Brendan seemed to already have gotten a firmer grip on himself, judging from that smile he showed, at least. He had made a good call for once, predicted what would be suited to help his friend out. He, Maxim, the epitome of awkwardness had showcased a hint of social skills. Awesome.
Just had to keep the ball rolling now, just listen and nod every once in a while. That was about all he was good at, when it came to socializing. Kind of lame, relying on the same technique over and over, sure, but it worked, so he couldn't really give a damn about anyone judging him. Wait, judging him? What was he even thinking, who could possibly call him out on something like that? Who would even bother to, better question.
Maxim gave himself a light slap on the forehead, hoping it was subtle enough for his pal not to notice. Mind trailing off again. Happened way too often recently, not a good sign. He had to focus on Brendan and Brendan only. Not listening to the one he was having a conversation with sort of defeated the purpose of having a conversation in the first place.
Bren was getting to his relationship with Alba now. Huh, funny way to meet someone, while jogging nonetheless. Right, that was a thing Brendan did, he had almost forgotten. Speaking of forgotten, he couldn't really remember how he himself had first met the guy. Must have been the library, right? Most people Maxim knew had made first contact with him there. Didn't matter now, just had to keep listening.
What a question, asking if he had watched the two of them while dancing. Code red, potential for awkward dialogue ahead. Then again, he had nothing to worry about here, really. Just say no, that was the truth, after all. Would have been more slippery if he had actually been watching them, what with him being a piss-poor liar and all.
He wouldn't have minded watching Brendan, really. The guy certainly was a looker, with his toned muscles and tall build. Nice view to glance at, but that was it, really. His looks weren't the reason why he was friends with him, he wouldn't repeat the same mistake again, ever. He could care less about anything related to romance. Waste of his time. But hey, he didn't judge if others were into it. With others obviously meaning every other individual on the entire planet.
Right, he still had to answer Brendan's question, almost forgot. Or did he? Seemed like the other guy wasn't finished talking yet.
Whoa. They had barely sat together for two minutes and Brendan was dropping bombs already. So much for him and Alba being a lovely match. Made sense though, really, every first impression Maxim had of anything love-related had to be amiss. Showed how little he knew of anything.
Really though, he had to stop thinking about himself so much. His friend was obviously feeling anxious again, even he could see that. Body language, stuttering getting out of hand - Jesus, Brendan really needed his help here.
But how was he of all people supposed to aid him with this sort-of-kinda relationship trouble? Whatever advice he'd give him was only bound to make things worse. So approaching the problem on that sort of level was already out of the question. What if he just...?
Suddenly, Maxim's right hand was on his friend's shoulder. One second passed. Then he realized.
Oof. Awkward. Not what he had wanted, not at all. He hated touching people, even his own father. It was completely against his instinct, made him feel all uncomfortable, so why he had done it now, in a public space to boot? He could only think of one reason, namely that he had chosen to act, to not watch like a passive waste while his friend was having a panic attack in front of him. Maybe some sort of heroic alter ego underneath all those fleshy geek tiles. Or maybe, and that was the more likely explanation, he had simply acted without thinking. Probably that. Long time since the last time that had happened.
In any case, it was too late to go back on it now. The situation wouldn't get less weird if he pulled his hand back, he had to roll with it. Pretend like he knew what he was doing. It was hopeless, basically.
"Hey, Bren, listen." Nice and easy. Try to sound compassionate. "It's...uh, it's going to be alright, yes? I mean, it isn't really that big of a deal."
Maxim winced. Bad choice of words there. "No, I mean, it is! But, not like you think it is - if that makes sense. Which it probably doesn't." Only making it worse. Try something with honesty.
"Alright, look. I won't pretend like I know anything about this sort of thing, okay? I have never been in a relationship myself, you know that." Seemed like that could get them somewhere. Good track to follow. "All I can do, is say this, I guess: Don't work yourself up over this so much, yeah? You and Alba, you'll figure it out and she seems like a nice girl, so I'm sure she'll understand. Just my two cents. Might be worth nothing, but it's all I got."