|Unbury My heart
Author: Sparticus328 PM
This is a oneshot. Max is in a guandry...who to love? Only one option in her mind, now she has to figure out how to tell the man himself. major MA pairing.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Drama - Words: 4,679 - Reviews: 10 - Favs: 8 - Follows: 1 - Published: 08-03-05 - Status: Complete - id: 2516816
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: This fanfic was originally inspired by the lyrical genius of Anna Nalick and her song "Breathe (2 AM)." I was going to make it a song fic, but it turned out better just having the story without the lyrical accompaniment. Hope you enjoy. Please R&R.
Disclaimer: oh, yeah, this thing. I almost forgot...I don't own DA, wish I did. Now I must go and wallow in self pity...but that's just not like me, so I'lldeal. I'll get by writing PLENTY of fanfics, and reading them of course, to my heart's content.
Un-Bury My Heart
Max wordlessly walked through the door of her apartment. OC watched as her friend walked with shoulders slumped and concentration averted deep within herself. She looked like she had just heard that she would have to marry White to ensure the survival of her kind. The girl with tortured thoughts dropped unceremoniously onto the couch, emitting a heavy groan.
"Hey Boo. What's got you all freaked?" OC didn't like to see her so frazzled. It wasn't like Max to be confused, and it unnerved OC to see her like that now.
"Logan." Max said distractedly, then reconsidered. "Alec." OC's puzzled look drew Max's eyes. "Both? I don't know..."
"A'ight, girl. Lay it down," OC sat beside her friend and placed a soothing hand to her back. "We gonna get you through this thing."
Max tried to focus on the room around her, and her friend sitting there trying to help her sort through her jumbled thoughts, and emotions. "Logan. I don't love him." Max stated the fact so simply that there was no arguing, not even bringing up the past two years of quote-unquote sexual tension. "I doubt I ever really did. I made my biggest mistake thinking that I did. Sure I tried believing it, especially after I saw how much it took out of him when he thought I'd died. But, I was lying to myself. And I finally told him. The truth. That the thing with Alec had been a lie, just like how I thought that I loved him had been a lie."
OC nodded, she had thought something was going on. Even when Max had told Logan that she and Alec were together to make him back off a little, OC had a feeling it was more than just words. She was avoiding the mysterious Eyes, and not just because she didn't want to kill him with the virus.
Max sighed and slumped even further on the couch, her elbows on her knees and her chin in her right palm. "Then there's the thing with Alec. Well, kind of a thing. Anyway, I … I think…I think I …I think I love him." Max dropped her arms letting her torso fall against her knees, arms dangling and fingers dragging on the floor. It wasn't the reaction of someone ashamed of her admittance. It was the reaction of a very confused transgenic unsure of how to handle her newfound emotion.
OC didn't comment. She just sat quietly while Max dispelled some of her frustration into her knees.
"I'm so freaking selfish. Seriously, with Logan I just wanted everything to be all good for me, I never even gave him the consideration of telling him that I didn't think things had gotten as far as he obviously had. Minus the thing with my heat last year, that was just… It was HEAT for God's sake! I can't control my mind, much less my body when I'm like that. But then the last one that I had, a couple of months ago, I didn't even register fantasizing about Logan. Nope. It was all about Alec! I had left town, I was in the middle of the woods, not a male specimen around for miles, and what was I thinking about? What else?" Max still kept the images of her last heat in her mind. Not that they were comforting or anything, they just made her feel. That was different. With Logan nothing ever felt like anything, it was just fact. With Alec, it was all emotion. She had gone from feeling near hatred, anger, and frustration to common ground, acquaintanceship, friendship, then love… The journey of a traveling heart. Max couldn't keep it in anymore.
"What is wrong with me? I'm in love with a womanizing test-tube bastard!" Max muffled her shout, but OC more than heard her.
"I know the perfect solution for this." Max looked up hopefully with her chin on her knees. "We gonna go down to Crash. Maybe a little lovin' will cure you."
"Why not? Girl, this is our home away from home." OC considered her friend before her. Max was behaving oddly.
"Because. Alec is in there." Max looked at the toe of her boot.
"How can you possibly know that?" OC was fairly floored by her friend's admission.
"It's an X5 thing. I can smell him." Max touched the door casing, where he had previously leaned before deciding to enter.
"That could be from any time. Do you know how often everybody comes down here? All the time. Boo, they ain't nothin' to worry 'bout." OC reached out and touched her friend's shoulder. They would figure this thing out, somehow.
"No. It's just a couple hours old." Max caressed the wood with her fingers. How had it taken her so long to realize that she really did love him?
OC grabbed the hand that rested on the door frame and tugged. "C'mon. If your boy really is here then it'll be easier for you to tell him how you feel."
"He's not my boy," Max said sadly as they entered the building.
"Yet." OC decided.
Traveling down a short staircase by the far wall at Crash, Max immediately knew where Alec was. She turned her gaze and watched him where he sat slumped against the bar, whiskey in hand.
He realized that he loved Max, had for a long time, and didn't quite know how to handle it. Fearful of a repeat condition, though different circumstance, of what happened with Rachel he tried to drown his feelings in alcohol. Then he saw Max, looking rather beaten, enter Crash being pulled by OC. He noticed that several appreciative eyes watched her as she came in. His jaw tensed when those eyes had frowned after giving her a once over and not liking the troubled expression on her face. Stuff it man! Alec silently shouted at those who disapproved of her. Like you've got the right to judge her… You're probably all here for the exact same reason. Anyone who wants to drown their woes in booze comes to a bar, Dumbass. Alec considered her distraught expression for a moment. She probably just got back from another love spat with Logan. His thoughts grew sour at the entrance of that man to his mind. God, I swear I don't know why she loves the guy. He's such a pain in the ass. He's always got his whiney hero mentality. Not attractive at all. He actually had the nerve to call me a freak! Right, back atcha, you sanctimonious hack! Stupid fool, let her go. If you want her to change so much just to be with you, then you don't love her! She's perfect the way that she is. Alec returned his thoughts to the one who had taken his soul.
The two headed to a table set off by the wall. Mike, the bartender, brought them over their usual, a pitcher of beer. Alec subtly watched her out of the corner of his eye. There she was, sitting at a table with OC not even touching her drink, very different from what she would normally do. Concerned for her but also very confused he stayed at the bar, content to watch her over his shoulder.
Unable to take both of them being in such a funk, OC walked up to Alec and tried to pull him up from the bottom of his bottle. Some how she just knew that his troubles were partly because of Max, she had always felt that there was something akin to sparks flying between the two transgenics. But with Alec in the dumps, she didn't know how to get Max out of hers, they usually did that kind of thing for each other…Alec was really the only person who could ever get Max out of troubling mindsets.
OC leaned against the bar beside Alec's hunched figure. The two were sometimes as different as night and day. Where Alec sat nursing his whiskey lulling himself into the numbness of depression, Max leaned away from the table and simply stared absently at the amber liquid of her beer. Depression came easily enough without the alcohol. Unable to take the somber demeanor of the usually vivacious pair of transgenics, OC leaned back on her elbows and said simply, "Just tell her."
Not really focusing on anything except his own mind, Alec was slightly surprised at seeing the black woman beside him. The two were friends, sure, but rarely ever spoke without Max--- Damn. Anything he thought about tonight seemed to always lead back to the fiery female and his unsettled feeling for her. "Huh?" he asked to clarify. With his transgenic ears, he heard what she said perfectly well, he just didn't want to have.
OC raised her eyebrows, knowing full-well that he had heard her. "Fool." OC sighed. "Just walk yo' tight-ass over there and tell her." She considered her next comment before speaking, wondering if it would be a good idea to say it. "She'd probably appreciate it." She hoped she wasn't proved wrong.
Alec continued to sit in indecision, wanting to do as she had suggested, but beating himself into submission knowing full-well what he would lay himself open to if he did. He took a swig from his thick-bottomed glass, downing the rest of the hazy-clear liquid. Nope. He wouldn't go. He didn't want to risk it. He may be a brave soldier, but right now he preferred to run with his tail hanging on the ground.
OC couldn't take it anymore. Unceremoniously, she grabbed the back of Alec's collar and pulled him up off the bar stool. Turning him around, she shoved him in Max's direction. "Go."
Alec was shocked that OC had actually physically propelled him where she wanted him to go, but not at all surprised. He knew pretty well that OC was a tough girl. Despite her Ordinary genes, OC could handle herself just as well as anyone in his unit back at Manticore could have. Turning his gaping face from the direct woman behind him, he shoved his fists in his pockets and lowered his head glaring at the floor on his way to the table where Max sat.
Max watched as OC assisted Alec in standing. No. OC, don't make him come talk to me. She couldn't help but think. He's probably thinking about Rachel. Let him be. But her silent urgings came too late. The man who dominated her thoughts lately was making his way, rather unpleasantly, toward her. His face drawn in some kind of scowl of pain, he half shuffled half sauntered toward her. Max had to concentrate to keep her gaze directed on the glass in front of her. He distracted her a lot lately, and this time was no different.
"Hey, Max." Alec nearly groaned in greeting. He couldn't understand his own heart. He really wanted to be there, but he also wanted to be far far far away.
Max's throat tightened, she couldn't say anything. His voice, when he spoke, he sounded so irritated. Probably bothered by the fact OC made him come over here. Max's face grew sad, and hurt.
Alec thought about taking the chair that OC had left earlier, but he noticed that Max didn't say anything to him. The occasions when she didn't speak were rare. This either meant that Max was lost in her thoughts, or she was just ignoring him completely. Considering his previous relations with the other X5, Alec assumed that she was once again giving him the cold shoulder. Unable to take that from her at this point, he began to turn. "Okay then…I guess I'll go." He took a step away from her, but stopped when something soft touched his hand.
Max didn't know what possessed her to do it. Impulse? She reached out to him, gently grasping his hand as he tried to make an escape. She didn't know what was going on inside his mind, but she knew that she wanted to erase the pain she saw in his eyes, the confusion. The moment she touched his hand, the pain disappeared but the confusion increased twofold. "Please stay." Maybe they could heal each other.
Max had barely whispered the words. Any ordinary human wouldn't have heard them, but Alec did. He gently returned the slight squeeze to her hand and occupied the vacant chair. A strained silence followed, where both transgenics wanted to speak but adamantly refused to.
Alec finally glanced up at Max nervously. He had to do something, the silence was killing him. Much as he hated to do it, for her he would. "So," he started slowly, "how's wonder boy?"
Max shifted her eyes to his face from her hands which lay clasped in her lap. Then she looked back at her hands. "I don't care." She spoke just as quietly as she had before.
Knowing it would probably hurt him, he risked all to get her out of her misery. "What happened?" He gave her a small smile of reassurance.
Max's heart stopped. God, he's so beautiful when he smiles. It makes me wanna hold him, but I can't. I'll just think about it, instead. I can't risk being that open about my feelings with him. I can't afford getting hurt. And I don't want to hurt him. He said once that I made him think of Rachel. We had the same love for life, he said. I don't want so see him hurting because of me.
Alec watched as her mind drifted.
"It's over." Max continued in the same near silent response. She was so afraid that anything exuding from her mouth any louder than that and this perfect moment would shatter.
Alec watched her face for more issuance of pain. None showed. He wondered at that.
"But you don't want to hear about it." Max immediately dismissed the explanation that wanted to get out. She mentally urged herself to spill everything to him, but at the same time she beat her own face in saying 'no, no, no…I don't think so.'
Alec felt relieved that she had ended it with woe-is-me with a Marvel Comics complex. "I asked, didn't I?"
"Yeah," she admitted the fact, but still hesitated.
Alec was rather confused at her behavior. She didn't seem to be broken about ending it with Log-boy, but she wasn't acting like herself either. Usually she would snap back and yell at him, saying 'it's none ya damn business.' Yeah, that would have been like her. He smirked at how well he gotten to know her little nuances.
Max saw the smirk on his face. Normally she would have reared her bitchy-self and threatened to wipe it off his face herself with a well-aimed smack at the back of the head. But she just didn't want to. Her heart was in such a conundrum.
"Well?" he prompted. Alec had lost the smirk and looked concernedly at her.
"I don't think I ever did love the guy either. Uh," Max stumbled, not yet ready to reveal herself. "But, there's this guy…"
Alec immediately dropped his eyes, he couldn't take it. He'd lost her. Alec tried to look normal, like it didn't bother him. He didn't know if he succeeded. "Really?" He tried to be himself as he prompted her further, despite the fact that he felt he had been cut in half, exposed to the elements. "So who's the guy?" Being her friend he couldn't deny her the listening ear. He had offered after all, damn himself.
"He's transgenic." Max couldn't help but give him hints. She still stared absently at her hands, unable to meet his eyes.
"Is that a fact?" He spoke off-handedly, but the truth was he felt like she was taking him apart piece by piece, from the inside.
"Yeah. He's got this wickedly hot bod…"
Alec swallowed hard, a lump forming in his throat. He didn't want to hear Max describing the physical features of another man. She probably knew it, too.
"…And soft dark blonde hair, every time I see him I just want to run my hands through it. He's probably the strongest X5, next to me anyway. No matter what advantage he thinks he's got, I could still kick his ass." If anything that should give him away to himself. Max looked up at Alec and smiled, thinking it funny to be describing the man she was speaking to.
Alec noticed her smile, and his heart sank. It was the first smile she had shown all night. This guy must really be something for her to smile like that. She didn't even smile like that when she and Logan were a thing. To be honest, he didn't think she smiled at all when she was around Logan, not since she blew up Manticore. But he took the defensive. The only backside Alec wanted Max to be interested in was his.
"He's got these intense green-gray eyes. They hold everything about him…all his joy, and his pain." She said a bit sadly, hoping it wouldn't bring bad memories for him. "Just when he thinks he has his perfect soldier-mask in place, I can read his eyes." Max hoped she wouldn't have to actually say the words, that he would pick it up on his own.
"Listen Max," Alec started uneasily, interrupting her. He had to tell her before she went any further. "There's something I need to tell you…"
"Like I've been trying to tell you," Max inaudibly whispered.
But again, with his transgenic hearing, Alec heard her every word as clearly as if she had spoken directly in his ear. "…But it can wait, you weren't done yet," he amended.
"Well," she grew quiet. She had gotten into a pretty good swing, ready to tell him how she felt. But then he opened his mouth. Something bothered him about her gushing over this other transgenic, it kind of made her feel good that he was jealous of another. What he didn't know was that he was jealous of himself. "It's you."
His eyes snapped to hers, sure that she was just making fun of his discomfort. But he saw the plain truth, and love, in her eyes. He continued to stare at her, speechless. She just saved him from another heart-break, and she didn't even know it.
While Max was waiting with her heart hanging out, her brilliant smile wavering slightly. She knew that she had risked a lot: her friendship with Alec, her pride. Now her heart was at his feet. She wondered absently if he would kneel to pick it up and protect it or if he would walk right over it ignorant to its condition. She thought she knew Alec well enough to know that he wouldn't be so mindless in his actions, despite what how she always seemed to ream him out for his stupidity. That he cared enough about her to give her heart back to her if not hold it close to himself.
Just when she thought he would leave her to deal with the consequences of being honest, he opened his mouth again. "And here I thought you were talking about Biggs," he began with his usual smart name-sake attitude. He grinned widely at her, overjoyed that he wasn't alone in his feelings. "But, you know," he said leaning back, bringing a hand up to his chin, "since you told me that wonderful story about such a handsome guy…I oughtta return the favor and tell you about an equally gorgeous woman."
Max had no idea what he was going to say. Was he just being cruel now?
"She's got long dark waving hair. She challenges all I've ever thought or known about anything. She has fire in her eyes and a venomous attitude. If you get on her bad side, you are there until she decides you can come back, no negotiations. She never lets anything go, especially her family. She's giving and open, but it takes time to earn her trust. She's---"
"Alec," Max was reaching a breaking point, how could he do this to her. She just bared her soul to him and he was trampling it by talking about another woman. One fleeting thought was that he was talking about Rachel, but he was talking in present tense and Rachel had died almost a full year ago.
"---You, Max." Alec finally finished. He knew it was mean, but after all, she had done the same thing to him.
"You bastard." Max stated the fact as tears sprung to her eyes. Roughly wiping them away, she stood up and started walking away.
OC watched the exchange from her place at the bar. She hadn't moved since she propelled Alec toward her flustered friend. C'mon boy, she coaxed, use your brain if you've got one.
Alec had actually managed to make his feet work enough to get him over to the table where Max sat looking nearly broken. As he neared, her shoulders straightened and she tensed slightly with nerves. OC knew that she was completely out of her element here. Damn. Those two were so good at deep cover training in that military nuthouse that neither of them can see how the other plainly feels. OC blamed their training for their lack of human instinct at sensing another's desires, and she had a right to. As Max had told her several times, Manticore had focused heavily on concealing soldiers' thoughts from the enemy, even going into training for mental torture. Yet, Max and Alec were not enemies, well not really.
OC gaped as Alec turned to leave Max alone at the table. There you go…the male of the species is just dumb. SO not worth the time of a self-respecting honey. She wondered at Max's strength of character as the small brunette reached her hand out to gently restrain the tall transgenic. You go, girl. Show him who's who.
Max's face covered in displeasure. Fool. What did you say now? Just then, Alec revealed a smile, only for Max. Her response was immediate. OC watched as Max got lost in Alec's smile. Boy, they ain't no way that you can't tell that is love. Nothing brings up my Boo like that.
OC watched as Alec just stared at Max while she thought. Now, don't tell me that you are denying that you love her. No one I know would just stare at someone unless they felt something
Max barely moved her lips when she spoke. OC knew that she was afraid of changing anything between herself and Alec. OC encouraged her friend, c'mon girl. Say it. But the transgenic had closed herself up again. OC could tell that Max was fighting with herself.
When OC saw Alec's look of relief, she knew that Max had told him she had ended it with Logan. You half-way there, jus' do it, Boo.
Get that smirk off your face, boy! Can't you see she's struggling to tell you? Any second, Max is gonna do it for you.
The smirk dropped of his face and was replaced with a genuine look of concern. OC respected Alec for that. He would treat Max right, if they actually ever got together.
Alec had dropped his head forward, seemingly unable to look at Max. He looked like Max was reaming him out for something that he knew he was guilty of.
Then his face dropped even more. Girl, what are you saying to him?
Max seemed to pick up a rhythm, talking quite a bit, Alec looked more traumatized with every word she spoke. He looks like someone told him to shack up with a Familiar.
Max smiled. OC knew that Max was getting close to telling him that she wanted him. But, the way things looked now, it didn't seem that way.
Just when Max was about to tell him, Alec cut her off. Stupid fool! Let her finish.
OC could make out the word that Max said after Alec relented, allowing her to finish. "You." A'ight! My girl is da bomb.
She nearly laughed when she watched Alec's reaction. He snapped his head up and stared blinking for a good minute before he could speak. OC knew that Max was in agony. She had just revealed her heart and she was getting no response. OC held her breath.
Then he opened his mouth. Max looked crest-fallen. You bastard. What are you saying to her? She looks like she's breaking. OC had to pool all of her strength to keep from running over there, beating Alec to a pulp and taking her friend away from that horrid excuse of a man.
Max stood abruptly and made to run away, wiping raggedly at the tears brimming in her eyes.
She stared up into his hazel orbs and pinned him with severity. "You are going to pay for that." She looked furious, except for the hint of a smile tugging at the corners of her lips.
He caught her slip and played along. "Yes, ma'am." He pretended to look shamed, hanging his head and wringing his hands.
She grabbed his collar and tugged, leading him toward the stairs and the door. He followed her pull obediently, grinning like mad.
"Well, finally." The black girl at the bar watched the two transgenics make their way out of the bar, joy spreading through her for her friends. They had finally hooked up. And by the looks of it, they weren't going to waste any time.