ... don't know."
Maximilien "It is a thought that has pressed at the back of my mind," Max agrees quietly, "What measure does a person's change have on the person? Are they still the same person? Surely, you have changed. You are no longer the woman I fell in love with - but I still care about you and love you dearly. But you *are* not the woman I fell in love with - the woman I fell in love with was a self-destructive control freak who would sacrifice anything for her job. You have changed...but I still love you."

"The heart is a mysterious thing."
Jihl Nabaat "... and an ever-changing thing."

"I'm glad you still love me, though." Jihl admits, pink-faced.

She continues to try to shift around in his grip to be able to properly face him, her eyes glittering in amusement. "I'm happy, you realize."
Maximilien "I know. It is very strange for me. I am normally so very interested in damaged, broken women who have no interest in me that I constantly worry about our happiness." Max frowns and releases her, turning away and crossing his arms over his chest.

"I know myself, my pet. I know how I am. I know who I am. I am wondering if I have...if I have changed enough, because of my associations, that I have broken my own flaws, my addictions. I am worried about that, constantly - that one day I will wake up, and all my words will..." Max frowns and bites his lip. "Have become false."
Jihl Nabaat "Well, I haven't changed you." Jihl says acerbicly. "You're still self-assured, sassy, very thoughtful, and prone to showing up out of nowhere and embarassing me deeply with how extravegent you are with your gestures of love and such towards me."

He lets her go and she shivers, rubbing her arms up and down her bare arms. "I think... well... nevermind." She frowns.
Maximilien "What do you think?" Max asks after a long moment, grabbing her hand; his long, slender piano-player's fingers wrap around her palm, closing tight. He stares at her, his eyes alternating between deeply pained and incredibly needy - like he can't decide if he should feel bad for his lust, or if he should simply act upon it.

"Do not hide this under stacks of paperwork; do not turn your eyes away from your thoughts, when they concern something so important to us both. At the least, I imagine that our relationship is important to us both."
Jihl Nabaat Max grabs her, and the tightness of his grip, while painful for Jihl, does not cause her to do anything more than sigh, tilting her head back up to stare at his. "Your eyes." She says, softly. "They're both pained and needy - is that your heart, talking, my dear Max, or is it you letting your brain get to you?"

"I worry, sometimes, that you over-think everything."

"Much like me, you're addicted, to things that can trap you; my job, my love for my boss and the work that I do, trapped me for the longest time before you came. Now that you're here, I have begun to realize that."

"Our relationship is special, precious to me... do you not realize that, yet?"
Maximilien "I know that," Max replies quietly, "I know that it is as special to you as it is to me. I know that you are the greatest treasure I have ever stolen, and the only one I would not give up for all the stars in the sky."

"I also know that I think far too much; far too often, I am lost in my own mind, and right now, I wonder if it is so. I wonder if I am not simply..."

Max pauses. He looks at her again, looks over her again, then back at her eyes. "I wonder if I am not simply predicting my own trends. This...this stability, this peace, this *situation* we are in, this /relationship/ is something that, in all my life, I have never experienced. It is literally a new situation for me, my love, on every possible level."

Max's eyes sparkle a moment later. "Besides, I have never been in a relationship with an older woman before."
Jihl Nabaat Jihl's response, whatever loving retort it was going to be, is immediately ruined by Maxs' last couple of comments.

"If you'll excuse me, my /dear/, this older woman needs to go to an early bedtime!"
Maximilien Max laughs and hooks his arms around her waist. "One of these of these days, Jihl, I intend to make you my wife. You will make a wonderful one, if you remain even half as devoted to me as you are to your Primarch."

Max tightens his arms around her, tugging her up against him. "I am not ready, not yet. Not until my sister is freed from the darkness. But when she is...when she is, I expect you to marry me, so that my beloved sibling knows that she can go peacefully, and that I will still be cared for."

"I...hope you do not object."
Jihl Nabaat Jihl rubs her wrist absently when he lets it go to wrap his arms around her waist. She peers up at him, her grey-green eyes sparkling. "Me? Take care of you? Why, I thought it was the other way around, my dear. Also, as far as being a 'wife' goes, weellll..."

"I'm not going to be a very good one." She confides in him. "But if you really want to risk it, than that is fine with me."
Maximilien "You do take care of me," Max replies, his voice suddenly soft and serious, as he so often does. "You may not care for me physically, but mentally - emotionally - I am healthier than I have been in some time. I am peaceful, with you; I am...I dare to be *happy*, with you. I allow myself to be happy, despite the obvious dangers therein. I have shared with you more than I have shared with those I call my friends."

Max tightens his arms around her, his chin moving to her head. "I have made you my greatest weakness," Max murmurs, "And I risk the despair every day that you are close to me, because I must believe that every minute with you is worth it. You are already my wife, and a wonderful one. Anything else will merely make it official."
Jihl Nabaat Jihl is floored. While she suspected it was that deep, that much, for Max, it still floors her that she could affect - effect - anyone's life like that, ever, in any sort of meaningful GOOD way. She shifts her weight, pulling her arms up to link her hands around his neck, giving him a small, fond smile.

"I love you." She says, before rising to her tiptoes to kiss him.
Maximilien "And I you," Max replies quietly. "If there is anything you desire - anything in all the worlds - you have only to tell me, and the Phantom Thief will ensure that it becomes yours. Anything."

"Your wish is my command." It's a fair bet that Max has never said that to *anyone*.
Jihl Nabaat "But I already have everything I want. He's standing in front of me."

Jihl says this firmly, and as she says it, there is a sort of shiver in the world around her. A twinge, if you will, about darkness.
Maximilien Max smirks. But he feels that darkness, too; he feels it, and suddenly, he is deeply, deeply concerned.

Of course, he doesn't say anything. He just leans in and presses his lips to her ear. "Jihl Nabaat, I want you to marry me," Max breathes.
Jihl Nabaat Jihl shivers. "I will, you nut." She whispers back into his ear; she eyes the smirk, and she also feels the darkness, and fear suddenly drops into the pit of her stomach.
Maximilien "Good," Max replies, as if that was the end of that.
Jihl Nabaat "Very good. Now, what's on the rest of the night's plans?" Jihl asks, her eyes sparkling mischeviously.

This scene contained 25 poses. The players who were present were: Maximilien, Jihl Nabaat