Extra chapter, not an actual part of the series.

"The Wrong Tape"
by Kirsten Tapp

Disclaimer:Dark Angel doesn't belong to the author, but to James Cameron, etc. No copyright infringement intended.
Summary: Max picks up the wrong tape and gets an insight into Logan's childhood.
Challenge: Challenge #38 : Someone is watching home movies. It can be one character or more. Someone could show another person's home movies as a joke at a part. Or one person could relive their past.
Rating: PG - some graphical violence
Category: Romance


"Logan!" Max let herself into the apartment as usual. She unzipped her jacket and removed the disk she had just stolen for him, from the inside pocket. "Did you tape that movie for me whilst I was out committing a felony for you." She demanded as she rounded the corner to find him in his usual position in front of the computer.

"Yeah. It's the unmarked tape on the coffee table." He smiled up at her. "Did you get the disk?"

"As if there were any doubt." Max waved the disk at him, pulling it just out of his reach teasingly. Finally he just reached out and scooped her into his lap.

"Thank you." He plucked the disk out of her hand. "Any trouble getting it?" He kissed her hello and turned his chair back towards the computer with Max still in his lap.

"No, no trouble." She watched the screen as the information on the disk flashed up. "Looks like you're going to be busy." Parts of the data looked encrypted. It would take all night to decode it.

"It can wait till tomorrow." But Logan's brain was already working on ways to break the code. He didn't want to let go of Max though.

Max knew what Logan was like with his missions to save the world. "It's ok. I'll grab that tape and head home. We'll hook up tomorrow night."

"You sure?" Logan felt a bit guilty. He really wanted to bust this code

"Yeah. See you tomorrow." Max bent down and kissed him goodbye. Logan had been pretty considerate lately, putting work aside to spend time with her. The least she could do was repay the consideration. Reluctantly, she eased off of his lap and headed for the door, grabbing the video tape on the way out.

Back at her apartment, Max switched on the television and pushed the tape into the video player. Picking up the remote, she wrapped herself up in a blanket and pushed play. The picture on the screen flickered for a moment and then cleared to show what looked like a child's birthday party.

Original Cindy sat down beside Max. "Whatcha ya watching Boo?" She frowned at the picture on the screen. "Who's the kid? And why are you watching his birthday party?"

Max was as puzzled as Original Cindy "I don't know. I must have picked up the wrong tape. Logan said he'd tape a movie for me." She was about to push the stop button on the remote, when a voice off camera called out the boy's name. "Logan!"

"Logan!" Max and Original Cindy repeated at the same time. The camera moved it's view from the boy to a beautiful blond woman with sparkling blue eyes. She was standing beneath a banner that read, 'Happy 10th Birthday Logan.' Glittering about the neckline of her dress was a heart shaped locket.

Max pointed at the television. "That's Logan's Mom." She recognized the locket from Logan's cousin's wedding. She had lifted it off of Logan's Aunt Margo. "Wow, she's beautiful. Guess I know where he gets his looks from."

Original Cindy was impressed. "That's a damn fine looking woman. Which one's his father?"

"I don't know." Max admitted. "I've never seen photos or anything of his parents. The only reason I know that's Logan's mother is because of the locket she is wearing." She squinted at the television. "Who's the little girl beside him?"

It was so strange for Max to be watching a real children's birthday party. It wasn't something that she had ever experienced herself. She had heard about them, even see some on television programmes. But to be watching a home video of someone she actually knew, was a whole new experience.

Logan's mother hugged him and kissed the top of his head. A tall man appeared in the picture and kissed Logan's mother. When he looked down at Logan, instead of hugging the little boy, he held out his hand and shook the boy's hand.

"That's gotta be Logan's father." Max looked at the screen disapprovingly. "Wouldn't kill him to give Logan a hug." She watched as Logan blew out all of the candles on his cake. "So that's what I missed out on as a kid." Everybody looked as though they were having fun.

Logan opened his presents, his face lighting up every time the brightly colored wrapping was removed to reveal another present. The camera's view moved to settle on Logan's parents, who seemed unaware that they were being filmed. They looked so proud watching their son. Logan's father put his arm around his wife's shoulders and kissed his wife's forehead before looking back over at his son.

Original Cindy watched the changing expressions on Max's face. "Still think Logan's father's a heartless bastard." She teased.

Max gave her friend a sheepish grin. "I still think he could have given Logan a hug. I guess I know why Logan kept this tape. It's probably the only evidence Logan has that his father loved him."

"People have different reactions to their peeps, Boo." Original Cindy nudged her friend. "Some are all hugs and kisses. Others have trouble showing their feelings to those they care the most about." She shrugged her shoulders. "I don't know why. I guess it's just human nature."

"I don't know about that." Max couldn't tear her eyes away from the birthday party. "We were trained not to have feelings, they were a weakness. For a while we were able to be convinced that Manticore was right. I think our peer's treatment of us, are part of who we are." She smiled as Logan waved at the camera. "But then I guess we also have the power to become the sort of person we want to be." The tape came to an end and started to rewind itself.

"Guess you got an insight to Logan's life. Isn't what you expected, was it Boo? You thought it was the best money could buy. The truth is Logan was just a normal little boy who got hugs from his Mom." Original Cindy grinned to herself. "The great 'Eyes Only' is just your average Joe."

Max ejected the tape from the machine and smiled at her friend. "Trust me. There is nothing average about Logan." She grabbed her jacket and headed for the door.

Logan got up out of his chair and stretched his limbs. He needed a break. Walking into his living room, he switched on the television and pushed play on the video player. He was surprised to find himself watching the movie that he had taped for Max. Then he realized what he had done. He had taken a family film out of the machine so that he could tape Max's movie and not switched them over after the movie had finished.

"Looking for this?" An elegant hand appeared over his shoulder holding an unmarked video tape.

Logan took the tape out of Max's hand. "Yeah, sorry. Your movie was still in the machine." He ejected the tape out of the machine and handed it to her. He saw the strange look on her face. "You watched it, didn't you? Was it that bad?"

Max swung her legs over the back of the sofa so that she was sitting beside him. "Keeping in mind that my childhood consisted of weapon's training and combat exercises." She smiled at him. "You gave me an insight to the other side of the fence. Plus you were an adorable little boy."

Logan stared thoughtfully at her for a moment. "We've got to get you a birthday. What about the 9th of May? You escaped from Manticore in May 2009. It's the perfect birthday."

"I don't need a birthday." Max was happy Logan had put so much thought into it though.

"Yeah, you do." He smiled lovingly at her. "It's the one day in the year where you can be completely spoilt by everyone around you." He knew that she had missed out on the joys of having a party thrown for her, getting surprise gifts, even making a wish while blowing out the candles on the cake. He desperately wanted to make all of that up to her.

Max's eyes sparkled as she snuggled down into his arms. "May 9th, huh. Happy Birthday to me."

The End