2010-05-23: Ex Proprio Motu



Guest Appearance:


Date: May 23rd, 2010


Ex proprio motu - Voluntarily.

Max travels to the ends of the earth in search of something dear.

"Ex Proprio Motu"


Parachute cord. Compass. Entrenching tool. Lip balm.

Check, check, check, check. One by one, Max crams items into a large hiker's backpack with a heavy steel frame. As each one goes in, it's marked off of an extensive packing list. Around him, his apartment is littered with freeze-dried meals, complicated firestarting devices, and long-winded instruction manuals.

"Have you ever tried this stuff?" Cody says as she points out the freeze dried ice cream in the candy aisle, "It looks pretty disgusting but it tastes phenomenal. Hey… since you're making supper, you should really let me do dessert."

Max coughs delicately into his fist to conceal a laugh. Like a harried parent, he doesn't even slow for the candy aisle. "You, my dear, are a unique creature. Only you would think of putting something that disgusting in your mouth."

Smiling up at him, Cody sneaks her hand into his and gives it a squeeze. "Oh… I've had worse…"

Shyly, Max glances back and forth in search of potential witnesses. When none are to be found, he squeezes Cody's hand in return and leans down to nuzzle her hair. "And you will again."

"Promises promises.." she murmurs in reposte. Still no witnesses, she leans up and delivers a kiss to his cheek.

"Two mimosas, please," Max murmurs to a passing flight attendant. When the drinks are set in front of him, he immediately shifts one over to the seat next to his, which is empty. Forlornly, he stares at the glass. The one in front of him remains untouched.

A grunt slips from between Max's lips when his back slams against the door to the airplane bathroom. A chuckle is close behind as he takes Cody in his arms. "Nnnng. God, this space is even smaller than I thought it'd be."

Reaching up, Cody pulls a pin from her hair and shakes the long brown tresses out, they reach just past her shoulder blades. A series of hurried kisses are delivered to Max's face as she wraps her arms around his neck and murmurs into his ear. "I think we can make it work… We've been in tighter spots…"

"What? Oh, you thought I was talking about the bathroom?" Leering, Max glances down meaningfully at the nonexistent space between their bodies. With more laughter on his lips, he scoops Cody up and sets her on the counter where he has a better vector for his landing.

knock knock

"Is everything alright in there? Sir? Some of the passengers said they heard something?"

Cody can't contain her giggle as she listens to the steward. It doesn't deter her from starting to unbutton his shirt to reveal those muscles she's come to adore so much.

"Ugh. So hot. Everything is sticky." Max finishes unbuttoning his shirt and stuffs it into his already heavily-laden pack. As he straightens, he makes eye contact with a man just leaving a dilapidated shack. Other than the two of them, the expansive, overgrown stretch of road seems to be devoid of human life. "Hey! Hey! Excuse me? Uh. Onde… Onde est o plano… deixado de funcionar? Damnit, where did the plane crash?"

"Eshtaqto elaika katheeran," Cody murmurs as she pulls the sheet up to cover the two of them. Nestling into the crook of his arm, she wraps her arm across Max's chest and closes her eyes. Her lips trace along the bare skin of his shoulder as she whispers between kisses, "I missed you so much…"

Max cradles Cody against his chest and tilts his head to the side to give her better access. "Mmmmmmrr," he rumbles, his eyes taking on a half-lidded haze of pleasure. "Eu pensei somente de voc, meu anjo bonito. Mmm… Wait. You don't speak Portuguese, do you?"

"Not at all…" She murmurs as she leans up to give him a kiss on the lips. Wrinkling her nose a touch, she twists her lips into a rather self-satisfied smirk and gazes at him through her eyelashes. "What did you just say?"

"Good. Ahem. I mean, nothing." There's a hint of pink in Max's cheeks and around the tips of his ears. Distractedly, he returns the kiss, then clears his throat and continues. "I missed you, too."

"Now that's not entirely fair," She whispers as she walks two fingers back across his stomach only to end up tickling Max in the ribs. With a laugh, she vaults to a sitting position and straddles him at the hip. "Tell me what you said or it'll just get worse…" She doesn't seem to be kidding, as expressed by the long tendrils of hair begining to rise around her head.

Max suppresses a giggle and puts on his manliest and most serious expression. He rests his large hands on either side of Cody's waist and gives her an affectionate squeeze. "I will do no such thing, miss," he retorts. Your authority is not recognized inside the borders of this apartment. In fact, I hearby designate this apartment to be a sovereign nation. In fact, if you want to avoid exile then you'll have to prove you have a marketable skill…"

The tendrils grow in length and begin caressing the large frame underneath her. "Ah kin kill things real good," she says in her most redneck twang. Leaning down she captures his lips in a languid kiss before collapsing back down on him.

"I don't want to kill you," Max says, holding out both hands disarmingly. "But if you don't put your guns down, I'm— hey! No!"

The three guerillas surrounding him brandish their assault rifles. One reaches for his trigger.

Max shakes his head slowly. "No thanks," he says, holding his hands out demurely. "I know you're into guns, but I'll manage without."

"Swan! Get down!" Pulling a handgun from a holster at her back, Cody whips around and fires four rounds from the gun as she brings it level to her shoulder. There's an expression of determination on her face, angry, volatile even.

"Oh bother," Max murmurs, his eyes widening. Rather than follow the advice, though, he stands tall and broad and in plain sight. Suddenly, a crackling field of purple energy surrounds his body. "Take cover behind me!" he shouts over the noise.

The target has a clear shot on the agent and takes it, hitting her square in the chest with a blast of plasma energy. Rather than taking cover behind him, she collides with the field and falls to the ground. Unconscious.

Max puffs out a long breath and shakes his head. "If you want something done right…" he murmurs. With a flick of his hand, he picks up a dumpster, inverts it, and plops it down over the tango like a boy catching a bug in a paper cup. And then, quite deliberately, he uses his ability to crush the dumpster into a small, smooth ball.

"I hate doing this… this outdoors. This nature thing," Max grumbles to himself as he squeezes between two trees. "Everything is covered in insects."

"Just have a taste! It's not that horrible, I promise you won't even get any mealworm in your mouth!" Cody laughs as she waves the mealworm sucker in front of Max's face. "Come on, one lick… It's good! Trust me."

"Oh my God," Max replies, recoiling visibly. "You have to get that thing away from me. Don't… Ewww. Don't stick it in your mouth. I swear, I'll never kiss you again." He crosses his arms over his chest and makes an unhappy noise in the back of his throat.

"Never thought I'd say it Swan, but you are such a woman." The soft reply is coupled with a concession of the sucker being withdrawn and popped back into the blonde's mouth. "Right about now, I'm thinking that maybe you need a Cricket Licket." She points out a different sucker and nods to the woman behind the counter. "We'll take two."

Max curls an incredulous eyebrow. "We?" he scoffs. "What's the 'We' shit, white woman?" With a roll of his eyes, he directs his attention to the woman behind the counter and points and Cody. "She'll take two of your filthy sinner candies."

"WE will take two." Cody affirms before turning to look up at Max, swirling the pop in her mouth. "Seriously, Max, you need to expand your palate. How do you know you won't like it? It's not like I'm making you eat them while they're still alive."

"WE are never having sex again," Max responds, both eyebrows raised. He turns to the woman behind the counter a second time. "My lady and I are never having sex again," he informs her. "Thanks to you and your heathen treats. Now, if you're quite finished fucking with my chi, I bid you good day. Come on, Cody. We're leaving."

Max can't quite suppress a mischievous grin.

Reaching into her pocket, Cody pulls out a few five dollar bills and tosses them up onto the counter before grabbing the bag. Giving the woman behind the counter a wink, she shakes her head. "I'll be all over him like white on rice as soon as we get through the door."

The woman behind the counter simply gapes at the pair and nods dumbly.

"Nice kitty…" Max murmurs, taking a slow step backward. "Nice… Kitty… You just stay. And me? I'll just… No. No!"

From less than ten feet away, a jaguar approaches at a dead run and pounces.

"Nice Cody… Stay. You stay." Max lifts and finger and points at his blonde lover. Slowly, he takes a step back from their bed. "And be nice."

When he turns, Cody smiles as she spies the long red streaks on his back. A product of their latest bout of trying to be nice to each other. "Nice… you've never wanted that before." she rolls onto her stomach, wrapping the sheet around her form as she props herself up on the pillows to look at him. "So what changed?"

Max fingers his scratches idly. "Besides the lacerations?" he quips. His faux fear vanishes and he flops back down beside Cody. His flesh and blood fingers sneak under the sheet to trail intricate designs on the small of her back. "I've never tried nice before," he continues, looking her squarely in the eye. "But I'd like to. With you."

Her breath catches in her throat and she just freezes for a moment, a tentative smile stuck on her lips. She blinks a few times and shakes her head lightly to clear it before taking in a large gulp of air. "I'll give it a go," Cody says quietly, matching his tone. "But you're going to have to be patient with me, I'm not exactly posh material."

The hand trails up Cody's back and slips around to cup her cheek. At the same time, Max brings his metal hand up to press fondly against the other side of her face. "I beg to differ," he says in his most serious voice. "And I'd know. I got straight A's in Posh Appreciation."

"This is a six hundred dollar shirt~"
"A six hundred dollar shirt~"
"Facedown in the dirt~"
"So filthy it hurts~"
"In my six hundred dollar shirt~"

Max pauses his singsonging to take another sip from a murky stream using a filter straw.

"It's called a laundromat, it's where normal people go to clean their clothes after they get dirty." Cody says sarcastically as she hefts the bag over her shoulder. The cold air comes in a soft cloud from her lips, then her nose as she laughs up at the large man. "Most people don't just buy a new shirt after wearing it once."

Max repositions his own bag until the weight is more equally distributed. More of Cody's laundry, not his. "So people go to some dingy little hovel and shove change into a pre-owned appliance, then spend hours staring at strangers and reading last year's magazines?" He wrinkles his nose and shakes his head. "I am not impressed."

"Dirty, ratty magazines…" Cody utters, a wicked grin pasted across her face. "Think of it this way, you might get to see someone else's panties without me getting upset."

"And why would I want to do that?" Max replies just as cheekily. He bumps his hip against hers as they stride along. "You know I like it when you don't wear any, anyway."

"This… is… ridiculous!" Max is grunting, sweating, and swearing as he attempts to wedge his large body through a stand of trees that are too closely spaced. Frustrated, he pushes away from the fauna and flexes his metal hand. In response to a mental command, it extends into a long, sharp, single-edged blade. Each swipe of his improvised machete cuts a young tree off at waist height. When he's cleared a path, he picks up one of the saplings and trims it into an improvised walking staff.

"You can keep your stick," Max says, rolling his bare shoulders as he paces a slow circle around Cody and her bo staff. Loose and relaxed, he lifts his fists into a high guard. "I prefer to do things the old fashioned way."

Cody's long dreadlocks sway as she turns her body with Max's pacing. "Sometimes the old fashioned way needs a new twist." She says out loud before whipping her head in a circle, causing the long extensions to tie around his body in a stranglehold.

Max grunts and struggles when he's enveloped, but sheer muscle does him little good in this situation. The breath is slowly and audibly being squeezed from his body. Then, abruptly, he stops struggling and starts moving with the pull. Moving at high speed. Grinning, he lowers his head and angles his shoulder to body block Cody.

While his neighbors should be used to hearing loud noises coming from his apartment, the battle cry of a soldier with a stick is something new. "AAAAAAAARRRRRRGGGGHHHH!!" she cries out, the bellow making the force of the stick that much harder. Like when a tennis player grunts on a serve. It swings around and hits him behind the knees as her fist meets his shoulder to pull him off balance.

"AAAAAAAAAARRRRRRGGGHHHH!" Max bellows as he digs a broken jaguar's claw from his shoulder. It doesn't come neatly. Several angry grunts and muttered curses later, the extraction is complete. He glares up at the hunting cat, who has climbed a tree to lick her own wounds. "Bitch."

"…What did you just call me?!" Fury colors her already icy blue eyes as Cody whips around to face him. "Take it back Maxwell Swan, I swear to god… I will walk out that door."

"When I said you could come and go as you please, I didn't know I'd be for this," Max replies. He doesn't shout when he's angry. Instead, he grows annoyingly calm and quiet. "There are Twinkies in my kitchen, tampons in my bathroom, and a coffee stain on my rug."

"Fine.. just… I'll get rid of them." She can't yell at him, can't stay visibly angry. Perhaps it's because he's so annoyingly calm and collected. Cody's not. Cody is volatile and headstrong. Pushing past him, she reaches up into the cupboard and grabs the box of Twinkies.

In a blink, Max is behind her and wrapping his arms around her waist. "I'm sorry," he says, his voice low and husky as he nuzzles against her hair. "I take it back. You can keep your holocaust treats in my pantry."

"You'll thank me when you and the cockroaches are fighting over them after the nuclear winter is over…" Cody murmurs as she turns in his arms. "Twinkies and cockroaches, the only two things that will survive the bomb without a shelter."

"If I don't get some shelter~ Oooh yeah, I'm gonna fade away~"

Max's singing cuts off as his improvised tent slips out of place for the thousandth time. It's raining so hard that's he's soaked immediately. Re-soaked, anyway.

"Okay, explain this 'camping' to me again," Max requests, clearly baffled by the concept. "You're telling me that people go outside and sleep in sacks on the ground? Eat instant oatmeal out of a coffee cup? Shit in the woods? And they do this on purpose?"

"Sometimes they do it for fun, sometimes it's necessary. There isn't always a five star hotel around." Especially not in the places she frequents. Picking her pack up off the floor, the blonde begins to shove a few essentials into it. "I'm only going to be gone one night, not even camping really.. It's a stakeout." Then Cody turns to give him a smile, "Just wait until I take you for the first time."

Max curls his upper lip in an exaggerated expression of distaste. "Sleep outside? Without air conditioning and silk sheets? Me?" he scoffs at the idea. "Never. Not for anything, my dear, so put the thought from your mind."

Max's hammock creaks ominously as he shifts his weight. Though he knows it's a futile measure, he wipes sweat from his brow with the back of his hand. He's long since given up on trying to keep a tarp suspended over his body. Instead, he clings to it like a sheet.

She's still clinging to his shirt in the aftermath, breathing heavy as she tilts her head back to rest against the mirror. Her legs are tangled with his arms, slowly she opens her eyes to look at him.

Bam Bam Bam

"Sir? We're going to have to insist that you open the door."

With casual disregard, Max spins around and drops Cody on the uncomfortable airplane toilet seat. Though her hair is askew, with her panties around her ankles she looks somewhat like a person using the restroom for legitimate purposes.

Meanwhile, Max has tucked himself away, zipped his trousers, and buttoned up his shirt. He pauses just long enough to check his reflection in the mirror, then he's out the door without a backward glance. "So sorry," he murmurs to the airline employees. "She forgot to lock the door. When I walked in, I must have hit the lock by mistake. No harm done."

With the expression on Cody's face, the steward doesn't even bat an eyelash at Max's explanation of events. The door closes and she is alone, left to pull herself together.

"Pull yourself together," Max urges himself as he forces his body up another rise. So many miles of walking. Searching an area using a patterned grid is a good idea, but it works a lot better with a team than it does with one man.

Max has been pushing himself for close to twenty hours a day and it shows. His expensive shirt has been discarded, leaving him wearing denims and a white undershirt. His belt is fixed with a bull's head buckle taken as a souvenier from a fallen guerilla. His hair and beard and long and unkempt. Most startling of all, his eyes have taken on a dark, driven cast that leaves him looking… unapproachable.

"Hang in there, Cody," he whispers to the wind. "I'm coming."

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