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Empire of Dirt; Tagging Frogue; PM for entry
Topic Started: Aug 5 2016, 10:24 PM (639 Views)
Rorick Skyve
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((Maxim Kehlenbrink continued from Hearts of Irony))

Finally. How long had he waited now, standing secludedly, watching the two? Far too long, that was for certain. But still, he preferred this over the alternative, over having to approach Cristo and risk being pulled into a conversation with another person that way, one he didn't know one thing about to boot. The guy looked like he was involved with sports, already told him enough, namely that he had no desire to converse with him on that topic. Hell, judging from what he had just accomplished, he probably did nothing else besides sports in his life. Empty-headed, all brawn and no brains, a typical jock. Yes, definitely no one he would have wanted to get involved with.

So he had waited, twiddled his thumbs, praying that Cristo would finally break loose from the other boy and wander off alone, giving him a chance to finally talk to him. He had wanted to talk to him all afternoon, probably even longer than that, in fact. Something burning in his mind, questions waiting to be asked. The fact that he was actually willing to go to such lengths just to converse with his friend - clearly, he had to be fond of him, at least somewhat. These days, it was every so often that he seriously doubted if he even enjoyed the company of human beings at all. Exaggerated, yes, but not even that much.

And even though the last line of events had been...unusual, to say the least, stunning probably was the better term here, he still felt no need to bring himself into that situation. Yes, the other guy was visibly injured, but it wasn't like he was going to die if Maxim hadn't intervened. Could go and patch himself up, go to the school nurse, anything. Was a grown man after all. None of his business.

He turned his attention away from the injured one and looked back towards where his friend had walked off to. Cristo had sat down, all by himself. Perfect opportunity. Though Maxim did regret having to sit beside him now, somewhere out in the open, unshielded from curious eyes, he still deemed it to be the lesser evil. Laying in wait even longer would have exceeded even his steeled patience, no, approaching him now was the right step, no doubt.

A hand in his pocket, the other hanging limply beside his body, he started to walk towards the boy in the grass. The scene almost had something esthetically pleasing, he had to admit. Rays of the sun, the lush green of the grass and...well, Cristo sitting there. An actual artist could have described it far better, no doubt.

Many slow steps later, he stood directly behind his pal, who didn't seem to have noticed his presence yet. Was he shaking? Something did seem to be off about it him, something he couldn't quite put his finger on. Even from behind, that much was obvious. It was enough for Maxim to briefly consider walking off and leaving the boy to his troubles, but he quickly dismissed that. Still enough room to retreat later. He had a right to talk to his boy here and now and he would exercise it, plain and simple.

He cleared his throat, hoping this would be enough to get Cristo's attention. Deeming it too low in volume a mere second after, he immediately repeated it, louder this time.
Edited by Rorick Skyve, Aug 6 2016, 08:05 AM.
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Rorick Skyve
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Now, that was not how it had been supposed to go. Yes, there were still other people beside himself and Cristo around, but did one of them really have to decide to seek his friend's company now, at this very moment that he was trying to talk to him in private? Well, at least the intruding person could have been someone far worse and he meant far worse. There were enough halfwits and unpleasant ignorant apes about in Cochise, but Georgia Lee was certainly not one of them.

He noticed Cristo patting the grass on the other side of him. A very clear invitation, one which he was sure he' take, albeit reluctantly. Reluctantly, because really, the fact that he couldn't be alone with his friend for now upset him, it simply wasn't fair. But he had to take whatever was offered to him. The other option was excusing himself and leaving the scene, but that wasn't going to happen, not this time. He had a right to be here and he'd take it, no matter how many others would show up, his place was here by Cristo's side now.

Maxim simply nodded, first at Cristo, then at Georgia Lee. To say he liked her would have been a slight overstatement. He did appreciate her, if anything. She represented a type of human he could actually see himself get along with, one that would welcome him all the same. But he lacked the energy to pursue any sort of ongoing friendly relationship with her and as such, simply remaining distantly acquainted was enough to content him.

"Hello." He looked at neither Cristo nor Georgia when he said this, instead keeping his eyes fixed on the ground before him as he sat down next to his friend. He hoped this would be sufficient to have them both feel addressed by it. Yes, it probably had been.

He shifted around on the ground for a bit. Yes, his jeans was most likely going to acquire a peculiar shade of green at the bottom, but what did he care? Appearance was just as trivial to him as - well, many things he didn't feel like listing at the moment. For now, all he had to do was retain a certain presence within the trio and if not assert his dominance regarding the right to speak to Cristo, at least try and steer the conversation towards a direction of his own choosing.

He turned his head sideways, looking at Cristo's face. "I saw you a bit earlier, thought I'd join you. You don't mind having a talk right now, do you?"
Edited by Rorick Skyve, Aug 7 2016, 02:21 PM.
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Now that was convenient. Maybe it was just karma, a way of higher powers to repay him for all the inconveniences on the day thus far. Of course, he didn't believe that for a second, didn't even consider it as a possibility. But it felt good to have things go his way for once.

On the one hand, he wouldn't have minded Georgia Lee being around all too much, at least not until he got to ask Cristo certain things. Which would have been rather soon, so this really was for the best. He would still have opportunity to speak to her again at a later date. Or maybe not. Both ways worked for him.

"Same." He nodded in Georgia's direction as she left, then immediately focused his attention back on Cristo. The latter had just asked him a question, but he was still very much inclined to ignore it, just for the moment. Something had clearly bothered his friend, and while Maxim usually certainly wasn't the caring type, at least not with others, he felt a faint sense of responsibility. He had to at least bring it up, be what they called a good friend, though he was hoping Cristo would have him drop the subject immediately after. He wasn't the type who was able to give his friend any helpful advice, wasn't even good at cheering people up. Still, he had to ask, at least.

"I have something on my mind, yes, but that can wait for a second. I just wanted to ask you first, are you feeling alright? I don't mean to come off as prying, but it seems to me that something was or is worrying you."
Edited by Rorick Skyve, Aug 11 2016, 04:58 PM.
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There it was again, further evidence that unneeded pleasantries and courtesies didn't get one anywhere. His question seemed to have upset or rather annoyed Cristo, judging from his reaction. Either that or his friend was simply getting tired, but if he had to have guessed, he'd have said both.

Even though he still had the faint feeling that there was more to the story than Cristo let on, shrugging it off was undoubtedly the correct choice here. Speaking of choices, Maxim had to yet another one to make, namely whether or not he was going to address the subject head on, ask straight away. He was tempted to, very much so.

While thinking, his mind was momentarily distracted by the sight before him. His friend leaning down on both his hands, staring off into the distance, sunlight illuminating his face and body and a soft breeze blowing through his hair - it only confirmed what he had already been very certain about and shattered a single concern of his at the same time. No, he was definitely not attracted to this boy, in absolutely no way. Even with this current pose of his and all the environmental things going on, his thoughts on him remained very much the same. He was someone he liked spending time with, yes, someone he actually wanted to be around. And that was all.

Even so, the question burning in his mind felt like it was sprouted from more than just mere curiosity. He knew he had a reason for asking it, but he was not entirely clear on what exactly it was. Again, curiosity alone was possible, but unlikely. He did not care much for the relationships between other people, as long as they didn't concern him in any way. This was not the case here, he felt like he was involved and yet not involved at the same time. Maybe he would know once he had received an answer to it.

For now, all he knew was that he had been waiting to ask this question for quite some time and he was not afraid to, which was unusual. Confidence, especially in a situation such as this, it was not like him, not at all. It certainly wasn't the surrounding that did the trick, far too many people around for that, people that were possibly spying on him, watching him. The thought alone was enough to almost make him want to up and leave, but both his friend's presence and his own quest hindered him from doing so. In short, there was no reason for him to waste any more time, he'd just ask way.

Maxim didn't change his position, not at all. He kept sitting there, his legs bent with his arms wrapped around them, all while not taking his eyes off Cristo. "If you don't mind me asking: What do you think of Abby?"
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Rorick Skyve
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There it was, exactly the answer he had expected. Just friends. Of course they were, the two of them had known each other for far longer than he and Cristo had. It was only natural they were childhood friends, shared a deep bond. Spent a lot of time together, trusted in each other et cetera. Yes, that was all there was to it, harmless, really.

Ah, too easy. Did he really believe that, even for one second, believe that what Cristo had just told him was the truth and nothing but? Maxim was very much inclined to believe the opposite. He had watched them together. Yes, that day they had all worked together at Abby's place, that hadn't been the first time he noticed, but the time it had been the most obvious to him. The way his friend had looked, that peculiar look in his eyes, there was no doubt to him there was more behind that. It had to be, there was no conceivable way for him to be that spectacularly misguided in his judgment.

Still, Cristo's follow-up question was not unfounded, not at all. Why did he ask? Again, he was very certain that his own feelings for the boy were everything but romantic, a simple case of him having acquired a liking for him, plain and simple. So why did the subject of Cristo potentially being in love with someone bother him that much? Jealousy would have been the natural assumption but- no, it didn't make any sense, not like this.

Still, he had gone so far, had been so bold to directly face his friend with that question and stopping or faltering now would have equaled a testament of his own lack of direction or certain motive. He had to push on and doing so would mean having to ignore his friend's inquiry. If that was the price, then so be it.

"Are you sure? I mean...well, I don't really know how to put it, but- I just feel there's something more to it. Well..." This was awkward, absolutely was. But the only one witnessing it was Cristo and...he was okay with that.

"Are you sure you...don't think there's more?"
Edited by Rorick Skyve, Aug 12 2016, 05:09 PM.
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"Hm."

It was all Maxim said in response, nodding, then supporting his own head with one arm. It did seem to him like Cristo was telling the truth. A boy like him, he probably didn't think too much about many things, especially not those concerning the romantic realm.

Still, that only meant that he was harboring feelings he was unaware of, he was certain of it. Even though, he, Maxim, knew next to nothing about love, he did assert to be able to recognize it when witnessing it. After watching Casablanca countless times, the image of dedication and devotion in those characters' eyes had convinced him that he knew what love was, what it had to look like from the outside.

Of course, it was not such an extreme case with Cristo. He had merely noticed the glances he had occasionally thrown Abby's way back then, hints of wistfulness and something else. It had to be and most important of all, Maxim had no idea how he himself was to feel about it. It was quite possible that he alone was currently setting the two up for each other or something of that sort. And yet, was it not his goal to spend more time with Cristo himself, spend time in the company of the one boy whom he didn't mind being around him?

Maybe that was it. Maybe he was being jealous because Cristo enjoyed her company more than his. It was possible. Childish in a way thus regrettable, but very possible. However, stopping right now, again, would have just felt wrong. He had stirred his friend's feelings, that much was certain. Now, he had to go all the way, until he had gotten to the bottom of this. If not out of necessity, maybe out of curiosity, a welcome change of motive.

"Maybe you should." He blew a single strand of hair out of his own face, licking his lips. The sun did feel quite nice on his skin. Almost made him forget the people that were still out here, around them.

"Thinking about it might help you, or it might not. Maybe try it, can't hurt you, I'd say. Still, in the end, it's your call."
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Maxim nodded. He was staring off into the distance, though not really looking anything in particular. It was that particular state, where one's own thoughts somehow managed to override all other senses and thus effectively rendered him blind. His eyes were open, but they might have as well been closed.

He could still push on. To what end, even he wasn't certain anymore. He had given Cristo an incentive to ponder about things, no doubt. Ponder about how he felt about Abby. It dawned on Maxim that maybe he had made a mistake. If the result of Cristo's pondering was what he feared it might be, then Maxim had only himself to blame. He had gone on to pursue a line of questioning without truly thinking about the consequences - out of curiosity, nothing else. Or maybe it really had been jealousy that drove him to this. Wanting to make sure his friend harbored no feelings for that girl, pressing on until all doubts had been erased from his mind.

Well, he had certainly achieved that. Cristo's reaction wasn't that of someone who found Maxim's question to be strange in how ludicrous they were, no. It was evident that he had hit several nerves, probably even opened the boy's eyes. He had opened the door for Cristo to go and form an even stronger bond with Abby, just like that. And possibly kicked off a chain of events that would make him, Maxim, become irrelevant to Cristo in the long run. Fade away from his life, like a glorified third wheel. He couldn't bear the thought.

Maxim still didn't move, didn't even turn his head towards Cristo. Not even the usual frown was visible on his features, he was just sort of sitting there with a completely apathetic expression on his face. Deep inside, he was completely and utterly disappointed with himself.

"You're welcome." His voice was barely above a mutter.
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Maxim turned his head towards his friend, then nodded. "Alright. See you later."

At least he couldn't be mad at Cristo, no reason to. He had only himself to blame and that was far more preferable than the alternative, really. Cristo, he was conscientious, as he demonstrated just now. A bit moony now and then, but not naive or even neglectful. He respected that. More than he could say for most people, even some which he called his friends.

As he watched the other boy walk off into the distance, it struck him almost immediately that he suddenly felt lonely. He was used to being alone, most of the time in his own room, but he rarely ever felt lonely. Never, really. But now that he was no longer in the company of Cristo, he could very well feel it, that blend of incompleteness and subtle longing. Yeah, had to be loneliness. And he was pretty sure he did not like it.

Of course, he could have gone after him, offered to hang around him for some more time. Knowing Cristo, he probably wouldn't have objected. But despite the state he was in, Maxim still feel- well, lazy, as always. He was more inclined to simply leave the ground he was on and go look for a bench somewhere, some place he could rest without dozens of people swarming about. In fact, that sounded like the first reasonable plan he had put together that day.

Moving somewhat sluggishly, he lifted himself off the ground and into a standing position. He glanced in the direction that Cristo had gone off to one last time, then left to accomplish his newest quest.

((Maxim Kehlenbrink, end of pregame))
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