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No title.
(2013-01-29 - 2013-01-30)
No description.
Maximilien It's been a long night on the Traverse Town. Maximilien Amadeus Renaud-Sylvianne actually kept his head down this time; he didn't go out in his flamboyant tuxedo and opera cape ensemble, he didn't go steal anything, he didn't go cause any sort of real trouble. He got into a bit of a barfight, perhaps, judging by the bit of drying blood on his knuckles, but that's about the extent of it - and given Max is a pacifist, it's unlikely he threw the first punch, or did anything worse than punch a fellow in the nose and then offer him a glass to calm him down.

The guards hadn't even come to get involved, so it wasn't like the TDA was going to hear about it anyway!

Max returns to the agency the way he usually does - by way of the roof. He hops from the nearest roof to land on the Cloud Nine, a supernaturally high leap, his unbuttoned button-down shirt flowing around him like his cape in a most satisfying manner before he lands. He crouches on one knee, then stands and dusts himself off, a self-satisfied smile on his face.
Percival It was a rare occasion that the Gargoyle didn't stand on his Oh so archaic propriety. However, as he stared at the bottom of his second bottle of Riesling, the very idea of ascribing to his usual behavior felt utterly absurd. What a shame! Good thing he brought a third. Or was that six? No, no definitely nine. His vision certainly wasn't blurring after only two bottles, after all he could handle his wine, couldn't he? It was an unusual sight, to see him sitting upon the side of the rooftop, filling up wine glass. Two others lay shattered on the rooftop behind him. What you thought he'd drink out of the bottle? Even in this state he wasn't a savage!

Sighting Max, or at the very least, the finely dressed gentleman who looks like Max, he saluted him with the glass of wine. "Ho, Sirrah. Care to join the celebration? I'm quite sure that Umi placed you on my guest list."

He didn't rise from the ledge, opting instead to motion him over. "I'd offer you a glass, but you made your preferences quite clear."
Maximilien "I was not aware your kind could properly drink," Maximilien observes, and it's pretty obvious that he actually means Englishmen and not Gargoyles just from the wry smile on his face as he walks forward. He pokes at the broken glass with his foot thoughtfully, examining it for a moment. Well, the other man was certainly.../efficient/ disposing of liquor? That was something like a plus.

Max hops over the ledge, landing on the thin outcropping below it delicately; he sits down, stretching out along it so he can look up at Percival. "Oui, monsieur. Alcohol is a dangerous thing in the hands of any man. To wit, earlier this evening, I decided to go see how normal people spent their time, and went to a bar. A gentleman was standing with a very attractive young lady; I took her hand, kissed it as is proper for an introduction, and mentioned how lovely she looked, and invited her to dance the usual way."

"Spinning her into my arms and moving onto the dance floor," Max clarifies.

"The large gentleman who was with her, whom I assume had imbibed generously due to the smell lingering about his clothing, decided to take offense. When I assured him that all was well, he attempted to strike me, though it was incredibly clumsy."

Max gestures at the town offhandedly, allowing one of his feet to dangle off the already thin outcropping. "So I ducked him, delivered a blow to his chin, laid him out on the floor, then apologized profusely to the young lady and the other patrons and took a walk."

The part he's not saying is that he also took the guy's money out of his pocket in the space between the duck and the uppercut; the other part he's not saying is that he then turned it over to the man's girlfriend and encouraged her to keep him from having any more drinks tonight. Max doesn't...really enjoy his kindness showing to people he knows. It's a weird, personal, private quirk, but it's the sort of man he is.

Max's eyebrow rises. "Have you been drinking up here all evening?"
Percival "For shame sir! You malign us. If nothing else, we are very 'proper' when we drink. Properly drinking is another matter." The Gargoyle snerks before he swishes around the glass in an exaggerated manner as if to punctuate the joke.

"Ah, 'tis a dangerous thing in the hands of any 'man'. Not so much amongst my kind. It takes far more of it to overwhelm our constitution. We don't have to suffer the ill-effects of the vice afterwards. And we don't tend to have our livers rot away as a result. But, aye, it is still a dangerous habit, for the loss of 'wits'." He takes a long sip from the wine glass, followed by wiping his mouth on his arm, a handkerchief serving as a napkin sits at his side, long since forgotten.

"But, that is not always so very terrible, after all, I'm not such a rogue that I must keep my head at all times lest it be lopped off by angry dupes and marks." He makes a 'tsk'ing sound. "Ah see, t'was the drink that was your salvation after all from the jealous gentleman. And no doubt it allowed you a turn about the dance floor with yon fair maiden. Not that you were taking advantage of her Sir, certainly not. I'm sure you made it a night to remember for her."

He roars with laughter. "Oh nay, only 'most' of the eve. Why 'tis Remembrance day after all. Or at least, close enough. 'Tis hard to keep track of our world's time here."
Maximilien Max can't help but chuckle at Percy's overdramatic Britishy swishing. Really, he liked the English a lot more than he pretended to; hate was the kind of thing people who had more time on their hands did, to fill the void, not the kind of thing a busy man with a lot of hobbies and jobs and of course an active night life did. There just...wasn't enough time in the day to hate people.

And, really, he sort of liked Percy. He wasn't quite as stuffy as Max had expected, and that was good, because Percy was a member of the TDA now, and even if Max was kind of a smug jackass, he was a /principled/ smug jackass. He looked out for his own, in his own ways; he had joined them, and though he considered himself not really part of them - outside looking in - he was still fiercely protective of them. They were good people, doing good things, and they deserved to be safe and looked after from all the sorts who might take advantage of them.

Max wasn't a good person. He didn't do good things. But he still accepted that.

"I shall take your word for it, monsieur; I know very little about Gargoyles, though I admit you are a fascinating race." A coin falls into his hand; Max runs it along his fingers as he looks out over the city, just a habitual bit of practice. He had long, slender fingers - delicate fingers, pickpocket's fingers, piano player's fingers, the sort of fingers you saw on upper-class people who spent no time in the mud, or on lower-class people who had learned how to avoid the mud and get by on other peoples' hard work. He fiddles with the coin thoughtfully, still staring out at the city; it was a pretty place, and in its own way, reminded him of Paris, though it was a far cry from Paris-

"Monsieur, I have never yet taken advantage of a woman, and I never shall." He waves his free hand at the air, the coin skipping along his knuckles and jumping into said free hand; he snatches the coin out of the sky.

It'd be too easy, really. He was good-looking, he was /very/ good-looking, he was clever, he was sharp-witted and sharp-tongued, he knew how to make people listen and believe him; if he was a predator, if he had ever been the sort of social predator that skulked through the underbelly of human society...honestly, it frightened him a little bit. He wasn't sure he could ever be so detached, so sociopathic, so willing to discard people for his own satisfaction. He was manipulative, sure; he was even good about it. But...

Max shakes his head. "Remembrance day, is it? I shall take your word for it. Time has meant very little to me for quite"

"Who better, after all, to keep watch than a great stone sundial statue?"
Percival "Fascinating are we? Like a museum piece. A relic of times the world would like to forget, and yet we seem to have the tenacity of cockroaches." Percival looks ahead with a thoughtful look, murmuring mostly to himself. "No, you just can't quite finish us off. It took our world being consumed to nearly manage it."

Watching Max play with the coin through with a rheumy gaze, he manages a smile. Though to someone so good at reading people like Max, it would almost seem like he is trying too hard. "Oh heaven forbid that I imply anything of the sort. You're the principled sort. I've always seen that in you. Do you think I'd work with you if I didn't? I may be naive, blissfully ignorant, and frequently the fool, but I'm not 'that' terrible at reading people given enough time."

His visage takes on a wistful look as the conversation takes another turn. "Oh aye, Remembrance day. Have I never told you the tale? 'Twas the first time I was offered Knighthood, but that's skipping ahead. Like all good stories, the prologue deals with a ravishing young maiden by the name of Gwyndolyn. A good Welsh name if I've ever heard one. Her skin, was the purest of ivory. Her hair, like spun gold. Her eyes! My friend, they would put all the purloined emeralds of the world to shame. Gargoyle she may have been, but if you had seen her, you might have given up your profession on the spot." He winks, and nudges him. "But that isn't what interests you is it? She had all of that as well. While she was gentle in her domestic pursuits, she was the most formidable Dame that you might have ever met. I don't think that on my best day I could have overcome her on her worst. She was that amazing, to the point where all of the squires were 'frightened' of the mere thought of facing her in a friendly spar. Oh not I. My cowardice was of a different nature."
Maximilien Max doesn't say anything about finishing off gargoyles or anything like that. He might make a joke about the English but not right now, not really...the time. Max fiddles with the coin some more, as Percy mentions that he'd always seen good character in Max, and Max shakes his head. There was that distinct sense that Percy was full of crap, but he doesn't say anything.

"We have spoken all of three times in person, monsieur," Max points out a moment later as the Gargoyle asks if he's told Max the story. "I think you must be drunk."

Then Percy goes on about the woman, and Max frowns. And his frown deepens. And then it deepens some more, until it's practically threatening to fall off his face. He stands up, balancing precariously on the ledge - or rather, precariously to anyone who isn't him, because he knows how to balance, how to dangle, and how to stand on the smallest of things without problem. So he stands on the ledge, hands in his pockets like he's standing on solid ground without a care in the world.

"Mmm." The look on his face says pretty much everything about how he feels about this story; it's only politeness that's keeping him listening.
Percival "Three? Only three times. That 'is' a wonder, given my track record. Most are frightened off before the first conversation. The ones that aren't frightened are typically disgusted by the first, and the rest, they don't survive the second conversation. Mayhaps my stuffiness is smothering them. Three times means that we must be lifelong friends." He chortles again, taking a sip from the wine glass.

"How insensitive of me though. I won't speak anymore on what made her special. Just that I was a terrible coward. She wanted pursuit of courtship, and I never was able to tell her how I felt. I think she always thought of me as a little brother, and nothing more, even though we were hatched mere days apart. And then on glorious Remembrance day...."

The smile vanishes so suddenly that Max would swear it never existed in the first place. "The Irishmen bombed a celebration meant to honor those who lost their lives in service of the Crown. Twelve good souls lost their lives. Dozens more were injured. And unlike the good Gordon Wilson, our government just wasn't able to forgive that. As it turned out, we wouldn't have to. Their own allies became turncoats in droves. We found the ones responsible within hours of the tragedy." He seemed positively melancholic now, as he looked away from Max, groping for another bottle.
Maximilien Max is just silent. He knows what Percy is driving at, he understands the point of the story fine - he just doesn't particularly like it. He keeps his annoyance well-masked, for the most part; he's very, very, very, very good at stepping out of himself and taking a situation objectively. It's what made him good at what he did. It's what made him able to change faces and names and identities and everything else like most people changed clothes; he could just...not be in his own body for long periods of time, just let himself work on autopilot and mentally be /elsewhere/. Not literally, of course, but...that was what it was like, just stepping outside himself to observe the situation impassively. It was when he couldn't - when he wasn't willing to - that Max had...issues.

"Sorry," Max replies, in the way a person who probably is sorry but has no real connection to the event and no real emotional connection to the event can't really ever truly empathize, and probably isn't really trying might say sorry. He's pretty sure he knows where this is going, but...still.
Percival "Oh don't apologize, they're not the monsters in this tale." Percival pops the cork with his talon, and takes a longer pull this time; as if it were some tankard of ale, the joke about 'properly drinking' came to mind. Max could swear that half the bottle was drained in a matter of seconds.

"This is all a state secret of course. To this day the people of Great Britain think the perpetrators went unpunished, and the Irish don't try to correct them. They were just as ashamed of the incident as we were horrified. 'Twas the nature of the Troubles. State secrets lose all their meaning when the state doesn't even exist any longer." Now he takes a swig right out of the bottle. "I still remember how proud we were, ready to avenge the country we'd loyally served. Crashing into that warehouse, meting our justice upon them. Good triumphing over evil and all that rot. And it was 'rot'. Our orders were to dispose of them all, but our briefing neglected to mention that one of the cell's members was a young lad, couldn't have been more than fourteen years of age. Facing down monsters of legend with gleaming swords, he just....froze. He dropped his gun. And I just couldn't do it."

The pain on his expression was clear. "Have you ever had a moment in your life where time just slows down? It happened right behind the boy. She didn't see his fellow raise his rifle at her back. And the boy, he just stood there, blocking my way. I couldn't stop it. And then, her Knightly master killed the man who fired the shot, robbing me of my vengeance." He puts the bottle down as gingerly as possible, but it slides off the roof ledge back onto the rooftop, draining most of the remainder upon the stonework. "Had I not been the better 'man' she'd still be here. And then the gesture that was so virtuous, so magnanimous turned out to be all for naught. I don't remember those few precious seconds after she fell. What I do remember, is that before we left, the boy's head was naught but a sanguine mess upon the ground, his body looked as if it were mauled by some savage beastie of legend."

He stares at Max momentarily, perhaps he could sense that the man didn't particularly care for the tale, but it didn't matter to him any longer. "The point of the tale isn't what I lost, my sin was so great that I did not even have time to mourn her. The point of the tale is that I am 'not' the better man. I'm a murderer of children, Sir." He says this in an entirely matter of fact way.

"And thus the monster finds himself envying the thief. For at least the Thief can look himself in the mirror every day, and despite his failings, is able to like himself on occasion. That I could ever be a Knight? That is the farce that makes this tale a comedy in the denouement."
Maximilien Max remains silent for a very long time. He listens to the story, though he's not sure what to make of it; how could he be? He couldn't possibly empathize with something like this. He was completely out of his depth, though in a completely different way from last night, when he had been vulnerable in a way that had earnestly scared him, /really/ terrified him that he could ever be that vulnerable with another human being, that he could ever be that...way. This was a completely different, an awkward sort of out-of-depth where he just didn't know what to make of the situation or what to say or...anything. He just stands there, quietly, taking in the twist from what he had been expecting, and once again, Percy sort of caught him unawares. The coin disappears into his pocket, and he closes his eyes, thinking for a very long moment as he steps back..../into/ the situation. He stands there for a very long moment, and then, he repeats "I'm sorry."

There were other things he could've said, of course, a lot of other things he could've said...but all of them would've been showing something that he had already gotten burned for showing just a hint of. No, there was no point to making that mistake again.

Max rocks on his heels, a look of actual discomfort showing on his face as he does so. It's similar to the one he had last night, but fundamentally different, mostly because he wasn't in love with or concerned about Percy on a deep and unsettling level that legitimately bothered him. So he stands there, with that look on his face...and then he takes a step forward and drops, catching himself on the ledge and swinging inside. He didn't really know what else to do.

So he did what he does best - run away, before he made a mistake again.

This scene contained 11 poses. The players who were present were: Maximilien, Percival