Scene Listing || Scene Schedule || Scene Schedule RSS
Equivalent Exchange
(2013-01-11 - 2013-01-11)
When worst comes to worst, there is always a way to get the things that you want, if only you are willing the tay the toll.
Riku Fading hues of blue and purple can be seen at the far edge of the horizon. At the higher reaches of the town, the entire spectrum of twilight can be seen. RIku sits on top of the hotel in Traverse Town, sitting on the very edge of the rooftop with one leg dangling over the side.

This is a somewhat dangerous proposition, not only because of the height but he has a tendandancy to run into the TDA wherever he goes so, by this same twisted logic that he uses to take adventuring jobs without finding Reize, he figures the least likely place to run into Mercade and Will would be almost straight on top of them.

The wind is fitful and blowing in ragged wisps every so often but otherwise leaving the air very still. Pinned by one leg are a number of pieces of paper. He takes one of the pieces of newspaper, folding them very precisely into an airplane and then launching them off the side of the building.

Traverse Town is also a town that never sleeps, and thusly has heavy drapes to block out the light at times. So the paper airplanes spiral out into the great amount of nothing in the air, and he watches them spiral down to eventually land wherever the wind takes them.
Maximilien Maximilien Amadeus Renaud-Sylvianne prefers rooftops. There's a solitude in the lonely spire, a silence on the distant horizon; it's peaceful. When he needs to think, there are few places better; when he needs to rest, there is nowhere he prefers. Even now, swathed in bandages all across his torso, he is unwilling to go anywhere else; the biting cold is a clarity he is willing to pay dearly for, and he receives exactly what it is he seeks. Traverse Town is a place of opposites coming together; night is alight with the stars in the windows, the lights of those who live peacefully shining out against the Darkness.

Up here, the shadows are not as long; there is nothing, after all, to cast them - nothing but the occasional weathervain, the every-so-often chimney, the random pipe. The shadows are not long, and the things that chitter out of them are not here, and that inherently makes it a very appealing place for any survivor of the worlds to go, especially one who dances with the Darkness.

So here he sits, bandages wrapped across most of his torso and his legs, an immaculate white tuxedo and his opera cape swaddling him like a young man; the remarkably tall Phantom Thief simply sits, staring off into the Travese Town twilight. Truly the sky is beautiful.

He's also been ignoring Riku for the past twenty minutes. It's hard to tell if the man simply doesn't see him, or didn't care; Max has been sitting on the opposite side of the roof, his eyes not even roaming close to Riku's location.
Riku There has been some mutual ignoring going on here, but that could also be because Riku honestly doesn't know he was there, in which case he's poorly perceptive. This is often true. It could also be that this permanent juxtaposition of light and darkness gives him enough to wrap around his own thoughts and keep them still that he is loathe to disturb that mental silence.

Still, the restlessness of the young man throws stones into that zen pool of the mind and eventually pulls him back onto his feet.

He doesn't take the papers with him except the one he is gripping in one hand so they collectively flutter softly over the edge of the hotel roof. Riku begins to pace the edge of the hotel roof, looking down at the paper in his hand. It is one of the flyers for Hearts Intertwined. He stares down at the golden heart intertwined with black ivy.

He folds the paper into another airplane and throws it across the flattened length of the roof and across one of the corners. This is about the time, that for reasons of inattention or other reasons he decides to react to the stranger's presence. He raises an eyebrow as he recognizes them, the memory tinging in some vague way. What did they say their name was?

Thoughts are gathered up and discarded. That looked-- unpleasant, and there was certainly a story behind it. He considers breaking the silence and discards the idea. He had no right to disturb what he himself did not want disturbed. Although he is going to have to modify his theory a little about running into people, if he remembered at all correctly the bits and pieces he knows.

Riku continues to walk very slowly the perimeter of the rooftop, pausing every so often to look out over the city.
Maximilien It's pretty easy to miss Max if he doesn't want someone to know he's there. It's a gift he's had, even before he chose his particularly stealth-filled and illicit profession; he's always been just out of sight, just out of the way, just in the shadows. He's spent more of his life in his shadows than he'd really care to admit.

The Frenchman's eyes sink shut as Riku stands up and begins pacing. Max has paced this building enough times to know it with eyes shut now - an important thing, if one is suddenly ambushed in one's base blindfolded or otherwise prevented from sight. As Riku begins to walk, Max mentally counts the steps, tracing the path around the building in his mind's eye. He knew of Riku, had heard enough of Riku, had met Riku briefly and filed him away as a person of interest but not interesting enough to hunt down. However, now Riku was here, pacing around the building.

Max waits until Riku is just about behind him, or at least on the path behind him, before he opens his mouth. He doesn't turn his head, doesn't change his gaze; as he stares out at the sunset, he simply...asks. "What do you know about the keyblades, monsieur?"
Riku Mm.

Not. The question he was expecting.

It is also the question he was not prepared to answer because he didn't have an answer. He just had a handful of fragments. A seething underlayer of confusion. A layer of resentment. A strange dream where an ocean of darkness surrounds a great door.


Riku continues walking as if he had not heard Max speak. He continues to the corner, stops to look out at the town and then begins to backtrack across his same path until he is about three steps to the left side of Max. Riku looks into the horizon, crossing his arms.

"That depends." he eventually admits after a short silence. "I know one or two things. I have.. guessed, half a dozen or more. They are things you build up stories in your head to explain." he snorts faintly. "Maybe even some of them are true."
Maximilien "Let us cut to the chase, monsieur." Max still doesn't turn around, but he does hold up his hand, gesturing airily at the area around them. "You are on the roof of a place known to house people who dislike you thoroughly, and perhaps even have good cause to do so. You are not here simply for the view, though I grant you it is a magnificent one - nor are you here to be alone, for the moment I arrived you no longer were, and even if you did not notice me immediately I am hardly working terribly hard to conceal my presence."

Max holds up a third finger to continue illustrating his point. "You are looking for something, or desire something - and it is entirely likely that I either have it or am capable of acquiring it, as both of these are traits within my rather expansive skillset, monsieur. So let us do business, rather than waste each other's time - I suspect you can respect a desire to not fiddle about when there is so lovely a sunset on the horizon."

"I am not Mercade Alexander. I do not stumble my way blindly through the dark, looking for trails and hints that may not even exist, groping for a lifeline and bumbling my way into solved cases. He is a good man; God willing, one day he may even be a great one. But I am not him."

"You have information I want, be they scraps, fragments, rumors, and lies. I have, or have it within my capacity to acquire, something you want."

"Let us make a trade."
Riku "You're like him in one sense. You adore the sound of your own voice."

Riku does not say it with any particular ire however. It is not this man that he is angry with, although 'anger' is not exactly the emotion because it does not really fit neatly into that little box labeled so. Riku crouches, sitting against the edge of the roof with his legs over the side.

He reaches up to his chest to reconfirm the position of the picture in an inner pocket there. "And no, you really can't. Not unless you can steal back the last few months of my life. We are going to have to broker a slightly different arrangement." he pauses and then continues. "Ask your question. If I answer it, then we can talk further."
Maximilien "I do indeed adore the sound of my own voice, monsieur; you will have to try much harder if you think to insult me. I only get so many opportunities to hear myself when I work, after all." Max understands the man he's talking to, now; he has, at least, in part, some measure of Riku. Vital for doing business.

"I think perhaps you are filled with regrets over something you had little control over, or perhaps a great deal of control over. I told another person this recently, as well, but regrets are chains that blind us to the present, tying us to our view of the past. You had best get over them; walking in place does not tend to get people very far."

"I do not have one question in specific." Max shifts a bit; he allows his own leg to dangle off the roof, calmly tapping his hands against his wrists. "I want to know everything that you know about Keyblades - whatever scraps and lies and half-truths they may be. I want these pieces that I might assemble for myself a trail. That is, after all, the most important thing in this world - eyes open, ears wide, observing and thinking for yourself." Max taps the side of his head.

"Now. There is something that you want; you may not be telling me, but you are not here without reason, unless you expect me to believe you to be so ignorant as to believe you did not know where you were. I am not, in case you are curious and wish to try such a ruse."

"So I ask again. What is it you want at the Twilight Detective Agency, and how may I help you achieve it in exchange for what I desire?"
Riku "If you imagine the darkest place that you can, and the most beautiful place.. and then you still won't understand, so I won't bother." Riku smiles very slightly, fingers gripping the rooftop. " I also won't bother to dignify your asking price with much of a response." he smirks lopsidedly, pulling a hand through his hair.

"After all. I am.. very aware that I will still need your help far after the fragments have run out." he brushes his fingers together like he was brushing sand off them. "..And I have no illusion that you will help me if I have nothing to give you. Most people, even those who think they are charitable, are like that. You are not Mercade, or Will, and as such, you are most people."

He doesn't look out this time, instead he looks up at the stars while he is talking and at no point in this conversation does he actually look at Max or in his direction. "I failed my friends when I came here. Now one is lost, and another is asleep in that place of darkness. I can't get her away by myself-- and I was going to ask but.." he smiles grimly.

"Something gave me reason not to trust the judgement of the TDA."
Maximilien "You assume too much of me, monsieur, to think I will not understand, or that you are somehow so special that your world cannot be broken down and analyzed like every other. But I do not care enough to understand you; you do not desire to be understood, and would rather sit in your little box, protected from the world and 'most people'. I have no interest in the effort it would take to pry you out of it." Max is not a kind person when he doesn't want to be, that much is obvious. His voice is lilting and gentle and calm, but his words are harsh, cutting. He's dealt with people like this before. He just continues gazing off at the sunset, just as Riku has been.

Ah, we reach the heart of the matter. Max's fingers steeple in front of him; he leans back against the hotel, staring out over the cityscape as it rises. A friend trapped in a place of darkness. Well, that was certainly not his usual fare. Max shuts his eyes a moment later.

"If you help me to acquire a keyblade, monsieur, then I will help you acquire your friend. An even trade, I think - a meaningless trinket for something that clearly means all the world to you. I will do it discreetly, of course; they are conflicted and filled with assumptions and judgements. time, they could be great men. God willing."

"I am aware that my asking price is frankly quite ludicrous. However, I am also aware that you would not have come to me if you had anyone else to turn to. I am guessing that your allies have begun judging you as well, or are not possessed of the skillset you require for acts of /discretion/. I do not wish to extort you, monsieur; ordinarily I would ask for no payment at all."

"But I have need of it badly, as swiftly as possible, and I fear that the time I have may not be enough on my own."
Riku Riku snorts, seeming to be amused rather than offended. He is almost comforted by the cutting remarks. It gives him a place to stand. A wall or an obstacle to confront rather than a world of mist in which nobody and nothing seems familiar or reasonable.

Riku gets up from where he was sitting, backing a step away from the roof but then the first words hit him like a sledgehammer, sending his perspective reeling. "A meaningless trinket." the boy starts to laugh but this time he /can't/ stop. He puts a hand to his mouth as if to cram the bitter laughter mixed with genuine mirth back down his throat, but he simply can't help himself. "Then I suppose we have eachover over a barrel, don't we?" he wheezes this sentence out when he can get enough breath back into his lungs for his words to have any coherance at all.

His ribs ache from the pain of the sharp, indrawn chuckling that his laughter has morped into and he puts a hand around his side as if to keep himself together. "So I'll ask you for an additional and similarly meaningless price. You may not be interested in prying open boxes, but I'm a storyteller. I collect them. Tell me the story of whatever fight you've been in, and I'll help you. I think you'll find though-- that keyblades are slippery even as a concept." he holds out a hand as if to grasp something, and then lets it fall to his side. "You might even grasp one, and believe it is yours-- but who is to say."
Maximilien "Ah, but to you, it is a meaningless trinket, at least for now. It may be one of the most powerful objects in all the universe, and I suspect that it surely is...but compared to a friend, what object can possibly hold significance?" Max wags a finger over his shoulder. Still, he had made Riku laugh, something Riku probably hadn't done in a long time, and that was at least worth something. A genuine laugh for someone in a dark place was very important, as Max knew all too well.

"Ah, a fellow storyteller. Very well. I was attempting to assist Madamoiselle Emi with her fight against a nightmare man named Cronus. He decided to open every wound I have ever avoided in my life...simultaneously. And, well, I am not a terribly skilled fighter, monsieur - I do not much care for the art, and pacifism has its uses as much as bloodshed. I passed out shortly afterwards." Max gestures at the various bandages that can be seen peeking out from the tuxedo. They look...fairly extensive, so that at least pans out. "I am afraid that my good suit is stained quite an ugly red color with all of my blood. It may be ruined."

"I have a great deal of skill at holding on to slippery objects. Such a thing does not worry me. I have need of it, and therefore, I will acquire it."
Riku Riku finally looks over at Max for longer than a second or so for perhaps the first time in this entire conversation.

He narrows his eyes slightly as he listens to the story, head tilted very slightly to the right as he recrosses his arms. He has to snort every so often but the urge to start laughing about the meaningless trinket has ebbed.

He catches the tone in the last few words, perhaps because of a familiar note that he's used himself. "..Then I think, perhaps, we can do business."

This scene contained 13 poses. The players who were present were: Riku, Maximilien