Summary: Max learns Alec's little secret after a run-in with one of his ex's. Post HG.
A/N: This is a standalone. That means NO continuations.
Disclaimer: Mustn't forget this part… No, I own nothing here, except maybe the unnamed blonde. And, who knows, maybe not even her. She probably already appeared on the show as a nameless, typecast, one-night-stand.



Whipping Boy



"I should've known."

Max glanced up, startled out of her thorough examination of the condensation on her beer mug. Alone at the Crash on a Wednesday afternoon-going-onto-evening wasn't exactly the most exciting experience of her life, so she'd turned to her mug for a momentary distraction from the boredom that had threatened to consume her.

"I'm sorry?" she said, a slightly puzzled frown taking the place of her previously blank expression.

She studied the woman before her. Blond, pretty, generously endowed to the point where Max couldn't help but pity the girl's poor t-shirt-and vaguely familiar.

Ah yes, a fellow Jam Pony Messenger. Fairly new to the job, if she recalled correctly. Well, not so new that Alec hadn't already slept with her, but new enough that Max hadn't yet had the opportunity to learn her name. In fact, she doubted that Alec had either.

Max gave the girl a small, but friendly enough smile. "We work together, don't we?"

The girl nodded, not returning the gesture.

Max felt her own smile slowly slipping away. Before she could say anything though, the blond repeated her earlier statement.

"I should've known."

Max gave a small sigh. After the hours of virtual non-activity, her brain was not yet ready to deal with a sudden assault of cryptic statements. "Known what?"

Blondie crossed her arms below her ample chest. "About you and Alec."

Oh great…she should've guessed this would be about that idiot. She wasn't oblivious to all the heated, murderous glares she'd been receiving from the female population of Seattle ever since word got around that she and Alec were an "item". She still wasn't sure who'd unleashed this little bit of gossip, but needless to say, the individual responsible had not earned themselves a place on the temperamental brunette's good side.

She wondered, not for the first time, why Logan had to see Alec leaving her apartment? Why couldn't it have been someone with a little less baggage? Someone like…Sketchy, perhaps.

On second thought, that probably would have defeated the purpose. There was no way anyone, let alone Logan, could believe that she'd sleep with Sketchy in her right mind. In fact, discovering Sketch leaving her apartment that morning, and then her not denying that something had occurred between them when questioned afterward, would probably have resulted in her being temporarily committed for "further observation" until she were deemed "no longer a threat to herself and those around her". Which would probably have required her either admitting that nothing had actually happened, or that she had been under the influence of some incredibly potent mind-altering drugs.

But alas, none of this had to do with the disgruntled blond before her at the present moment.

Wait a minute, did she say…?

"What do you mean you should've known?"

"Oh come on. The way you're always hitting him, putting him down and generally treating him like shit. And he still keeps hanging around you after all that…well, of course he does."

Max frowned slightly; she wasn't following. But the girl gave her no opportunity to voice her confusion.

"I can't believe I didn't see it before. I mean, the whips and chains and handcuffs…I knew he liked it rough and kinky, but I just didn't make the connection." She shook her head, lips curling in disgust. "All that time…it must've been like public foreplay for you two."

"What?"

It was at this point that the object of their discussion chose to enter the establishment, glancing around the room until his eyes caught sight of Max. He smiled at the other transgenic and began to make his way toward her.

When she had finally recovered from the initial shock of the blonde's revelation, her eyes narrowed, forehead furrowed, mouth set out in a straight line, and cheeks flushing with a warring mixture of anger, indignation and discomfort.

"Alec!"

To further increase her anger-indignation-discomfort combo, his smile grew in response, his eyes sparkling in a way, she realized, they always did during these sorts of encounters…though somehow she'd failed to notice up until now. And for the first time in their many months of acquaintenanceship, she finally knew why, after all the things she'd done and said to him in the past, after how abundantly clear she'd made the fact that she wanted nothing to do with him, he still kept coming back.

"Ugh," the blond said, voicing her revulsion, "get a room you two."

Ignorance is bliss, they said. And Max finally understood why.



--the end--