Well here it is, the final chapter of my very first fanfic(Rewritten for your pleasure!)…thank you again to everyone out there who reviewed and wrote me personally to tell me how much they liked this fic (S1 fans unite!). It has been a great boost to my morale to receive such a hands down positive response! Thank you all! You are the best!
EPILOGUE: Finnagen begin again.(Two weeks later)
The day was bright and sunny outside Logan's window, though the chill of winter was still in the air, or so he had been told. Logan sat quietly watching the clouds pass in wispy parades of white, without really seeing them. The sun through the windows fell warm across his carpet, and across him, warming bones still chilly from his stay at the hospital. He stared unseeing at the towers surrounding his own, thinking about events that had happened in the past several weeks. He thought about what had been said, and all the things that should have been said instead. He was still kicking himself for not telling Max how he actually felt. That had always been his problem hadn't it? He had been this way ever since his ex wife had shattered his heart.
All tolled the damage had come to a whopping $10,000 to replace or fix what Carrot Top and Tank had wrecked during their several hour stay in his apartment. That was a big ding, luckily he had the finances to pay for such an unexpected expense. The door had been replaced the day after the investigation was finished, Bling getting the job done in anticipation of Logan's wishes. Logan was beginning to think the man could read minds. The rest of his equipment had arrived this morning, and he realized that the network would be up and running again very soon.
Logan focused his hearing listening to Bling in the background unpacking the new equipment and setting it up. It was state of the art equipment, as always, and it probably cost Logan twice what it should have. But he wanted the best system and he wanted it now. His job as Eyes Only required a higher standard, it was the only way that he was going to keep unwanted hackers out of his system, and more importantly to keep from being traced during the broadcasts.
Logan had driven Bling crazy with insisting on setting everything just so within the study. In a moment of frustration with his boss, Bling had parked Logan out of the way like a kid in time-out. At least that is what it felt like to Logan, so yes he could definitely say that he was pouting. Bling had parked his chair near the window but not so near it that his vertigo would get the better of him. He was now out of the way, frustrated and anxious about just what Bling was doing with all of his equipment. Bling had calmly told him that if he didn't like the set up, he could change it himself when he was more able, until then he would use it where it was put. Logan shook his head, Bling knew what the study had been set up like, he'd get it right, he always did.
Bling had been severely distressed to find Logan's apartment in shambles and Logan absent. He too had come to the worst conclusion possible, and Max had to explain what had transpired there, while Logan was recovering at the hospital. Bling had felt so responsible for the incident that it took Logan two days to convince the man that he could do with some time alone. It almost came down to firing him, he was so insistent on staying close-by. Logan grinned crookedly to no one, unsure that even that drastic measure would have made Bling leave.
Logan could still remember the aftermath of his incarceration quite vividly despite his waning consciousness. There had been a crowd of his neighbors clogging the foyer looking thunderstruck at the devastation in his home. The were looking at his beaten face like he had been some kind of freak show brought there for their amusement. There were cops swarming over his apartment looking for clues as to why the strangers trying to get a hold of Max, had been there. He remembered Matt's face swimming into his blurry vision concern and fear clear to read on his face. He knew the implications of what had happened, more than the rest of the Cops here. He knew Logan was connected with Eyes Only, and figured it had been an attempt to get EO's identity out of Logan.
"If only he knew," Logan scoffed.
Logan knew that Matt had been full of question, but had admirably refrained from bombarding him until after he had been taken to the hospital. Matt seemed to realize that Logan was not up to the line of questioning Matt had for him. Matt had returned to interview Logan after his observation, and when the doctors had cleared Logan as lucid.
Logan had to do a lot of editing to keep Max out of the limelight when it came to how events had gone down. Most of the story was told just as it had happened, how they had blown up his door, how they had cornered and assaulted him. He had been forced by necessity to feed Matt a line about the reason for the two infiltrating his place. It was simple enough, for it was one that supported what Matt was already thinking had happened. It was a more interesting story as he tried to find a reasonable explanation for the demise of his two, obviously stronger and larger, captors. How did he, by himself mind you, to kill the two in self-defense? Matt had looked at him strangely during several points of the conversation, especially his wild story about how the Red had ended up "falling" from the terrace roof. Logan maintained the serious look of honesty on his face, his eyes not leaving Matt's face. There was doubt to be read on the Investigator's face, but finally Matt took him at his word, understanding that it was not entirely the truth, but that Logan would tell him nothing else.
Logan spent several days at the hospital, the first to observe him. A concussion had been suffered, just as Logan had feared, and he found himself glad that his uncomfortable position on the couch had kept him awake. The next several were spent assessing his other injury. Both bones in Logan's right forearm were fractured and the doctors had to wait for the swelling to subside before they could cast it. In the meantime they had splinted it, slung his arm and sent him home. Just yesterday he had been taken back so that the cast could be put on. Logan looked down again at his right arm, now covered in a freshly white plaster cast, that immobilized it up to just under his armpit. No one had even had the time to sign it. There was going to be another six weeks before he could get back out of it. That was if everything went well.
Logan had looked in a mirror and was unable to recognize his own face as swollen as it was. His left eye socket was black edged with a sickly yellow where it had begun to heal. It was itching like mad, though it hurt to scratch which made it even more maddening. Several corpuscles in that eye had burst well making the whites of his eye red. The cut on his nose had required four stitches to close up. He still couldn't wear his glasses without bandaging his nose first, even then it was painful and he hadn't bothered in nearly three days. It wasn't as if he was able to do any work anyway.
Logan looked again at his neatly cast arm, sighing heavily as frustration built in him again. That was what he needed, another bump in his road to mobility. The cast made it impossible to use his right to aid him in moving the chair around his penthouse. He was not practiced enough to push himself around single-handed and not go around in circles. It had never occurred to him that a time would come where the skill would come in handy. The handicap equated to a further dependence on others to move through his daily routine. No one complained about it, but it only bruised Logan's pride that much more. He was unable to even shift himself out of the chair, so if he wanted to go to bed, or sit on the sofa rather than in the chair he was calling on Bling to help him. He couldn't even shower without assistance from someone, and if that wasn't degrading he did not know what was. His ears burned at the thought of his increased dependence on Bling. That pride in him made him feel as if he was imposing his will on the man. There were many nights he slept in his chair, not wanting to bother Bling with something that he had always been able to do himself. He had always paid for those in cramped neck muscles and lack of sound sleep. He had finally just given in, swallowing his pride…asking and accepting help as it was given him.
He heard soft footsteps coming up behind him and turned the chair around to face the intruder on his melancholy mood. He made it look graceful, for which he was thankful, especially considering his visitor. Max stopped just a few feet from him, and Logan made a try at a smile, "Hey," he said softly.
"Hey," Max replied more brightly, "How's the arm?"
Logan looked down and then back up at her, "Still hurts," He shrugged, "I guess it could be worse... he could have ripped it off," He replied in a bad try at humor. His mood was too low to make it come off.
Max grimaced, then looked over to where Bling was working on his study, "I see you got your stuff replaced. The new door is nice."
"Thanks," Logan said scratching his head, "Yeah, good news is that I was able to recover most of the database. All of my contacts are still intact, but some of the working files were lost, I have to start those again from scratch. The real bad news, however is that Eyes Only won't be back on the air for another couple weeks. Not with a face like this," Logan looked away again, "That ought to make a lot of crooks happy."
"Sorry," she said simply, "Guess they'll really be surprised when you pop back on the air again still kickin' out the truth then won't it." She said trying to cheer him up.
The expression on his face had not lightened one bit. Suddenly, Logan looked away, "Max?" He asked returning his gaze to her face, "Why are you still in Seattle?"
"What?" She asked half amused and half-incredulous, "Where'd that come from?"
"It's because of me isn't it?" He asked, then continued before she could even formulate a response so surprised by this line of questioning, "You shouldn't, you know…stay I mean, not for me. I've been thinking," He was nodding but avoiding her eyes, "A lot about this... Zach was right. I pose a serious threat to your safety. I am a liability..." He finally met her eyes again, and Max saw pain there. He was not happy about the words he was saying to her, but he felt required to, because it was the right thing, "There are going to be more 'Reds' in the future..." He said this as if it was a prediction, "And I... I don't want to be used as leverage against you... ever again."
He paused and then laughed humorlessly, "Funny... me agreeing with Zach."
Max slowly settled onto the arm of the couch next to him. She saw the hurt in his eyes, "Logan..." she started hearing her own voice rich with emotion, she paused and then licked her lips, "Remember what I told you when I hooked up with Zach?" Logan nodded slightly. Max repeated herself to emphasize her point, "I said that it wasn't what I had thought it was going to be," Again Logan acknowledged her words. Max went on, "I told you that I wanted to find the others because I wanted someone I could connect with, someone who would understand." Max looked away this time, "I didn't realize it then... But I had already found that someone... I had found an equal..." she reached out and touched his cheek gently, locking her almond brown eyes on his face, "And I found that I couldn't leave. I wouldn't leave you, Logan. I need you, whether you realize it or not, I do."
"You're sure?" Logan asked breathlessly, "I don't want to slow you down."
Max leaned over and kissed him gently for a moment. She broke the contact looking into his expressive blue eyes, now filled with hope and longing, breathing, "I'm sure."