Max sucks in half a breath, pinches the tip of her tongue between her teeth, and exhales through her nose.
Max's favorite thing about Rachel, or at least one of them, is the way she takes up space. When Rachel models, she's precise and calculated. There's an ease in the way she poses, but- and maybe someone who wasn't Max wouldn't notice, but there's gears turning in her head. Smooth, well oiled gears, but there nonetheless. The placement of her arms, the subtle twists in her hips, all very particular. She was good at what she did.
When Rachel isn't posing, such as now, she simply is . There's no thought in the way she moves, the way she sits. She holds herself with such a natural elegance, like the world was made for her and there's no doubt about it, and Max full heartedly believes that's true.
Rachel turns then, eyes landing first on the camera in Max's hands, and then taking in the way she sits, half sitting half crouched, one leg tucked under herself. "Takin' pictures of me?" A grin spreads easy on Rachel's face, wide and as charming as ever. She scrunches her shoulders a little, playing coy. She's leaned back on her hands, legs crossed as they dangle over the edge of the overpass they're stopped at.
Max puts her camera down, lets it rest on the one knee she's got propped up. "Maybe," She squints against the setting sun that shines golden rays against Rachel's frame.
Rachel smirks now, turns back to look forward, tilts her head to one side, and Max's eyes linger on the way shadows play against her neck and collarbones. She's posing now, Max thinks, sitting just so, and it's bittersweet, tugs at her heart in a way only Rachel can cause. As much as she loves how Rachel revels in posing for her, she misses her candid shot. She raises her camera again.
They're settled into the bed of Chloe's truck, blankets and pillows piled up underneath them for cushioning. Chloe had driven them up to a nice clearing where the stars shined brighter than they did so deep into Arcadia Bay.
"I wanna stargaze," Max had hummed against Chloe's shoulder a couple hours earlier. The three of them were a tangle of limbs in Chloe's bed, as they were more nights than not.
"That's so fucking gay," Chloe said, only making half an effort to put any bite in her tone, a soft smile on her face.
"That is by far," Rachel started, propping herself up on an elbow from Chloe's other side, "not the gayest thing to have been said tonight."
Chloe had hummed noncommittally, and before long they were pulling on jackets and pulling Chloe's blanket and pillows off her bed to take with them.
It was something like two in the morning now, and Chloe was out cold. She'd grumbled something about a long day at work, and was taken by sleep rather quickly. She's pressed against the side of the truck, and she's basically got the whole blanket they had been sharing curled around her. Max misses the weight of her leg draped over her own. And the blanket.
Rachel was a good distraction though, she had settled in the middle between the two of them, and now she was rolled on her side facing Max. Her fingers played with the hem of Max's shirt, slipped underneath her hoodie. Max stared up at the stars, forearms resting on her chest and a leg strewn over Rachel's ankle. It’s quiet out, the only noise being the occasional rustle of leaves and distant crickets.
Rachel burrowes in closer, hand finally slipping up under her shirt, gliding across skin, and Max finally takes her eyes off the stars to look down at her when she feels her take her wrist, and her breath hitches as she watches Rachel press gentle kisses to the inside of her wrist. She catches Rachel's eyes then, hazel appearing dark out here in the night but full of purpose, watching intently.
Max can't decide if she regrets accepting Chloe's offer of a few hits when they had arrived. Weed's always made her sleepy, and her brain feels like it's trying and failing to kick into overdrive, but the buzz is kinda nice. She's slack, feels kinda moldable like clay. Rachel could probably do anything to her right now, and it was a scary but nice thought.
She wants that, Max decides, needs it, so she chases after Rachel's lips, and Rachel doesn't let go of her wrist, but presses back earnestly. The kiss is a bit sloppy, Rachel groans into it. Max has no brain anymore, she thinks, there's just Rachel, Rachel's lips and the press of Rachel's body against her.
"C'mere," Rachel mumbles as she pulls back, hands finding Max's hips, and Max lets her pull her on top of her, sighs a little as Rachel's hands go up, up, up, under her shirt, nails scratching lightly against Max's ribs, and her hands are cold but Max couldn't care less about that right now.
Max can feel her hoodie sliding down her shoulders. "Do you think Chloe would be mad," Rachel begins to muse as her hands slide up against Max's back and find the clip of her bra, Max's shirt and hoodie all bunched up in the back now, "if we woke her up fucking in her truck right now?"
Max can't find any will to voice that they'd have a fifty-fifty chance of her being mad they woke her, or her being mad that they didn't when they first started, cause her head feels too heavy and too light at the same time and she's leaning desperately into Rachel's touch.
After, when Max's bones feel like they've melted and her clothes are fixed and she's pressed comfortably into the side of the truck, mirroring an undisturbed Chloe, she watches Rachel rummage around the truck bed from her sitting position. She finds what she's looking for, and there's a crinkle noise that breaks into the quiet of the night as she unscrews the cap of the half empty water bottle.
Max's hand searches above her head, pats against the sides of the truck bed lazily until she makes her own finding. She rests her camera against her chest, fumbles to turn the flash on in the dark. She gets it, and props herself up on an unsteady arm. She holds her camera low, pressed against her hip.
Rachel glances back at her, screwing the cap back on the water bottle again. "Careful there," her voice is low, a bit husky, full of that trademarked Rachel impish-lilt, and Max is a bit surprised her arm doesn't give out underneath her to be honest, "we both know you stoned and fucked out is a dangerous combo." Max's arm wavers significantly, and a small strangled noise breaks its way out of her throat, to her dismay.
Max has spent quite some time being teased like this by now, not even just by Rachel, but it doesn't seem to be getting any easier.
Rachel smirks, chuckling slyly, and tucks her hair behind her ear as she goes to set the bottle down. Max is kinda surprised she kicks it into gear fast enough to get her camera up.
"Hey-!" Rachel exclaims, giggling as she turns and sits up on her knees to grab at Max's arms, making half hearted attempts to grab the camera. Max falls back, head hitting one of Chloe's pillows, Rachel following after her, and Max doesn't think it's fair Rachel's so steady as she wrestles with her when she had smoked more than she had. She supposes she was forever resigned to her fate of being a lightweight.
A groan comes from beside them then, and they can see Chloe's figure shuffling in the dark. "What are you guys fucking doing?" She grumbles.
Of course, Max thinks, that's what wakes her.
"Good morning," Rachel says sweetly, "fucking blanket hog."
The picture might be one of Max's new favorites, Rachel's head angled so you could still see the smug smirk on her lips, her hair a bit messy.
Max hears Rachel slide off her bed before she feels her arms sliding around her from behind. She leans over and presses a kiss to the top of Max's head before pressing her cheek against Max's. "Watcha doing?" She murmurs, slowly running her hands up and down Max's arms. The pressure of it is nice, makes a warm fuzzy feeling spread in Max’s chest.
Max leans into her, as much as her desk chair will allow. "Just looking over some photos," her eyes scan over the polaroids she's laid out again, collected over the past month or so. The usual, pretty much just nature shots and her girlfriends.
"Lots of me," Max can hear the smirk in Rachel's voice. "Can't wait to brag to Chloe about being your favorite."
"Always lots of you," Max chuckles, "and I'm pretty sure Chloe enjoys being the slightly less photographed one."
"True," Rachel hums, "she doesn't appreciate the spotlight such as I. She'll still pretend to be offended just to fight me on it, though."
"You guys are ridiculous."
"You love it."
Rachel giggles, pecks her cheek, and rests her chin on her shoulder to survey the photos again. "So, which of these are making the all mighty Max polaroid collage wall?"
Max scrunches her face then, mulls it over. Her hand hovers over the photos for a second, then is quick to pluck a few out. The first one she took of Rachel on the overpass, the one of her in the truck bed, and a couple candids of Chloe, unsurprisingly smoking in both.
"You like your candids," Rachel hums, and Max can feel her fingers inching underneath her shirt. Max hums in turn, part response to Rachel's comment, part reaction to her cool fingers against her warm skin.
"You," Max starts, setting down the polaroids and turning in her chair to gaze at Rachel, before she stands and loops her arms around Rachel's neck, their bodies fitting together fluidly, "like having your hands up my shirt too much."
"Can you blame me?" Rachel quirks a brow, sly smile playing on her lips, hands sneaking up her shirt again. "You're very warm. And very cute," Max smiles, let's her head fall forward to nuzzle Rachel's neck.
"I do though," Max raises her head again after a couple moments, meeting Rachel's gaze, "like candids. Ones of you feel especially... special, I guess." Max shrugs a bit, cheeks flushing. She feels dumb, the idea that her thinking sounds silly outside her own head making her chest tight.
"What's so special about candids of me?" Rachel asks, and it sounds like a genuine question. Not from any place of insecurity, just curious. There's no teasing lilt to her tone like Max might expect.
"You just," Max starts, falters, lets herself focus on the feeling of Rachel's arms now wrapping themselves around her waist against bare skin, her shirt half pushed up. "You're a model, so you know how to make yourself look... perfect. Just so." Rachel tilts her head to the side a bit, looking between both of Max's eyes intently. Max can’t fully get a read on what she’s feeling, but she doesn’t look upset, at least. "And it's great, you're beautiful," Max continues, feeling too hot under Rachel's stare, squirmy, "but there's something special about capturing you just as yourself, getting to immortalize that."
A moment passes where Rachel's still just staring, and Max inches towards wishing spontaneous combustion on herself, but then Rachel’s lips quirk upwards before she's leaning in to press kisses to Max's throat. Max half sighs, half hums contently, slides her arms back so she can rest her hands on Rachel's neck, fingers creeping up to thread themselves into Rachel's hair, nails scratching gently at the nape of her neck. Rachel pulls back after she's reached her jaw, pressed a kiss there.
"You're incredible," she says. Max's cheeks feel hot all over again, and she's never been good at taking compliments, especially not something so sincere. Rachel's looking at her like she's hung the moon and stars for her, and Max doesn't know how she could ever feel deserving. "I love you,"
Max's knees go a bit weak, she leans further into Rachel for support, her heart threatening to burst into fucking flames in her chest. "I love you too," and then they're kissing, cause it's all Max can do right now, one of her hands slipping up into Rachel's hair, pulling gently. She giggles against Rachel's mouth when she feels herself being tugged towards the bed by her waist.
Rachel's weight presses comfortably into Max's hips, fingers trailing down her jaw to her neck. The soft glow of fairy lights is the only thing illuminating her, and Max is once again affirmed in the fact that those lights had been her best purchase yet.
Rachel's glowing underneath them, soft touches and soft smiles only emphasized by the atmosphere. The sleeves of her flannel, that’s not actually hers, are too big for her, and Max can feel the fabric slide across her face. The other sleeve pools down around Rachel’s forearm when she moves to tuck her hair behind her ear with her free hand.
She leans down then, hand properly holding the side of Max's neck now. The kiss is soft, brief, and Rachel pulls back just an inch and smiles. Warmth blooms in Max's chest, and it's almost suffocating in the best way possible.
"You look cute in Chloe's flannels," Max whispers, and she leans forward to capture Rachel's lips again.
Rachel let's it linger for a moment, and then she's sitting up right again, hand sliding down Max's neck to rest on her shoulder, the other hand joining it on the opposite side, pressing her down against the mattress, holding her there. Her eyes are gleaming as they trail down Max's frame, and her fingers dig into her shoulders a little.
Their eyes meet again, and Rachel holds her gaze, and her eyes look golden like honey. The want for another kiss, to pull her closer and hold her and never let her go, washes over Max and leaves her brain feeling a little tingly. Instead, not breaking away from Rachel, eyes now focused on where the flannel is falling off one shoulder, revealing smooth skin and the strap of her tank top, Max pats a hand at the empty space on the bed next to them. She finds what she's looking for, grabs it just right from muscle memory.
She rests her arms on top of Rachel's, cranes her neck up as much as she can and brings the viewfinder of her camera to her eye. She centers it on Rachel, who just smiles softly down at her, eyes focused below the lense instead of looking right at it like she normally would.
Rachel giggles, takes the camera from her hands, developing photo still printing as she sets it down on the bed again. "You're a dork,"
She can feel Rachel melt on top of her, and her heart rejoices at the wide smile spreading on Rachel's face. Rachel knows she's stunning, has never had any shame in it. The fact that her little dork ass telling her such meant so much to her, made Max feel unstoppable. She could do anything, handle anything life threw her way, all because she made one of the prettiest girls in the world’s heart clench.
Rachel takes her wrists then, gently pinning them at the sides of her head. Her fingers slide up, intertwine themselves with Max's. "You're sweet,"
Then they're kissing again, and Max's hands slide up Rachel's hips to feel the skin underneath her shirt, and Max soon feels nipping at her jaw, hot breath against her skin.
Later, when Rachel's borrowed flannel has found itself crumpled on the floor along with a few other articles of clothing, and Rachel's nuzzled into Max's neck sound asleep, Max gets a good look at the photo.
Not posing, Max thinks.
Just Rachel, her Rachel. A moment immortalized.