We Spent Some Time Together
Prompt: Nothing Like You and I, The Perishers
This was for the flashfic! Contest on the SpinMax forum. Unfortunately, I'm definitely a slow writer. For a hour I crammed this as quickly as I could, and most of it was last minute. It gets rushed at the end. Hope it makes sense! Um…as for the prompt…I guess it really doesn't have a lot to do with it. But it sort of does, abstractly. Maybe. It inspired me, totally, although this started off as something completely different than the outcome.
Also! As a little note, in case you don't know, Ilsa and Rick are characters from Casablanca, and Jake and Evelyn are the characters from Chinatown.
Everything that Maxie is, everything that she does is explosive, over-the-top. Including grief. Sometimes Spinelli imagines she's got enough of it, heavy and heartbreaking, to drown Port Charles and every last person in it. He wants to be there when that dam finally breaks, cracks and crumples away, if only so he can help pick the pieces up.
"I'm not grieving." She says to him, a mockery of sweetness and calm, as if the beast of grief is a monster that can be controlled. Maxie is all tired fury and dark eyes, but her flame, savage and hot, is as unwavering as ever, spurned by her loss and determination. She is so very, very wounded, but Spinelli wavers across from her, and he imagines that warmth would burn his fingers if they crept too close.
She is still very much The Bad Blonde One, but her eyes are all leaky and her mascara is running, and when the ringlet of hair that falls across her face for just a moment catches his eye, she looks like someone he's never laid eyes on. She denies that pain, bottles it up, and looks Spinelli straight in the eyes with such a fierceness that he's not sure exactly what emotion it provokes. Fear, yes, but mostly something he won't identify.
They're sitting in that cramped space, only just illuminated by a nearby streetlight, and Spinelli pretends he doesn't see the lines around her eyes and the firm set of her lips. She's still just too viscous, like an angry animal.
He's frozen in her gaze, held by it's solemnity. Who knows what goes through the mind of Maxie Jones these days, as if she was ever easy to understand in the first place. "You know, this isn't a game." She tells him, with an underlay of indignation that tells him she honestly believes he might think it is.
When she kisses him, it's like someone shoves a magnet next to his hard-drive. A memory blank, everything scrambling. It's not Holy Toledo Maxie Jones is kissing me, because he doesn't even get that far. For that moment and several after, his circuits are fried.
She's violated his bubble, touched a trigger that he hadn't wanted her to. God, he just knows he won't get over this.
He's a sputtering mess on the inside. "..warned me before you appended your lips to my face!" There went rule 17 down the drain.
What strange forces rule the universe.
He's got so much work to do, everybody wants something. He starting to think the whole PI thing might be too much for his mainframe. He keeps thinking of the way Ilsa smiled at Rick, the way Jake held Evelyn, and he thinks, yeah, that could be him and Maxie. Should be.
Except it shouldn't, he reminds himself sharply, especially when she's sitting across from him looking perfectly poised and a total wreck at the same time.
"I'm volunteering at the hospital again." Maxie tells him over her coffee. "But I don't start again for a few more weeks."
"Are –are you sure that's a good idea? I-I mean, the Wise Georgie was often with the Wounded Blonde One a-at—" If I just think of her as the Faithful Friend's Sister, Spinelli tells himself, I couldn't possibly see her as anything more.
"I'll be a better person." Maxie circles a wet spot on her napkin with a finger. "And---um..I'm going to try to be a nicer person too. Like, go figure."
He can remember Maxie being nice. And it was wrong. She's perfect the way she is.
Shut up, he tells the stupid part of his brain. "Maxie…you are a good person." She scoffs. "No, I mean—everybody is different—has different serial codes and everything. The Wounded Blonde One is—is just fine the way she is."
"Even when I act like a total blonde?" She asks him, starting to smile. He simpers across from her.
They make a sight, the two of them. Nobody beside them has occupied this table for days because, well, they've been in it. Moping. Trying to figure out this unsolvable riddle as if it would make everything better.
They're quite a pair. "Well geez," Mike sighs when he refills their coffee, "the two of you need to perk up. I think you're scaring off other customers with your dark clouds." He doesn't say shouldn't you be at work, Maxie or why don't you take a look at the blender, Spinelli? Because he's tried that and they just aren't affected.
Spinelli hacks with half enthusiasm and Maxie chips away at her nail polish. He doesn't want to be near her almost as much as he really, really wants to be with her, but he can't stay at the penthouse because Stone Cold already kicked him out for making the whole place miserable. And if she just happens to always be here when he arrives ,well, it would just be rude to sit somewhere else, right?
It's not so strange for Maxie's number to flash on his cell phone's screen. Maybe she's found a clue or she has an idea that she wants to tell him about the ever-elusive TMK. Usually their meetings are impromptu, but if Maxie needs to see him….He should say no, but the Jackal's will isn't built to resist that sort of temptation.
"Georgie's gone." Maxie tells him when he arrives at the park, before he even has a chance to ask about the change in meeting place. "Like B.J. and Jesse."
"..It..it is a most unfortunate loss…" he stutters, and puts an arm around her awkwardly. The bench is frozen under them and Maxie is still a fire, smoldering embers that Spinelli would gladly touch if it meant he'd get some of her warmth.
"Coop too." She sniffs and leans into him. He holds her closer, tightly, while she sobs into his jacket.