Note: Amazingly, it took me longer to make a title and summary than it did to write this whole thing. That's a secret talent of mine. Anyway, this is a gift for a friend of mine: AzikaRue394 for multiple reasons. Through our in-depth conversations about MaxMariam this thought sprung out of nowhere. Literally… nowhere. I don't know where it came from. As well, she wrote me a drabble so I wanted to give her something in return. You could say I was re-gifting. XD I hope it does justice. Tell me what you think.
Revised May 28, 2015.
Summary: Kissing. It can end with a bloody nose if you're a few years younger than the girl of your dreams. Some people are just born to test the odds.
Pairing: MaxxMariam. Whoop.
Disclaimer: No Beyblade for me. XP
"You're a master of hiding, Max."
The dead of night can only conceal so much with its greatest friend, the deep, eerie shadows. They can only twist and zag across the cement floor like roots from the trees they are seemingly attached to for so long before moonlight casts off the bluest of eyes. And, it doesn't hurt, when the streetlights that line the roost of the lookout catch sight and brighten every feature. Darkness can only win in so many ways and today was not its day.
"I guess you caught me," the blond admitted lamely, having stood under the streetlight for some time he was not completely surprised. "I wasn't really hiding though."
He smiled faintly as he placed his hands into his pockets, jingling the loose change that floated forgotten at the bottom. "Funny running into you here, Mariam," he added wanly, looking up at the stars past the deep forests behind them.
"Is it?" Mariam had unquestionable doubt in her tone. She remained against the railing that faced the water; her arms perched on top as she scanned the steady waves. Without turning around she had felt his presence, waiting and watching, not moving under the yellowish light each bulb casted.
"I didn't know you came here," Max continued honestly, wavering from the protection of the light. Hearing his footsteps, she passed a glance over her shoulder. "I swear. Besides, you're the one who usually follows me."
"I have more fascinating things to do these days than follow some thirteen year old around." Mariam examined her fingernails.
"Hey, I'm almost fourteen."
"Congratulations," she replied sarcastically, catching the boy's attention as he leaned against the railing. Confused, he propped his elbows up as he rested his back on the cool metal. "You no longer have to sit at the kiddy table."
Although not insulted by the comment, Max remained silent beside her. His eyes scanned the sky again, the night clear enough to show the twinkling stars above them through the odd cloud that lined the sky. After some consideration, he pulled himself up to sit on the railing, his legs swinging slightly ahead of him.
Staring at Mariam intently, Max let a smile pass his lips when their gazes met. "What are the odds you'll go out with me sometime?"
For lack of a better response, Mariam snorted. The question had come out of left field and had risen awkwardly into the situation. "Not very high."
"I like those chances."
His soft smile remained hanging on his lips while his gaze appeared rather determined; this made the blunette a bit weary. "You can't be serious," she responded when realizing he was entirely, "You do know how old I am?"
"Yeah." Max shrugged passively.
To his credit, his acknowledgement wasn't the excited assessment usual younger boys made when realizing their prospect for a girlfriend was a bit older than them. The blond didn't seem to be all that affected by the difference between them, acting as if the three years between them were mere days.
"I'm sixteen," she stressed the matter in case he wasn't aware of her exact age. He was. His facial expression didn't change in the least as he sat poised on the railing. Shrugging again, she rolled her eyes.
"What's the big deal?"
"You're living in a dream world."
He laughed, still swinging his feet. "You've told me that before. I kinda like it there though… my odds are a bit higher." Mariam again rolled her eyes. "I don't think it matters."
"Hate to break it to you, but it does."
"I don't know." Max hesitated, jumping off from his seat casually. He passed Mariam, making his way around for the coin operated binoculars; digging into his pocket, he picked through some of his change and placed it through the slot. "What would you do if I tried to kiss you?"
"Break your nose."
He smiled faintly, sarcasm had been free from her tone this time and he wondered if she had been joking. Max turned his attention to the binoculars, looking through the lenses and seeing the expansive water and lights ahead of them. "I don't think that's true. You don't know what would happen," he said softly, "Maybe it would be nice."
"You're not getting it."
"What's there not to get?" Max wondered out loud. "It's two and a half years, if two people like each other, why does it matter?"
"I want you to listen clearly. Thirteen."
"Fourteen… almost. Thirteen and three quarters."
She scowled at his persistence. "There's still quite the difference regardless of how many quarters you may have. It may not make a difference to you, but it does for me," Mariam retaliated coolly, turning away from his hunched body looking through the machine into the distance. Her eyes lowered to the depths of the water straight beneath them. "I never even said I was interested."
"Not very high isn't a strike out," Max pointed out playing with the knobs on the device to look further ahead. "The way I see it, you subconsciously want us to be together."
"Or you subconsciously want to go to the hospital."
He laughed, running a hand through his blond locks as he straightened out. "You should see this," Max said gesturing for the coin operated binoculars, "The lights on the water look beautiful."
"But not as beautiful as me, right?" Mariam replied sarcastically, making her way for the machine; he stepped aside giving a mock bow. "As original as that may sound to you, it's been done. Overused even. Stick a fork in it."
"I get it," Max assured her lightly, nonetheless it seized her rant. Looking through the lenses, she didn't say much. If she had, the blond wouldn't have answered, his attention focused on her entirely as she fixed some of the attributes herself for the binoculars. "It's pretty, right?"
"Not much different than using your eyes."
His expression crumbled into confusion. "You don't look further ahead than what's right in front of you much," Max analyzed, she shot him a glare at the comment. His shoulders shrugged off the dangerous gaze, stepping back on to the platform where the binoculars were set. "How can you deny what's out there?"
"Water and artificial lights," Mariam countered, leaning against the bulky machine cockily. "I don't believe I denied their existence, I just don't find them utterly fascinating… then again, I am older."
"Why thank you."
Max crossed his arms momentarily, examining her reclining position against the structure and how much she loved to have this dominance over him. What first had him rattled – their closeness, his loss of control over the situation, her assumption that she won – soon made him feel relaxed. Taking another step forward, Mariam eyes narrowed suspiciously.
"I don't think you'd hurt me," he murmured softly, blue eyes falling to the narrowing space between them. Her glare did not relent, his hand reaching softly to wrap around her wrist; the touch barely registered, caressing like the breeze on a humid day.
"I'd watch yourself," Mariam warned him, removing her resting arm from the binoculars, "Your fangirls wouldn't want to see your precious face incased in a splint for your nose." He couldn't help but notice her fingers had curled into tight fists at her side.
"Either would you," the blond teased, sliding his hand down cautiously over her wrist to curl around her one hand as his other managed to untangle the constricted fingers after much deliberation. With a frustrated sigh, she released her iron grip, allowing his fingers to weave around her own, providing a security she could just as quickly take away in aims of his lightly freckled nose. "Is this so bad?"
"Would you really like me to go into detail?" Mariam questioned, her tongue as sharp as usual. She made sure that her eyes didn't leave his not giving him the opportunity to get closer. "I can make you a list."
"Can I say something first?"
"What?" As soon as the word left her mouth she realized her mistake. Max pressed his lips against hers firmly, although cautiously as her fingers began to coil again. The briefest of moments sent a shock through his system, his mouth tasting the sweet flavour her lips gave off and if he hadn't realized his nose could be a fountain of blood at any moment, his lips would have continued to caress and reassure her own.
"I'm a horrible kisser," he deduced from her unimpressed expression, his shoulders sagging. Mariam rolled her eyes, having the urge to go through with her previous promise as he scanned her expression curiously.
"No, you're an idiot."
Max gave her his signature smile, his features brightening at the news. "That's a relief. To tell you the truth, I was a little worried."
"You should've been." Mariam growled, stepping closer to get right in his face. Raising his eyebrows, he released his light grip even more to ease her surge of anger. "What is your problem? What in the world made you think I wanted that to happen?"
"You don't get it, do you?" Max's blue eyes clouded, downcast, he glanced into her eyes before lowering to their interwoven fingers. Whereas his were barely grazing her skin, hers were balled up, constricting themselves obliviously around his own. "You didn't even think about it, I could kiss you again and it wouldn't matter."
"What are you talking about?"
"Three years, Mariam," Max stressed, emphasizing his point by releasing her one hand and holding up his fingers. "Three stupid years and you didn't think about them. Know why? Because they didn't matter."
Conflicted, Mariam bit her lip to regain some patience over the matter. "Don't tell me how I feel," she told him evenly, watching his expression intensify, "You're not in my head, Max. Don't start assuming you have me figured out."
"I never said I did." He sighed, tilting his head to examine her further. "I get why you don't want to admit you have feelings for me, okay? You see me as some little kid with a crush that will pass in a few months. Heck, I'm sure other boys have confessed their undying love for you and you've just shrugged them off as some joke. I'm no joke. I like you, Mariam."
"I'm flattered, really Max," Mariam explained, her anger relenting at his raw display of emotion. She could bear tearing down the dreams of cocky jerks, but when it came to the ones that actually found themselves head over heels she didn't have the heart. "But this isn't going to work."
"I'm not asking for your hand in marriage." The blond smiled sheepishly taking his chances and pecking her lips briefly once again. Her eyes narrowed into a glare when he pulled back; he merely laughed at her expression. "I can wait you know… for however long you need."
The blue haired girl frowned. "Do you know what 'no' means?"
"My parents taught me to go after what I believe in." Max scratched the back of his neck. "And I do believe I'm smitten by you."
Mariam snorted. "Are you sure you're not a joke?"
"You didn't think about our age, did you?"
"I was a bit side tracked," she admitted while his lopsided grin took over his features accompanied by a cocked eyebrow. "Such a boy…. I was distracted by not realizing what you were planning until it happened. I was mad you managed to trick me."
"And the second time?" he wondered.
"You were just getting ahead of yourself."
"Maybe," Max agreed with a nonchalant shrug, "But you haven't let go of my hand and I think that's a major improvement from before when you didn't think you needed me to be around at all."
"I don't need you."
"Okay, bad word choice." Mariam released his hand; Max's fingers dropping from their places back down at his side. She crossed her arms, walking around him and down the platform away from the coin operated binoculars. Scrambling, the blond faced her departing form with haste. "I just ruined everything, didn't I? I'm sorry."
Hesitating, the blue haired girl tossed him a look from over her shoulder teasingly. With a single hand on her hip, she shrugged her shoulders smoothly. "Find me when your voice changes."