Chapter 16: Choices
Max stared at Logan in shock over his revelation: while she had been gone he had found a cure for the virus. So that's what was in the package she had picked up from Carr that she vaguely remembered. Testing research to make his goal reality.
Max blinked. She had gotten back to Seattle yesterday night, and in those hours since she had stayed with Ray till she fell asleep, checked up on OC, brought Normal his jam, and came to find Logan. Though the one thing that still hung in her mind was being kissed by White.
He had kissed her.
And now here was Logan offering her the viral cure so that he could kiss her. After two years of being apart, she could finally be with Logan.
But was that what she wanted?
"Are you sure?"
"Max I'm positive. We've been testing and re-testing non-stop. I didn't say anything because I didn't want to get your hopes up if it didn't work."
"Max, you said that already. I know it's a lot to take in, after all these years of being careful. This is it Max, this is the cure."
Max sat listlessly on the couch as the antivirus worked its way through her system.
She was cured. Or at least she would be if touching Logan in the next few minutes didn't cause him to drop dead at her feet.
"Well that's time. It should be safe now."
Max watched as Logan sat down on the coffee table in front of her and offered her his hand.
Two years. Two years of waiting for this moment, the moment when they could be together. She had clung to this dream for so long and now it was right here in front of her. She wouldn't kill Logan with the touch of her hand.
She wanted to be with him...didn't she? She loved him...right? After all the missions and Manticore, realizing their love too late, Alec and Asha threatening them apart.
Logan accepted her for what she was. He needed her for Eyes Only...Eyes Only...his missions, his work-a-holic nature. Would that always come first?
Their hands touched.
One second. Two. Five. Ten. Nothing. A whole minute and she found herself in Logan's arms as he pulled her close to him. Their cheeks touched, he kissed her neck.
"It worked, it really worked. Max the virus is gone."
Relief she didn't kill him. Why was that all she could feel? Wasn't this something she wanted more than anything? Wasn't this what she had hoped for before that week in Donovan? Before she had been pretending to be White's wife? Before Ray was calling her 'mom', before any of that...
Ray loved her, he truly did. And now he was back with his father. What would happen if she stayed with Logan? Hell, Ray's whereabouts were something she was still going to have to tell Logan. And after that it'd be another crusade to send they boy to England. And he'd use her to get to Ray and take him from his father. If that happened, Max knew that Ray would never forgive her. He already held Logan in contempt.
What was best for Ray. Logan thought it was getting him away from White so he couldn't turn Ray into a mini-Ames that killed people.
But Max didn't think he'd do that. Not now. All he wanted for Ray was to survive and to be strong. Hadn't White alluded that he'd turn his back on the Conclave if it meant protecting Ray? White could have killed her anytime during the retreat, especially when she had been in heat. She had been all over him, it would have made the perfect opportunity to snap her neck.
One thing's for sure, the Whites definitely knew how to mess with a person's mind.
"Max? Is something wrong?"
"What?" Max looked up to see Logan staring at her with concern.
"I thought you'd be happy about this."
"What? Yeah, yeah I am, I didn't kill you I'm happy, just distracted."
"Distracted? Max we just got rid of the virus, for the past two years that's all either of us have dreamed of. It's gone now. How can you be distracted? What could be more important than this?"
Max stood up and walked away from him. Wringing her hands together she turned to face him.
"Look Logan...I just...I don't think I want this."
"Want this? Want what? The relationship we've been trying to keep together for over two years, the one that started and neither of us would admit it when we had the chance? And now that we can have it you don't want it? Max, I don't believe this."
"Neither do I."
"Why? Is it Ray?"
"Is there an ultimatum here?"
"No, I don't know, I just, I can't do this right now."
Taking her jumbled and confused thoughts with her, Max left Logan's as quickly as she could.
Logan and White. White and Logan. Ray and White, Logan and something. Family either way, just what did she want?
Logan loved her right? But would work always come first with him? Would he neglect a child for his work? He was impatient with Ray, but he was so good with Brittany.
Ray, he loved her no questions asked. He was a sweetie. He was her son. She felt like his mother, she felt a maternal protection for the boy. Losing him would hurt so much more than losing Logan. And Logan couldn't accept him, Max knew that much.
And White? Where the hell did they stand? They had gone from being enemies to the Blue Lady-knows-what-they-were. He hadn't tried to kill her. He listened to her. He truly looked concerned about certain things, he loved Ray as much or more than she did. He'd give up the Conclave for him. And he had kissed her. Something she never thought possible. It wasn't light and sweet like Logan's always were, it was pent up passion and longing. She recognized a part of herself in him then. The strength and the difference from others, something that would forever separate them from the ordinaries.
Ray was right. They were a lot alike.
She sighed as she sat on the Space Needle, the best place for contemplating her thoughts. Would she prefer a life with Logan or one with the Whites? Whatever the choice, she'd deal with it when it came, for right now was supposed to be the last night of the Family Retreat and it just felt right to come up here.
And watching what played out before her, the choice just might have become easier as to what her future may hold.
"This place is so cool."
"No it's not. It's dark, high, dangerous, and Raymond White get the hell away from that edge!"
Max couldn't help but smile as Ray attempted to venture further out on the Needle with White growling behind him.
"Aw, Dad come on, I'm not going to fall."
"If you kill yourself it's your own fault."
Ray smiled as he explored the sloping terrain. He had always had a thing for exploring, whether it was Terminal City or Logan's closets. He was a sweetheart, and he had become Max's world.
"He doesn't listen to me anymore," said White sitting down next to Max, "I blame you for that. It's just another of your charming personality traits he's picked up on."
"Yeah I suppose so." She felt his arm by her waist and couldn't help but lean into him.
"The idiot put up a big fuss?"
"I don't think I stayed around long enough for him to fully realize what I was saying."
"Yeah, they do."
"I think there's a person down there," said Ray.
"What'd I tell you about that ledge?"
"Mom, make him stop."
Even as she just watched him, Ray backed up a bit from the edge and started, what seemed to be, looking around for something.
"Things are always going to be complicated," said White, "even more-so now."
"Tell me about it."
It was odd. Never in her life did Max think that she'd be on top of the Space Needle with Ames and Ray White. Never in a million years. But here they were, watching the city go about its nightly business while Ray continued along with his carefree strides.
Max felt like she could do this for the rest of her life. To watch Ray learn and grow, with her and White...what? Raising him? Together? The strangest thoughts rolled through her mind. A week ago she couldn't stand the older Familiar but now, she really didn't mind him. She might even...
Max looked up at White only to find him already looking at her. His usual hate-filled contemptuous glare seemed to be replaced indefinitely by a softer 'what-the-hell-are-we-doing' look. If this is what Max wanted, what they both wanted, there was sure to be hell to pay on both sides. No one would understand it but them.
She had always been a fighter, an outsider, always on the run. Why should that be any different now?
She could choose Logan, choose safe, stay with the Transgenics...and abandon the child and potential future she had just found.
She could choose against the odds with White, give up Logan, Seattle, the TransFamiliar War. Let them fight it out on their own.
Maybe with her and White gone, the power players of the opposing sides, maybe they could escape the insanity of a broken world and its problems.
Even for just a little while.
Traitors, outcasts, they could never come back.
An exclusive life, a secret life. Whatever happened, White was right. Things were much more complicated now.
"I-" she started, only to be interrupted by a young boy's voice.
"Hey, bet I can hit that guy down there?"
Looking over at Ray, both Max and White groaned as their son leaned over the side with a rock.
Simple or difficult, complicated and odd, one in a million.
It was her life, and all about choice.
A/N: Well that's all folks! I've finally finished this piece. And I know, I know, kind of a non-definite bittersweet ending but I just felt that was the best way to end. They have only been not trying to kill each other for a week don't you know.
Thanks so much for staying with the story and reviewing, I'm glad that you enjoyed it much as I, for the most part, enjoyed writing it and unintentionally converting people to M/W;)
And for all those who want more M/W, check out Dax's work here:
http : theconclave . proboards19 . com / index . cgi
Just take out the spaces, and thank you Astra for adding that in your review!
A Big Huge Thank You to all my reviewers: Astra, DaxisSteele, Immortal Star, Advo, Raquedan, Lisa, Kala, jumping-jo, Claire, jeff, darkangel452, Maye, JoJo, Amanda, X5-734, Moonlite Star, Cleo-cat, Ames's Girl, Setsuna Bu, spikeywolvie494, Dhot, x5-493, Anh D-ao, feenian, Skysha-Tranqui, skyeasinsark, allison lightning, ontheDL, Kirei Baka Kasumi, honey, Crystal Cheyenne, hellmouth princess, Quinn, JeanB, ciru, ForsakenGoddess, XxInsanityxX, tristan, lorna, Freakage, SecretlyBeautiful, Miss Lesley, Es, Chaosti, Air-Force-Brat, SunnyRosVille, eden, Jack Sparrow's Only Love, Sea Fire, Quinn-FanFicAddict, Black Rose9, skye, Calleigh, Iraine, update me, Faeries Twilight, birgitte, Lyra Skywalker, lazy2be, Sagiri, Be Boring, DarkPrincessPyro99, barcode-babe-210, mcs, Lade of secrets, E5, shelra, fan, ting, Spacey Tracey, Khassa, Syl, Rageful Jewel, Ash, madnuninblue, Veritas4Eternity, Brynnmissy, Margaret, Litter, Elfie, Linds, Lindsay, Zoe, Eve13, Sha-Sha64, choca, Kaitlyn the strange
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