|It's Not Stalking, It's Research|
|Location||Bullseye Bodega - Mutant Town|
|Summary||While tailing Christian, Maxim and Alexandra discuss important things: fireworks, top shelf tequila, and sad kids.|
They've been at it for a little bit, although not too long for Lexie to get antsy yet. Maxim has been sworn to secrecy as far as exactly what it is they're doing, what with following Ciel's long-lost half-brother without her knowledge, but he's so agreeable, so. They're not actually inside the bodega, but rather in front of it: Lexie has angled Maxim in such a way again the wall that she can get quite a good view of the shop through the window, while appearing to outsiders to be doing nothing so much as snuggling up to her boyfriend. Don't worry, public displays of affection make other people uncomfortable. "So," she says, arms about his waist but her gaze subtly angled to watch Christian through the glass, "where do you think he got that shiner?"
Maxim is possibly the least subtle tail a person could have; he's huge (1) and he's also not very good at looking like he's not looking at someone. When Lexie asks her question, he twists his head around to look at Christian for a second before answering her. (SO SUBTLE MAX) "Maybe soccer game? Or rogue flautist in band?" (Where did he learn the word 'flautist'?)
"Oh my God, Max, if you keep doing that I'm leaving you at home next time." Lexie reaches up to tap the side of his face to direct him back at her. "Either he's a troublemaker or he's a bully magnet," she disagrees/guesses. "Or both. This is so weird."
"He is in band," Maxim rumbles, happy to look back at her. He drops his head to give a light kiss to the top of hers. See, they're just snuggling, it's fine! "I watch American movies. Band kids get slushies thrown on them."
"I don't know that that's a /constant/ -- /hey/." Lexie's eyes go a little wider, and she reaches a hand up to Maxim's cheek in anticipation of him trying to crane around and see what she's watching. "/Somebody/ just pocketed something. I think he's going to get away with it, too, I don't think anyone noticed."
His head tries to turn -- well, she just said 'hey!', anyone would turn -- but Maxim stops at the touch of her hand. His eyes slide as far sideways as they can to try and look, though. He doesn't see anything. "How is his technique? Not so good, if you saw him. Tsch."
"No, it's pretty good. I saw him because I'm super skilled and also I'm /watching/ him." Lexie pinches at Maxim's waist, because he's a cutie. "I mean, he's not as good as /me/. But, as I said, I'm /super/ skilled."
"I would steal with you any time," Maxim agrees. It's (sort of?) a compliment, given his past work history. "Though we boosted cars and trucks more than small things in shops. I wonder why he steals? He has some money, yes?"
"I mean, I don't know. His school's pretty nice, but his mom's cleaning toilets as far as I can tell, and his dad's rotting in prison where he belongs, so." Lexie gnaws on her bottom lip, looking thoughtful. "Getting in fights, shoplifting. Not particularly upstanding, huh."
"Ah, this I understand." Maxim lifts his chin, saying simply, "He is hurting and lost. When you feel this way, your decisions -- they are not made wisely. It is impulse and anger and..." He pauses, looking for the words, and says, finally, "Looking. For something better to feel. For anchor."
Alexandra is quiet for a moment, her hand lingering at Maxim waist. Her fingers are warm through his shirt. Finally she says, "It really doesn't help when you make me think of little schoolage Max like that. I don't even know if Ciel's going to decide to let him into her life."
He's quiet a moment, before spreading his fingers out and pressing them lightly against Alexandra's back in acknowledgment of her touch. "It is different here. Even without her, he might find his way. Maybe find teacher, mentor. Someone like this. The young, they are resilient."
"I mean, I'm totally on Ciel's side here, and just because he's sad and young doesn't mean she /has/ to meet him," Lexie reasons slowly as she watches the bruised boy through the window, "but he's all -- sad and young."
"Da, he is." Maxim looks down, pressing his lips together. "I could...talk to him. I do not need to mention Ciel. Maybe he needs friend."
"No!" Lexie frowns up at him. "Max! We're on a job." A job she made up and hired herself for. "I have to -- figure out if he's safe. For Ciel. We are Ciel's friends, not his."
Maxim looks a tad skeptical at the label of 'friend', but by the boyfriend transitive property of friendship it's true enough, so he nods. "Okay. I follow your lead." Even if he turns the quickest little glance over his shoulder again to look through the glass of the bodega's window. Sad kids, man. Gets him every time.
"Ugh, I can't take you anywhere," Lexie complains. "Oh, he's coming outside, make out with me." She reaches up to curve her fingers around his face and tug him down to her mouth. Hello. See, tailing people can be fun!
See, even if he wasn't /usually/ agreeable, this is one request he basically always obliges. Maxim slides his arm around her to get a sturdy grip and leans down to kiss her back, letting her set the pace in case she needs to spy on the poor teenager some more while she's doing it.
Even though she's working, Lexie does take a moment to enjoy herself: she laces her fingers all through his hair and opens her mouth to his to thoroughly ravish his lips. By the time she pulls back she's looking just a touch distracted. "Okay. Um." What was she doing. Oh yeah. "Which way did he go?" Since Maxim has the overhead view that's facing out onto the street where Christian's now wandering.
"There," Maxim jerks his chin to the left, looking sort of dorkily proud that he had the presence of mind to actually pay attention to the kid's directions. "I think he goes toward subway?"
"Ugh," Lexie says at the prospect of more traveling. "Maybe I've seen him be sad and pathetic enough for one day." She tugs on the hair at his nape. "What do you think?"
"It is getting late -- usually he goes home and eats, yes? So, this is boring. We could go out. Get pizza. Have drink." Maxim slides his hands down just a tiny bit, arching an eyebrow in invitation. "Go dancing? There must be clubs where they do not know how good you are at dancing yet."
"Nnng." Lexie looks very tempted by the mention of /dancing/. "That seems so celebratory while people are having trauma over weird hypnosis mutant girl and dads who ran off and made new families like assholes." She does stroke fingers absently up his abdomen over his shirt, though.
"We could anger dance. Express rage to loud music?" Maxim offers, eyes crinkling as he smiles, "But if you would rather go home, I think I could find something to do."
"I can't /imagine/ what you're talking about," Lexie says all proper-like. "No, I don't want to go home. I /do/ think I want a drink, though." She considers, hand finding his to lace their fingers.
"Okay. I buy you drink. Maybe," Maxim squeezes her hand and heads towards one of the better bars (in terms of quality) in the general vicinity. He knows most of 'em. "-- I buy you /two/."
"Oooh, /two/ drinks." Lexie goes starry-eyed just imagining. "Is this for that thing I did during your blowjob the other day? I mean, I /do/ think it warrants two drinks if just for the level of skill displayed."
"And level of difficulty, da. Very impressive." Maxim laughs. "For this I would buy you bottle."
"Aw, that's sweet." Lexie pulls her hand from their lace so she can wind it through his arm and lean on him in an obnoxious manner. "But, like -- a /nice/ bottle? Or are we talking well tequila?"
"Top shelf for you, iskra. Always." Maxim drops another kiss atop her head and looks entirely too pleased with himself to anyone who might be looking. "I am luckiest man in New York."
(New BB message (12/8) posted to 'Character Announcements' by GameWiz: Welcome Arturo!)
"Honey, you can't afford to always get me bottles of top shelf tequila," Lexie says, all reasonable. "You might be the /tallest/ man," she offers up cheerfully. "Although probably not. I'm sure someone in the city is like seven feet probably."
"Oh, yes. Kevin. He works for post office." Maxim says this easily. "We meet at Tall People meeting. It is support group for people who bang heads on door frames and cannot fit in cabs." He looks down and says gruffly, "I do not have much to spend money on and I work hard. I like to buy things for you."
"That sounds like a super sad support group," Lexie opines solemnly. "Almost as sad as my Too Awesome People club. It's tough being awesome." She sighs a little, all 'what am I going to do with you.' "You have rent in New York City. And twice as much food as a normal person needs." A little out of nowhere, she asks, "Do you like fireworks?"
"Yes?" Maxim's expression baffles utterly, but he goes along with it, of course. "You do not need to worry about me. I have budget spreadsheet. It is comprehensive." (you are such a nerd, max)
"Ugh, /spreadsheets/." Lexie looks briefly distracted in her horror and disgust. (Horgust?) "Don't talk about that again." (She probably has to keep them for her work finances. It's probably awful.) Back to the point: "Do you like barbecues? What about celebrations of overthrowing tyranny?"
"I am big fan of fire and meat, da. And tyranny is overrated. Why?" Maxim catches on and then looks down at her, "Oh, do you mean the Independence Day? It is in July, yes?"
"Yeah." Lexie goes quiet a moment, considering as she gnaws on her bottom lip some more. "My family does a big thing every year. Barbecue. It used to be full of X-Force people. It's where I met Ciel for the first time."
"And you have fireworks? Yourself?" Maxim dimples thoughtfully, "I have seen the fireworks shows above the river, but I did not know that families made their own. That sounds very fun."
"Oh. No, not actually, but you can see them from the backyard. Dad used to do stuff with electricity, but that was cooler when I was a kid before I could do it myself." Lexie pauses a beat. "Although now I /want/ to do our own fireworks." She shakes her head. "Anyways. Um. Do you think you'd want to -- come? Maybe? I mean, Tom might be there and he's an asshole, but." She ducks her head, actually looking a little nervous to ask.
Maxim is quiet for a good fifteen, twenty seconds. It seems a lot longer when you're waiting for a response. "Are you sure? I do not want to upset-- I mean. If you are sure? I would like it. Very much."
"What would you upset?" Lexie says, suddenly defensive on his behalf, still tense from the adrenaline of her nerves.
"Your parents?" Maxim ventures. It's quiet. Much lower than he usually speaks. There's a moment, there, where that hint of vulnerability peeks out, the legacy of his past. Parents and Max -- well. It's never gone well in the past.
"Well." Lexie /does/ consider that. "I mean, my dad gets upset at literally everyone I date. He just doesn't really like -- people. But that's not personal. And my mom's super chill! Like, swear to God, Tom got all of his grump from his dad, not her."
"I will do my best, then. I do not want to cause trouble for you, if it can be helped." Maxim lifts his chin and says this far too solemnly for the topic at hand. It's a barbecue, not the invasion of Stalingrad. "But yes, this sounds like it would be very good. I am...curious. I think I would like to meet your family very much."
"Oh my God, you're not going to cause /trouble/ for me. I'm not fifteen and living at home, Max." There's something wearily fond about the smile Lexie slants up at him. "Just assume that my dad won't like you and anything else will be a pleasant surprise. Honestly, I think he just doesn't like anyone bigger than he is. And assume my mom will flirt with you and say inappropriate things. And assume the twins will be obnoxious shitheads." She shrugs, but there's too much tension lingering in her muscles for it to be as casual as she'd like.
He grins, that shit-eating ridiculous grin he gets when he's both relieved and also yanking her chain. A little. "Okay. I will take notes before hand. Will there be quiz to prepare? I am good at quizzes." Maxim covers her hand on his arm with his own and says lightly, "Come, top shelf, let us get drink."
"I'm not giving you a /quiz/ for my /family/, Max!" Lexie insists, voice traveling up the scale. "Just -- I don't know, talk to dad about cars. Who cares, it's two months away." With that, she hunches her shoulders and gets that stubborn set to her jaw. "Good," she grumbles.Maxim totally makes a mental note to practice up on his cars -- not that he needs much practice, but then, there's always room for improvement -- and if he squeezes her hand again while they walk, maybe it is just the least little bit more firm.