Title: Secrets, Lies and Betrayals
Rating: PG, for now, DOES contain a few swear words
Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with Dark Angel, Cameron & Eglee, etc. I own nothing and I'm gaining only valuable writing experience.
Summary: Logan has a secret, which ultimately puts both Max and Alec in danger. M/A
A/N: I'm so sorry for the enormously long delay with this chapter, especially since it's the last. But I hope I've made up for it. Enjoy!
Chapter 12: Tomorrow
Max never slept much and just about everyone knew that. But over the past week of inner turmoil and drama surrounding her and her heart, Max had slept more than she probably would have in six months. Tonight, however, was one more night where she simply couldn't sleep. But that simple fact didn't seem to bother Max in the least tonight, as it did on most other nights. Because tonight was different. Tonight Max had never felt so content in all her life.
It wasn't because of the infirmary bed that she had occupied religiously for a week because frankly the makeshift bed was far from being considered comfortable. It was all down to the person she was sharing the bed with. Someone she never thought she would ever share a bed with or let him touch her for that matter. But also someone who she never thought could be the sole provider of the sense of peace and happiness she was experiencing. Alec was her savior, even if he didn't know it and it had taken her so long to recognize that fact.
Max had slept briefly after seeing Logan and telling him again that she never wanted to see him. The sense of joy and seeing Alec followed closely by the sense of dread at seeing Logan had taken its toll on her. But once again she was lying wide-awake in the middle of the night giving her the perfect opportunity to think. In that time she had decided a few things and once again most of the decisions revolved around or included Alec. Even though Max was feeling happy and content she knew that all the turmoil and drama hadn't been fully sorted out yet. There was still the small matter of telling Alec…well, everything really. After all, most of it is about him so he does have a right to know.
Fully content with her decision, Max smiled. As if sensing her happiness Alec pulled her closer to his body and nuzzled her ear with his nose. This simple yet affectionate action caused Max to sigh.
"I love you," she whispered softly to herself.
Unlike Max, Alec did indeed need sleep. However he wasn't going to let this once in a lifetime opportunity pass him by because he was too busy sleeping. When Max had stirred several hours earlier, Alec had also. But he had remained still so as to prolong the experience. He was quite happy to simply lie there with Max in his arms while she thought about whatever she thought about when she was awake at night.
Alec had felt Max smile which in turn caused him to smile while his unconscious pulled her closer to his body. His smile quickly faded as he hoped that he hadn't just ruined everything. He waited silently for her reaction. Never in a million years would this be what he would have expected. She sighed, fair enough, but then she said those three small words he had been longing to say to her since the day he met her. I love you.
His mind was racing a hundred miles an hour. Was it meant for him or was it meant for someone in the dream she was having? But she wasn't sleeping so she couldn't be dreaming, which meant that it was meant for him, right? Alec was far beyond confused and he needed to know if those words had been spoken for him, to him. Despite not wanting this experience to finish, Alec simply had to find out what just happened.
"What did you just say?" he asked softly since his mouth was still close to Max's ear.
Max's entire body froze and being so close to Alec he felt every muscle tense. This was not a good sign. She would no doubt kick him to the floor very soon. Maybe he could pretend he was talking in his sleep? As Alec was pondering his next move he felt Max move. 'This is it' he thought 'you've fucked it up yet again and now she's leaving'. But instead of leaving, Max turned round in his arms so that she was face to face with Alec. 'Ok this is different' Alec thought to himself as he now had Max still in his arms and was staring into her dark brown eyes that were full of an emotion he couldn't put his finger on. Alec had the thought that whatever was going to be said, it was going to be painful for him either way.
"You have a right to know and now is as good a time as any I suppose" Max said softly while returning the stare into Alec's eyes
Alec didn't trust himself to speak but his mind was screaming, 'know what?'
Max took his silence as a sign to continue. She let out a shaky breath. This was the point Max knew there was no return from. It was now or never to lay her true feelings for Alec on the line. She didn't want to be weak anymore.
"I'm in love with you," she whispered, still staring into his eyes trying to gauge his reaction. The fact that she wasn't on the floor with him yelling at her was a good sign, or so Max thought.
Alec's head was once again racing. Never, not even in his wildest dreams did Max ever feel the same way, let alone say it first. But this was indeed beyond all of his wildest dreams. Then Alec heard the word that he dreaded more than anything else in the world at the moment.
"But…" Max began but stopped when she saw Alec's eye close and his brow crease.
He didn't want to hear what came next. It already hurt and he didn't even know what it was. He was definitely right with his first assumption. Whatever Max said was going to be painful for him, very painful. First she had filled him with happiness and his heart had swelled like a balloon but now she had the pin poised in her hot little hand and she was going to deflate him. It was more than he could bear. He couldn't look at her and had to close his eyes. He desperately wanted to remember the look on her face when she had said it and nothing else. Everything after that was just a let down in his book. If she was going back to Logan he would go insane.
Max had seen Alec close his eyes and knew he was disappointed with what she had said. She was glad at that moment that he wasn't looking at her, as he would've seen the tears slide unchecked down her cheeks. This was by far the hardest thing she ever had to do, far harder than telling Logan to get lost for good. That seemed like a walk in the park compared to this. What made it even worse was the fact that not only was she still in the bed they shared, but still had his arms wrapped protectively and dare she think lovingly around her waist. But Max had made a decision and this was what had to be done and Alec needed to hear this, whether he wanted to or not.
"But," Max continued, " We can never be together"
There she'd said it, finally, now the grieving could begin. First thing she needed was to get out of this bed and out of his arms. But Max was stopped before she even made a move.
"Why?" Alec asked quietly still not looking at her.
"What?" Max asked dumbly. She hadn't expected he'd want a detailed explanation. But she found that she had always thought it would never get this far not because he didn't want to know but because she couldn't bear to tell him all the sordid details. What did it matter why, hadn't she been tortured enough without having to delve into all her private thoughts about him, them and life?
"Why can we never be together?" Alec asked calmly
"Because…" was all she managed to get out before Max had to sit up and hide her face with her hands in a vain attempt to disguise the fact that she was crying.
Alec had followed suit and sat up as well and when he saw that Max was crying he immediately reached out to comfort her. But his hands froze in between them. He was unsure now whether it was his place to comfort her. But who was he kidding? this was Max, of course he'd comfort her. Alec closed the distance and pulled Max into yet another hug to stop her tears.
Max instantly responded by wrapping her arms around his neck and sobbing into his shoulder. It took several minutes before her confused brain registered what was happening. Yet again Alec was comforting her while she cried and she had let him without even thinking. Being here with him, having him rub her back and stroke her hair felt so right but it only made Max cry all the more. She knew that they could never be together and yet when they were together like this it seemed so possible. Max was broken out of her thoughts and her sobs by Alec speaking softly in her ear.
"Max, it's tomorrow"
She pulled back but left her arms draped around his shoulders and gave him a quizzical look. This caused Alec to let out a small laugh as he wiped away some of the stray tears still leaking from Max's eyes with his thumbs.
"You said you'd 'tell me everything tomorrow and now is tomorrow"
Max smiled. It was obvious that Alec was worried and anxious about what she had to tell him but he didn't want to push her if she wasn't ready. Max thought the way he had subtly asked if now could be the time to tell him what was bothering her was really sweet. He could be so gentle and caring and with such ease. It was both surprising and comforting to see.
Max was smiling, that was a good sign. He desperately wanted and needed to get to the bottom of a few things. Like what exactly happened at the complex, both with Max and Logan, why she had kissed him yesterday and, most importantly, why they could never be together. Alec was being remarkably calm for someone who had the love of their life un-expectantly telling them they loved him. Although he was trying and succeeding in portraying a calm demeanor, his insides were quite the opposite.
Max had been quiet for several minutes now and Alec was quite content to let her. Despite the fact he was in desperate need to know what she was thinking and feeling he didn't want to rush her at all. He had seen where that had gotten Logan and he certainly didn't want to follow down that path.
"Ok Alec, I'm ready" Max said as she let out a shaky sigh. Laying your entire heart on the line was tough stuff but she was a solider, she could do this. She just didn't know where to start. Max's brow creased in confusing. It was more difficult than she ever imagined deciding where to begin. After all there was just so much to tell.
"How bout you ask what you want to know and I'll answer" Max offered, hoping that Alec would take her up on her offer so she wouldn't have to pick a starting point.
Alec nodded, "Sure" he said, but it was his turn to ponder about where to begin as there was much that he wanted to know.
"Why did you kiss me yesterday?"
"I was so happy to see you and I needed to be sure that you were real" Max half answered. There were some things that she really didn't want to get into yet, despite wanting to clear the air with Alec.
Either Alec didn't want to push or believed there was nothing more to say as he took Max's answer as the truth. His mind was occupied with having to ask the far harder questions and the answers that he would receive.
"What happened with Logan at the complex?" Alec asked after several minutes of silent deliberation.
Max sighed, she knew this was going to be hard but it had to done for her sake and Alec's.
"He didn't tell me you were going and when he finally did you'd been overdue by a couple of hours. Everyone else was busy and he offered to help me. I left him in the woods and left to go and find you." Max paused and shuddered at the thought of how she had found Alec. It was something she knew she could never shake. It was an image that would haunt her forever.
"Are you alright?" Alec asked after she had been quiet for several seconds and tears had started to leak from her eyes. He was worried about her. Whatever Max was remembering, what ever had happened was something that really shocked and scared her. He was angry with himself for not being there to protect her from that. If only he knew that he was the cause of her pain.
"You were really bad Alec" Max barely whispered, "I thought you were dead and I was so scared. I got you down and got you back to the rally point but Logan wasn't there. I thought he had been captured too but when I got to where his car and my bike was his car was gone. He left, he knew White was there and he left." Max was fully crying by this stage and it broke Alec's heart all over again. Logan was such a dick. But what Alec couldn't have realized was that Max was crying more for the memory of thinking he was dead and seeing him so beat up rather than for Logan.
"Why, why did he leave Alec?" Max begged him to be able to answer the question that had plagued her mind for days now.
"Because he was scared"
"Big deal I get scared but I don't run away, suck it up be a man do the job you were meant to do and move on."
"He's not like you Max, like us, he's not a soldier" God Alec hated that he was defending Logan's selfish actions to Max. He had bit his tongue whenever Logan was around or involved for Max's sake and even now that he wasn't he felt he still had to in order to protect Max. It wasn't right but it was what he needed to do. He wanted to protect Max and if defending Logan was how to do it then he would.
"I know he's not a solider," Max whispered softly before adding, "that's one of the reasons I realized I can never be with him."
Wow, that had certainly taken him by surprise. But Alec was glad to see that Max had actually given this a lot of thought. That meant that she wouldn't be running back to him anytime soon since her final decision was usually just that, final.
"What are the other reasons?" Alec asked quietly, wanting to know but not wanting to push Max if she wasn't ready, like always.
Max decided to change the subject at that point. The thought of telling Alec again that she loved him was just a tad to overwhelming for her.
"Do you even know what you were getting from the complex?" she asked casually
"No, it never really occurred to me, Logan just said it was important to you and that was good enough for me"
Max snorted, "Important to me my arse," She sighed before continuing, "It was the cure"
"Oh" was all Alec could say. This changed everything and also explained a lot. No wonder Logan was willingly to part with 20 grand. But why didn't he just ask Max to get it? As if reading his mind Max spoke,
"I didn't know about the mission and I didn't know it was for the cure either." Max said before adding with a sad and dejected look on her face. "Why didn't you ask me to go with you?
"God Max there is no one else in the world that I trust my life with but you. But Logan said you were busy and that you told him to get me to do it.
This caused Max to snort again.
"That's another of the reasons he and I can't be together. I realized just how self absorbed he really is."
Alec laughed but was glad Max could finally see Logan for what he really was. It hurt him the Logan used her so blatantly. Max was special and not something that should be taken advantage of just so Logan could boost his reputation.
The pair was quiet for several minutes content to just lay together. There was one more question that was nagging to be answered in Alec's mind. He knew that if he didn't ask know he never would.
"Max, you almost killed White at the complex, the only reason you didn't was because I stopped you. Why? What happened to make you want to go against everything you've ever believed in?"
"I changed, Alec" Max answered vaguely.
"How?" Alec urged her on desperate to know everything that had happened.
"I got weak" Max said softly, "I lost you and it made me lose myself as well" she finished with a shrug.
Alec was confused and it showed, "How so?" he asked
Max sighed, admitting this to herself was hard but voicing it out loud and especially to Alec was harder than she ever thought possible,
" I gave up. I didn't want to live anymore."
"Why Max, why did you give up?"
"God Alec you have no idea, I thought you were dead. I thought you were dead and it was all because of me. I couldn't take it, I needed revenge, I needed to hurt someone, I needed White to pay but I also needed to die. I went back to the complex so White would kill me. I was willingly to risk everyone and everything I care about, T.C, all the transgenics, everything, even myself."
Alec tried to take in all Max was telling him, which wasn't an easy task as there was a lot to take in. He heard what she had been saying and thought he knew what it meant but knew it couldn't be true. He thought what he was hearing was the Max given up because he was dead. Surely that wasn't the case. Sure they were friends or sort of friends and she had said that she loved him but that was only as a friend so Alec didn't think his death would affect her to this extent. He needed this cleared up before he could hear any more.
"Did you give up because of me?" he asked quietly, afraid he had misunderstood what Max had told him and was jumping to completely the wrong conclusion and about to make the biggest fool of himself.
Max couldn't speak so instead she nodded yes. Alec was taken aback. Even though he thought that's what she meant it was a completely different shock to hear her actually confirm it.
"Why?" Alec asked in a tone that clearly conveyed his confusion and shock.
Max paused and took a deep breath, "I didn't want to live anymore when I thought you were dead because I knew I wouldn't be able to handle being in this world without you." It wasn't exactly a declaration of love like before but it was pretty close. Max wasn't used to saying I love you so she wasn't about to rush into saying it again and again in the chance of scaring Alec off.
"That's why we can't be together now" Max added as a few more tears began to make their way down her cheeks.
Alec was floored yet again. He hadn't really taken her seriously when she had said that she had loved him before. But now she was telling him that she had been willingly to give up on her life when she thought he was dead. That spoke volumes to Alec. As both a solider and a man he knew what a huge sacrifice it would be to think that let alone act on it and Max basically did both. Maybe she really did love him but then why was she so unwillingly to give them a chance. Then the answer hit him. Through all this time, all this talking and all the things Max had confessed to him, Alec still hadn't told her that he loved her back. This was the perfect opportunity. Once Max knew that her feelings of love were reciprocated she would have no reason to deny them a chance. Alec was ecstatic.
"But Max," he said excitedly, "We can be together."
"No Alec, we can't." Max countered quickly without even really listening to what he had said. She had already gone through this speech in her mind and knew the spiel off by heart. It never occurred to her that Alec would feel the same way.
"You, well my love for you makes me weak Alec and I end up putting everyone in danger. I even told White I was in love with you. Now I've made you a target and all because of some feeling that I have and can't shake. It isn't fair on you or anyone else. It's something I have to deal with and I will, on my own." Max never she was doing the right thing. Distancing herself from Alec would be hard but it's what needed to be done for the good of the greater cause.
Alec was confused. Why was Max being so difficult about this? 'She's in love with me yet she won't be with me? That's one of the stupidest things I've ever heard' Alec thought to himself. But then a thought struck him. Rachel. He loved her, or at least thought he did at the time, and she died. Maybe it wasn't such an irrational thought after all. Max was merely trying to protect everyone from the consequences of her feelings. She was also trying to protect herself from the pain before it happened. After all, she had already had it happen to her, even if it was a false alarm.
"I know exactly what you mean," Alec said quietly
"You do?" Max asked obviously surprised.
"I know that you are trying to protect yourself and everyone else from getting hurt and I know that you're scared about being weak but don't you see Max, by us being together we become stronger not weaker. No one can break that, not even White."
Max stared at Alec with a skeptical look. That hadn't really occurred to her and neither did the fact that Alec not only felt the same way but also was willingly to start a relationship. But she still wasn't sure if he did. Maybe all he was doing was trying to convince her that she wasn't weak. After all, Alec hadn't said anything about how he felt about her or even about what he thought about how she felt about him.
Alec saw the skeptical look on Max's face and knew she needed convincing and he knew exactly what to say to do just that.
"We are meant to be together Max, it's right, we fit, we match, don't fight it. You can't stop what is meant to happen. Maybe you needed to have your heart broken by Logan to see him for who he really is and maybe you needed to think that you'd lost me in order for you to really know how you felt about me and if that is the case than I'm glad all these things happened despite the pain they caused both of us because now it means that we can be together and we can move on stronger than ever."
Despite all the things Alec was saying to her Max still wasn't hearing the 3 little words she needed and longed to hear the most. It would be those 3 words that would seal the deal for her and them. Until she heard them Max would continue to shake her head. Alec was beginning to lose hope.
"Max, you can't just shut me out of your life" he said in an exasperated tone whilst throwing his hands up in the air.
"Why not?" Max asked stubbornly.
"Because I can't live without you. I feel the same way you do. If you weren't around me everyday then my life just wouldn't be worth living. You make me a better person and you make me want to be a better man. Max, I love you"
Her heart leapt. He had said it. He had told her he loved her along with so many other things that she needed to hear in order to allay her fears.
"Really?" Max asked letting the smile spread across her face and light up all of her features, while still being a tad unsure if she had heard correctly. After a life full of pain, suffering and hate it was hard to come to terms with getting the one thing that truly made you happy. Max was having a little trouble believing it was actually true.
Alec laughed. He needed to say a few things of his own and now was most definitely the time.
"Yes Max really. I've loved you since the moment I first laid eyes on you. You are the most beautiful woman I have ever seen and you take my breath away every time I look at you. It's not just because of what manticore put into your mix, you are your own person and Manticore could never stop the beautiful person that you are from emerging. I love you so much it hurts. You have no idea how hard it has been to not touch you, hold you, kiss you and most of all tell you I love you for all this time."
Max had never been happier in all her life. Finally something had gone right for her in her crazy life. All the pain over the past week had been washed away and forgotten with 3 simple words from Alec. He was whom she truly loved and whom she needed to be with. It had just taken her far too long and far too many wrong paths to find him. But all that didn't matter now because she had found him and he had been waiting for her all along. Now they could be together.
The smile wouldn't leave Max's face even if she wanted it to, which she didn't' of course. She wrapped her arms around Alec's neck and hugged him tightly to her body. They stayed that way for several minutes before Alec pulled back and stared at Max.
"God you're beautiful," he whispered while slowly stroking the side of her face with his thumb, so as to try and memorize every inch of her skin. The smile on Max's face grew wider till her cheeks felt as if they would burst. Her heart felt as if it would burst also. She had never been in love like this before and knew that this was without a doubt the real thing.
"I love you Alec" she whispered and watched as his face broke out into a grin whilst several tears leaked from his eyes. Alec closed the gap between them and softly planted his lips against Max's. The kiss was electric and neither one of them could describe the pure joy that they felt at the simple contact. After the kiss broke, Alec began running his hands along Max's neck and down her arms, reveling in the feel of her soft skin.
"I love you too Max" he said before capturing her lips once again.
Max and Alec were oblivious to the rest of the world. They were content to spend the rest of the night and the rest of their lives exploring each other and the possibilities a relationship would present them with. Both of them knew that they were in love with the other body, mind and soul. They were made for each other and their love would last through whatever Seattle, White and the familiars, the entire world would throw at them. They had each other and that was all that mattered.
A/N: I really enjoyed writing this story and hoped everyone enjoyed reading it. Let me know, Cheers.