When Dreams Become Reality (10/10)

When Dreams Become Reality (10/10)

By Guardian Angel (eyes_only1@yahoo.com)

1/14/01

Setting: After Beneath the Surface (my fic), and sometime after "Blah Blah, Woof Woof."

Rating: R

Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters from Dark Angel (I only wish I did!)...so please don't sue! :-)

Rachel, Mandy, Erin, Jen:  Thank you girls, for all your help with this, you're the best!  I would've either gone insane or killed myself if not for your help at times! ;-)

Author's Notes: Wow, ok, time for the final notes here...I'd just like to thank all of you people who were kind enough to leave reviews or send me comments, I'm addicted to feedback! :-)  I appreciate all the comments, it helps me to become a better writer.  Sorry about all the delays while writing this, I've had a lot of stuff going on these past few weeks, as have my wonderful beta readers, so often it's taken me awhile to get the parts out, I know.  I hope it was worth the wait!  Anyway, I hope you all enjoy, I definitely enjoyed writing it! *hugs to all*

Oh, and sorry guys, but the technical science stuff is not very accurate...I'm basically going off what I remember from biology two years ago, and what little info I could dig up on Yahoo! without much effort, I'm in the mood to write but way too tired to do an in-depth search for info. :-)  Hope no one cares that much!

*****

Part 10- Conclusion

"Logan?"  Without bothering for an answer, Max headed down the hallway towards his office.  It was pretty much a given that she'd find him there, anyway. 

"In here Max." 

His voice reached her from elsewhere just as she was about to enter his computer room.  Changing course, she walked into his living room instead. 

Logan was there, along with Doctor Jennifer Sheffield. 

"Max, hey."  Logan smiled happily at her, his ocean-blue eyes sparkling. 

As she leaned against the door jam, Max eyed the pretty woman sitting next to him.  Though Dr. Sheffield had over fifteen years already under her belt as a specialist in paralyzation cases, she was still young, in her mid thirties.  She had been a child genius, completing medical school before she was twenty.  She had a waterfall of blond hair that swung to her waist, intelligent green eyes, and a perky, upbeat attitude. 

Taking in how close Jen leaned to Logan, how her smile brightened every time she looked at him, Max wanted to hate her, she really did.  Only she couldn't, because Jen was the one who was going to make Logan walk again. 

Once they had returned from Hawaii, t had taken Logan and Max almost two weeks to find Jen, and all of two seconds once they met her to decide that she was perfect for the job of deciphering the notes from the Brotherhood.  The lovely woman had moved into Logan's penthouse three weeks ago, and had promptly devoted every waking hour to her research and studies, pouring over the information the Brotherhood had so kindly provided.  Every day she got closer to the answer, and Max knew that the breakthrough they needed would come anytime now.

The Brotherhood had collapsed with hardly a protest, barely a week after Max and Logan had returned home.  The broadcasts Eyes Only had sent out through Seattle had aroused the public's fury.  Logan had even managed to widen his hack, and send the message out to cities all along the West Coast.  With the strident demand of the people at their back, the police had quickly arrested the villainous members, and now they were all safely behind bars.

All in all, our trip to 'paradise' was damn productive.

"Max?" 

Her thoughts were interrupted by Logan's questioning voice.  With a start she focused in on the here and now, sliding her private musings into a corner of her brain to continue thinking about later. 

"Hey, sorry.  Mind was taking a side trip."  The corner of her mouth turned up in a slightly amused smile.  "What's up, kiddies?  You paged?"

She wouldn't have believed it possible, but his grin widened even more.  He was practically bouncing in his seat. 

"We've got it Max!  Jen found the last key we needed!"  For once, words failed him, and before he had time to recover Dr. Sheffield stepped in.

"I found the last RNA sequence we needed this morning, and after that it all just clicked.  We're going to do the surgery tomorrow, Bling has already said he will definitely be able to make it."  After much discussion and research, they had decided that it would be best if the DNA and RNA inserted into Logan were from a male, instead of from Max.  Jen thought there would be less chance of rejection that way, and Bling had promptly volunteered.

"Congratulations!"  Despite the pang in her heart, Max didn't have to fake her smile as she walked over to give him a quick hug.  The familiar feel of his arms around her as he returned the embrace brought much-too-recent memories swimming to the surface, and she pulled back quickly, covering her turmoil with another smile.  "Ladies beware, we're soon going to have a walkin', talkin' Logan Cale running around on the loose." 

Laughing slightly at her joke, he snagged her hand before she could walk away, then promptly released it as he sensed the undefined emotions boiling in her eyes.  With Jen right there, he knew now was not the time to ask her what was wrong, so he pushed it aside.  "Can you get tomorrow off work?  Please?"  His cerulean blue eyes were quietly pleading.  "I'd really like you to be there."

Her gaze darted towards the doorway, then the window, before returning to rest on him again.  "Why?  I mean, I can probably get it off, just fake being sick and Normal'll practically shove me out the door, but why is it so important that I'm there?" 

"I don't know, it just is.  Reassurance, I guess.  Someone to hold my hand while I scream, and all that."  He tried to inject a note of levity into the conversation, but his amusement quickly faded away to seriousness again.  "I want you to be there.  Just in case..." 

Understanding what he wasn't quite able to bring himself to say, she sent him a comforting smile and nodded.  They all knew that despite Dr. Sheffield's expertise, the operation was still very dangerous and there was the slight chance that he might not live through it.  "In that case, count me in.  What time do the games start tomorrow?" 

"Eight.  We want to start early, 'cause the anesthesia requires that he go without breakfast, and I want to do it while I'm still at my peak, not tired out."  There was the quiet ring of authority in Dr. Sheffield's voice as she spoke. 

"'K, I'll be there.  I'll see you two tomorrow.  If I don't get back to work Normal will have a hissy fit, I'm on my lunch hour."

Before she could swing out the door and disappear, Logan's voice stopped her.  "Max?  One more thing...you think you could swing by sometime tonight, spend a little while with me?  I'll cook dinner if you'd like..." 

When he smiled at her like that, with his eyes all hopeful, it was nearly impossible for her to deny him anything.  "Sure.  I'll see you around six then?" 

He nodded, and as she slipped out the door the smile faded from her face.  Her eyes became shadowed, confused.  She wanted Logan to walk, she really did, but she also knew that it would change everything between them.  Once he was able to stand on his own, he wouldn't need her anymore, and it would be time for her to step away, to stand back and let him resume his life.  As she jogged down the stairs, the grim thought made her all the more convinced to enjoy herself tonight.  After all, it might be the last evening like this I spend with him...

***

The surgery went well, with hardly a hitch throughout the entire process.  Within a few hours of waking from the anesthesia, Logan claimed he could feel a noticeable stiffness in his legs, along with a slight aching pain.  His words brought a cheer from everyone, and hopes continued to rise at this good news. 

Within two days, with a little help from Bling, he was able to wiggle his toes and shift his legs slightly.  Immediately following this discovery, Bling set up a strict regimen of exercises for him to do, and helped him through the routine every day.  Thus started Logan's rapid road to recovery.

The next few months were filled with his ongoing physical therapy, and trips to various doctors.  Though it seemed like ages to him, soon Logan was able to walk short distances with the aid of a walker, and shortly after that he was able to hobble around with a set of crutches, and finally with only a cane. 

The night he was able to walk to Max and give her a hug for the first time since his accident was a major highlight in his life, as was the first time he was able to take a walk in the rain.  Or walk to the local market and buy groceries.  Play a heated, if short, game of basketball with Bling.  Do his own reconnaissance for his Eyes Only stories.

***

One evening, after a particularly rough day of work about four months after Logan's successful surgery, Max let herself into his penthouse.  She was exhausted, tired to the bone, and she was hoping to sweet-talk Logan into fixing her dinner before she dragged her tired butt to bed. 

As she walked down the hall, she could hear the quiet murmur of voices coming from the family room.  She frowned.  While one voice belonged to Logan, she couldn't identify the other, and she really wasn't in the mood for company.  She had been planning on a quiet evening alone…except for Logan of course. 

Padding noiselessly up to the doorway, she peaked in, careful to not reveal her presence.  Upon seeing Jen Sheffield cozied up to Logan on the couch her frown turned into a silent snarl. 

While Jen had been at least moderately subtle about her advances towards Logan in the beginning, when she'd still been working for him, now she seemed to have dropped all pretenses and was coming on to him with all the subtly of a ton of bricks.  Despite the fact that the couch was big enough to easily fit three people, she was sitting close enough to him that their thighs touched, and her arm was draped over the back of the sofa.  Her legs were crossed towards him, and she leaned slightly towards him, her eyes never leaving his face as he talked.  Unless it was to do a slow sweep down the rest of his body.

Her face heated in a mixture of anger and embarrassment as Logan laughed at whatever it was Jen had just said to him.  Obviously he didn't miss me that much, I don't see him pushing her away.  She had been so busy this past week that she'd only been to see him twice, and the last time was three days ago.  Jen was probably all too eager to fill the void.  Bitch.  Once again, though, she found herself unable to hate the pretty doctor.  After all, she had devoted the last five months to Logan, continuing to drop by to check up on him long after the surgery had been deemed a success and her job was technically finished.  Besides…can I really fault her for liking Logan?  Their meaningless conversation was a soft hum in her ears, in her anger nothing that was being said was registering in her brain. 

Turning away from the door, she was about to creep down the hall and leave when sudden movement caught her eye.  What she saw when she glanced back into the room brought her blood up to the boiling point: Logan and Jen were kissing!   Sharp waves of hurt washed through her.  After a moment, though, her defense mechanisms kicked in, and her hurt started to transform into anger.  As her vision swam red with fury Max pushed away from the door, forcing her feet to move in the direction of the elevator.  She knew that if she didn't get the hell out of there now that she would commit some cardinal sin, probably something along the lines of ripping Jen's head from her body.  And then strangling Logan with her trachea.  With that thought she slipped out the door and down to the street, gunning her motorcycle engine as she raced away, desperate to loose herself in the comforting power of her bike. 

***

Logan pulled back from the kiss and lifted his head as he heard a motorcycle engine being gunned down on the street below.  Shit, it's probably Max.  I'd better deal with this quickly, she won't like seeing Jen here…He had been taken completely off guard when Jen had leaned over and planted an eager kiss on his mouth.  While he hated to admit it, he was only human, and the warm contact of lips on lips had surprised him into responding for a few short seconds.  He couldn't help but feel like it was a betrayal of Max…even though he had been dreaming it was her he was kissing.  Better not tell Jen that…  While he valued Jen as a doctor and a friend, he had no sexual interest in her, and he had thought he'd made that plenty clear over the course of their relationship.  Obviously not.

"Jen…"  He pulled away from her, standing up as his mind raced, trying to think of something to say to drive the point home without hurting her any more than necessary.  "I'm flattered, I really am-"

Her smile was sad.  "Why do I feel a 'but' coming on?"

She frowned at the distance he had put between them, chewing on her bottom lip.  He couldn't help but notice that the move didn't look nearly as alluring on her as it did when Max nibbled on her lip that way.  "I'm flattered by your attention, but I don't feel the same way.  I'm sorry if you ever got the impression that I cared for you as more than a friend, my feelings for you just aren't like that."

"OK, I can deal with that…do you mind if I ask you one question?"  Rising from the sofa, she began to quietly gather together her purse and coat, preparing to leave.

"Sure, go ahead."  His slight smile was tinged with weariness; this was only the icing on a very long day.  And he missed Max.

"Is it just me, or is there someone else you're already involved with?"  As she stood posed in the doorway, her gaze was direct.

"Max.  I love Max."  It was the first time he had admitted it out loud, and he was slightly surprised at how good it felt to say it.

Her smile was wistful.  "She's a lucky woman…maybe you should tell her how you feel."

"Yeah, I'm getting to it…"  His answering smile was tinged with irony.

"Do yourself, and her, a favor…don't want too long.  Life's short, and everyone deserves to know that they are loved."  With those parting words she turned and walked down the hall, letting herself out of his penthouse.

Sinking back down to the couch, Logan shook his head in wonder.  As he sat there and pondered the happenings of the day he was vaguely surprised that Max never showed up, he had been sure that it was her motorcycle he'd heard earlier.  Guess not…just one that sounded like her.  Or maybe my wishful thinking.

***

Much later that night, Max was still on her bike, speeding through the now-deserted streets of Seattle.  While her thoughts had originally been angry, now the fury had given way to pain that she was unable to conceal from herself.  As always, the comforting feel of the wind in her hair, coupled with the powerful thrum of the well-tuned engine between her thighs had provided a soothing effect, allowing her to move past her initial reaction and deal with her real feelings. 

I should have known…She's everything I'm not.  Blond, willowy, successful…normal.  No worries about seizures interrupting her day, or big brothers on a commando trip bursting in to ruin the mood. 

I guess this just goes to prove that life's fucked up.  I should have started backing away sooner, as soon as we returned from Hawaii. Then maybe it wouldn't hurt this bad.  Yeah, right.  That trip was the death knell I think, after pretending to be lovers for so long that the lines between reality and dreams faded it's pretty much impossible to go back to the quid pro quo relationship we originally had.  Stupid.

So what happens now?  I start pulling back, that's what.  I should just pick up and haul my ass out of Seattle all together, make a clean break…but that would mean leaving Cindy and Kendra, Sketchy and Herbal.  Somehow I think I'm going to need my friends in the weeks to come too much for me to run away now.  Besides, that's not fair to them, ditching them at the spur of the moment just 'cause some guy burned me. 

So what choice am I left with?  A slow break…slowly cutting down the amount of time we spend together, the depth that I depend on him.  Honestly it'll probably be more painful this way, but…I just can't force myself to leave.  Even though I know I should… Shoulda known that it wasn't in the destiny of a genetically enhanced killing machine to find love.

***

The next evening when Max answered Logan's page, he noticed that she was more subdued than usual.  When she refused to talk about it he pushed it to the back of his mind, figuring she'd either break down and tell him, or eventually get over it.  There were more important things to think about right then, he needed her to do some snooping for him.  His legs just weren't quite strong enough to allow him to do his own breaking and entering…besides, she was much better at it than he ever had been. 

So busy was he with the excitement of finally being able to walk again, and all of the little details and excitements that it entailed, that it was a long time before Logan realized that Max was quietly, effectively, slipping out of his life. 

******

Finished.

And before you all start throwing rotten veggies at me, let me just say that *yes* I know this wasn't the ending most of you were hoping for, and *yes* there is a sequel coming, and *yes* it is already partially written. :-)  It's all good guys! ;-)  Please, don't kill me...*raises hands in surrender*  Anyone coming after me with weapons will have my Logan clones set upon them. (In a BAD way, guys, get your mind outta the gutter! *snickers*) *ducks behind couch to avoid any incoming missiles*

Hmm…I guess I could be nice and explain *why* I decided to end it this way.  Basically, after doing a lot of thinking, I decided that I wanted "Dreams" to concentrate more on how Logan was healed, with the side effect of bringing the two of them closer together, of course.  The sequel will deal with the changes in their relationship.  :-)  Honestly I think that when he is healed it will cause problems between them, I mean, she's kinda gotten used to him being sort of dependent on her, and vice versa… But stay tuned for the sequel, which just needs some fine tuning, for your happy ending. ;-)  Oh, and then there's the other little fact that I didn't really want to change the rating of my story in the middle. ;-) *hint hint*

*****

Ok, for those of you who haven't figured it out yet, the sequel was finished like six months ago, and is called "Fade to Black."  If you can't find it on ff.net for some reason, you can find it (along with all my other work) here: http://www.geocities.com/eyes_only1/  Enjoy! :-)