A/N: I wanted to do a lot more with this fanfic. I'd planned something more with the Familiars, CAT, and the Coming. But, much like Dark Angel itself, it just wasn't meant to be. I didn't want to leave the story completely hanging, so I wrote this. I'm not entirely satisfied and I'm sure anyone who reads this won't be either, but I can't really bring myself to drag this out any longer. My deepest apologies to you saintly people who have followed this fanfic. I hope you won't hold this against me.
All A Dream
"So what exactly were you two doing out there?" the trucker asked again as we headed down the road, glancing over at us.
"Camping." Alec supplied.
The trucker's eyebrows raised and disappeared under his hat brim, "Camping? Where's your gear?"
Alec's face betrayed nothing even if I was sure he must be as nervous internally as I was, "I don't know if you'd believe me if I told you."
The trucker paused for a long moment before he responded to that, "I don't know about that. Heard on the radio that there was a burglary at this mansion near here. They say it was a couple of those mutants."
I stiffened in my seat, glancing towards Alec.
"You don't have to tell us." Alec said quickly, "Who do you think stole our gear?"
Now the trucker looked really surprised. His eyes kept darting between us and the road.
"You mean to tell me you tangled with them things?" he asked.
Alec eyes widened, "No way! When I saw how fast they moved, I figured they must be those freaks and we ran as fast as we could the other way."
"Quick thinking." the trucker nodded, apparently accepting our story, "What are your names?"
"Alex." Alec said, extending his hand across me to shake with the trucker, "This is my girlfriend, Jessica."
Jessica? I was so going to hit him for that later.
"Ma'am." the trucker said, tipping his hat, "My name's Bill."
"Thank you again for stopping for us, Bill." I said, trying to sound shaken by my supposed experiences.
"Didn't rightly have a choice, did I?" Bill replied with a bit of a grin.
I couldn't help but offer him an embarrassed smile back. I liked this guy. He seemed like a genuinely nice guy. I almost felt bad that we were using him like this, but it wasn't like we had a choice.
"Where are we headed?" Alec asked.
"Well, I've to get this shipment down to Redding. Where are you folks from?"
I was tempted to try and stay with Bill all the way into California, but he'd definitely be suspicious if we tried that. Glancing at Alec, I answered.
"Not far from here. You can drop us off in the next town. We'll be fine from there."
"Sounds good." Bill nodded, focusing on the road.
I felt awkward in the ensuing silence and wished for something to fill the void, but was unwilling to attempt the radio in Bill's vehicle. I leaned further into Alec, glancing at him out of the corner of my eye. He smiled reassuringly at me and draped his arm around my shoulders, giving me a small squeeze.
"You kids must be tired. Go ahead and sleep." Bill finally suggested.
I glanced at Bill and gave him an appreciative smile. I didn't really need sleep, but it couldn't hurt either. Alec leaned against the door and I leaned against him. With a sigh, I closed my eyes and told myself to sleep.
I woke up when Alec shifted underneath me. Sitting up, I looked out the window and saw that we were pulling into a town. It was small, probably not even a blip on a map, but we should be able to find another car here. Besides that, I was starving!
Bill pulled into a gas station and parked next to a pump. Alec immediately jumped out. I paused.
"Thanks again, Bill." I said, genuinely grateful.
"You're welcome, girl." Bill nodded. I turned to climb out after Alec, but Bill's voice stopped me, "And be careful out there. It ain't really safe for your kind."
I stiffened at his words. He knew? How? I turned wide eyes towards him, but he didn't seem like he was going to turn us in or anything. He still seemed like he was just trying to help.
"How did you know?" I asked quietly.
"I'm smarter than I look." Bill replied with a grin that made me almost feel like smiling back.
"And you're…not scared or anything?" I continued, not hiding my surprise.
Bill shook his head. I felt Alec returning to stand by the open truck door and glanced at him. He'd obviously heard what we'd said, but I shot him a calming look to let him know everything was alright anyway.
"Seems to me you folk were soldiers, right? Well, when I was about your age, I served in Vietnam. I remember coming back and having people yelling and throwing things at us just for serving our country. Hate to see the same thing happening to someone else." Bill explained.
"Yeah, us, too." Alec agreed dryly.
"You, too sure you'll be okay?" Bill asked, ignoring Alec's tone.
I nodded, "We'll be fine. Thanks again."
Bill tipped his hat in reply as Alec and I strode away. It was nice to know that not everyone was against us. And while it wasn't like we could count on meeting more people who felt the same as Bill, just meeting one was more than I'd expected. Maybe there was some hope for us after all.
Alec and I moved away from the gas station quickly. We bought food at a grocery store, stuff we could take with us on the run. Our last stop before stealing a car was to use a pay phone.
"Hey, Maxie." Alec greeted her after rattling off his barcode in a bored tone.
"You two okay?" Max asked immediately.
"Hit a little trouble trying to get some quick cash, but we're alright." Alec answered vaguely, "You still laying low in L.A.?"
"For the moment." Max confirmed, "We've spread out a little to minimize suspicion, but we're all here. You might want to tell Jess that her girl is kicking it with Krit."
Alec raised his eyebrows at me and grinned into the phone, "Good to hear someone's getting some action out there."
"I really can't wait to kick your ass." Max growled back.
"Now that's the sweet, little Maxie we all know and love." Alec teased, "Don't worry. I know how much it hurts you when we're apart. I'll be there soon."
"Someone's going to be hurting alright." Max threatened, but Alec was already hanging up the phone.
"Why do you antagonize her?" I wondered, shaking my head at him.
Alec shrugged, "It's a hobby."
"More like an extreme sport." I replied.
"I like to live dangerously." Alec nodded.
I rolled my eyes and grabbed his sleeve, tugging him along after me as we went to search for a suitable vehicle. Now that we had enough cash to keep gas in a car, we shouldn't have too many problems reaching Max or at least getting close enough that we could assist her if she needed. Besides, I wanted to see Kira. I was sure she was fine with Krit but a part of me wouldn't be happy until I saw her with my own eyes.
I was feeling pretty good about our escape finally. We still had a lot of problems to deal with, but escape and evade was something that I'd actually proven to be pretty good at. And now that I had Alec with me, I felt like there was little that we couldn't do. Defeating the Familiars and finding acceptance for transgenic would come with time perhaps.
As Alec and I drove our stolen vehicle along the coastal highway, I turned my gaze from the ocean to the man beside me. This must all be a great dream I'd had. I couldn't help but think that sometimes. When I reflected on everything that had happened to me in just the past few weeks, I couldn't help but feel that maybe it was all just a dream. And yet, I found myself there, with Alec, fighting for a new future. There'd be no quick resolution to any of it. Life's not like that. There's no nice wrap up to life where all the loose ends get tied into pretty bows. Especially not in my life. No, there was so much that still needed to be done. It was ironic really. After all this time, X5-613 finally found a mission.