Disclaimer: Dark Angel belongs to not me, enough said.

Author Note: Hit briefly by some inspiration - some would call it a return of the muse - I fiddled out this little piece. Next chapter is written, and will appear... shortly.

No one

'No one's around. Leave a message,' the familiar timbre of Logan's voice informed her.

'Hey, it's me. I'm leaving a message. I haven't heard from you in a while. Just… checking in. Hoping you're okay. All right… um… take it easy.' Max hung up the phone uneasily, feeling heavy and tentative with the current situation between her and Logan.

'Things still weird between you and Logan, huh?' asked her ever-perceptive best friend.

'Define "weird",' Max replied clinically.

'Weird, as in he's still upset that the twelve-hour window you had to be together got slammed shut on his fingers.' Max had to smile a little at Original Cindy's frankness.

'When you put it that way, yeah, things are still weird.'

'Did it ever occur to you that maybe this cure worked better than you thought? Far as you know, that virus bitch could be out of your system for good,' Cindy countered, trying to spark some optimism in Max.

'No, I went to see Delbert the lab geek. He said the bug's back, full-blast. I touch Logan, he dies,' she replied, her voice quivering slightly at the thought of killing him.

…insert Harbour Lights here…

'I got some Eyes Only stuff that I gotta take care of, so…' Logan gestured weakly toward the door and began to leave

'Hey.' Max stemmed his departure with her hail, and he turned eagerly to the request.


'Thanks. For…' she indicated toward her ankle '…you know.' She smiled at him warmly. All Logan could manage was the briefest quirk of the lips in return.

'Yeah. Take care of yourself, Max.'

Max's smile faded as he turned and began to leave. Depression started in once again as the door to her apartment closed. Cindy walked back in the room and sat next to Max.

'So things are still weird between you and Logan?'

'Yeah, I guess.'

'Man still loves you, you know. Risked his ass to save your life.'

'Yeah,' Max agreed half-heartedly, still wanting to believe the fact that Logan wasn't over her.

'If it wasn't for him, the CDC would have their hands on a real-' The ringing of the phone interrupted Cindy, '-hold that, I'll get the phone.'

A few seconds later Original Cindy walked back in the room, phone in hand. 'It's for you. Your lab geek.'

Max rolled her eyes and extended her hand for the phone. 'What?' Her tone was tired. A few seconds of silence ensued as Max listened to the phone.

'You're kidding? No, no, of course I want it.'

From what Cindy had heard of this conversation she was about to pop with excitement for Max. The only problem was that Max didn't seem too excited about the news. A small beep indicated the end of the call.

'He figured it out? You got a cure! I'm so happy for you,' Cindy squealed as she lunged at Max into a very energetic hug.

'Hey, watch it. I got shot yesterday,' Max said tiredly, pushing Cindy off her.

'Sorry, boo. I'm just really excited for you. It's what you and money bags deserve.'

'Well, I hate to burst your bubble, but he doesn't have a cure-'

'Then what was that all about,' Cindy interrupted hotly, her bubble well and truly burst.

'He thought I would be crying because he didn't get the cure to work and he felt bad or something. So he's giving me most of my money back. S'pose that's something.' Max's lip trembled slightly and her eyes started to glisten.

'Oh, boo. I'm so sorry,' Cindy consoled, sitting next to Max again and holding her, 'you two are gonna beat this bitch. I swear.'

Cindy was heart-wrenched as she felt Max sob against her shoulder and grip her desperately. This virus was breaking her and only now did she release some of the tension that had been building up for the past few months. After a minute or two Max composed herself and moved out of Cindy's embrace, looking shy and embarrassed but still a little puffy around the eyes.

'Sorry about that,' Max said weakly, brushing at her eyes with the back of her hand.

'Ain't no shame in lettin' it out, sugah. In fact, I think you should do it more often, so you don't explode in a big gooey mess one day. You know I have always got your back, boo,' Cindy said, looking Max in the eyes to drive her point home.

'Yeah, thanks O.C.,' Max replied, finally wiping the tears from her face.

'Now, at a time like this I'd suggest comfort food and barrels of it. But seeing as the world is in turmoil, alls we got is this soup here. So eat up and pretend it's ice cream or something.'

Max smiled a little and then began to eat the soup. Her smile didn't last long and soon she was back to looking tired and terribly, terribly sad.