A/N: Season Two. Max's feelings on her escape, her future with Logan, and everything else. Kinda a sequal to 'I Shall Believe'. You do not have to read that to understand this. But I recommend it! Thank you for reading, and don't forget to review. Song credit: Goo Goo Doll's "Iris".
The thought of getting back to Logan was what had allowed her to survive at Manticore. The thought of coming home to him was what had kept her going. She thought that after months she had somehow convinced her captors that she had accepted her fate as a soldier. She had foolishly thought that she could pretend to play soldier and it would full her captors. But Renfro knew that it was a lie, every order she followed, every mission accomplished, was done so half-heartedly. The part of her heart that she held back was reserved for Logan and was not ready to give up on him without a fight. Renfro knew just how to break Max and intended to use this knowledge to her advantage.
And I'd give up forever to touch you
All alone time in her cell or on a mission was devoted to one of two things: her plan to escape Manticore or the thought of seeing Logan again. She knew that he had left her for dead. When he had left she had been dead. But she knew—somehow—that he could feel that she was still alive. She knew that he would not give up on her so easily. It was this hope that helped her through the hardest nights.
Cause I know that you feel me somehow
So, of course, the second she escaped she ran to him. She did not run home to greet Original Cindy, head to Jam Pony to see Sketchy (or even Normal), or to a restaurant for some decent food. She went directly to him. She sneaked in his place, as she had so many times before, and watched him for a moment. Allowed her eyes to trace his features, memorize every cell; afraid it was all a dream. But he turned, their eyes met, and she knew it was not a dream. This was the real thing. Logan was there in the flesh. She let out a breath that she had not known that she had been holding.
She warned him "We gotta get you out of here. They are coming to get you."
He ignored her warning and planted a fiery kiss on her lips. Despite her knowledge that Manticore would hunt her down viciously, her reserves crumbled at his touch. All she felt was him and it was wonderful. For months she had dreamed of this moment but her dreams could never compare to the actual moment. She melted in his arms and hung onto him afraid to let him go.
You're the closest to heaven that I've ever been
Sure, she had other things to worry about, like taking back the life that Manticore had stolen from her. She was Max again and it felt wonderful. But within his arms she worried about nothing, wanted of nothing, and forgot everything but the feeling of his touch.
And I don't want to go home right now
He pulled away from her, in need of an explanation.
She got lost in his eyes and forgot everything as a sense of calm washed over her. She was with Logan and for a moment had a sense that everything would be okay. She relished the feel of his arms around her and got lost in him and the moment.
And all I can taste is this moment
"We gotta go. They are coming to get you."
His eyes did not leave hers, "Who? What's going on? How did you—"
Her sense of calm disappeared as she once again came back to reality. She knew that she would never be able to live through loosing him again. His protection was now a priority.
And all I can breathe is your life
"I'll explain later. Come on." She insisted, with urgency.
"No. I have to finish my broadcast."
"Forget it, it's not important."
Suddenly Logan is weak in her arms and collapses. She kneels beside him, surprised and afraid.
And sooner or later it's over
"What's wrong?" She pleads, desperate not to loose him again.
Logan gasps, "I don't know . . ."
I just don't want to miss you tonight
"Logan, what's happening?" She asks, barely able to contain her anxiety and fear.
"You killed him, that's what's happening."
She looks up to see the voice that answered her and sees that it is Alec. A wave of emotion washes over her as she realizes that Logan's pain is her fault. She does not know how, or why, but she knows in her heart that whatever had just happened to Logan, she was entirely to blame.
Alec answers her suspicions, "Nice job, 452. Mission accomplished."
She looks down at Logan cradled in her arms.
"Yeah, I'd stop touching him if I were you. You're just gonna make it worse." Alec offers.
" What the hell are you talking about?" Max spits back in reply.
Alec offers matter-of-factly "A genetically targeted retrovirus. You're the carrier."
Max quickly backs away from Logan, positive without a doubt that she is the reason he is in pain.
" Any intimate contact between you activates the agent." Alec laughs, "Now, you didn't kiss him or anything, did you?
" You son of a bitch!" Max replies, harshly, and then lunges at him.
Her only instinct is to attack. That is what she was trained to do. But he raises the gun and she stops.
" Whoa, whoa, hey. Just following orders. Okay, now Renfro said if you want him to live, you gotta bring him back to Manticore and turn yourself in."
" There's a cure? "Max asks, hopefully.
" Yeah. She'll give him the antigen if he tells her what he knows and who he's been working with."
Suspicious by nature, with just reason to be, she fires back,"Why should I believe her?"
" What choice do you have?" Alec offers nonchalantly.
She turns back to Logan and knows that if there is the slightest chance that he can be saved then she needs to take it. It was her fault he was there. It was her fault that he was lying on the brink between life and death. Her messed up life. All he had ever done wrong was loved her. And how did she repay him? By killing him. If she could save him, there was no question as to whether she would do whatever it took to do it. Even if it meant going back to Manticore. She would willingly go back if she knew that he would be alive and safe.
In Logan's apartment, Logan is lying unconscious on the couch. Asha, a woman unfamiliar to Max but seemingly a friend of Logan's, gives him an injection. Max stands back away from the couch, waiting by the window and watching impatiently. She prays to the Blue Lady that it would work. She could not loose Logan.
Time passes and they both pace. Max avoids the watchful eyes of the mysterious blond. Finally, Logan wakes and sits up, looking much like he had when they had reunited.
The woman checks his eyes, then approaches Max at the window.
" He's going to be all right. Welcome back."
It startles her that the woman seems to know all about her while she knows nothing about her. The woman leaves the room and leaves the two alone.
Logan puts on his glasses and turns to face Max. To her, his eyes feel like daggers.
And I don't want the world to see me
" You don't have to stand all the way over there. Come closer."
Max suddenly sees a vision of Logan in her head. That of him when she held him in her arms right after she infected him. She is afraid that she might do it again.
"Better not risk it. We don't know how easy it is for me to re-infect you, and . . .that was the last of the antigen."
" We're gonna find a way to beat this." He said with certainty but she did not buy it.
She wanted to believe him, with everything inside of her. She wanted to be like him, optimistic, but she couldn't.
" Yeah," She offered, half-heartedly, "But you should concentrate on getting better. "
She turned away from him, afraid that he might be able to read this in her eyes.
"I gotta go." She offered, softly.
He attempts to stop her, "You know, things are different now. Back when you first got out, it was just the twelve of you. Now there's a lot more."
" If they're smart, they'll lay low." She offered, knowing all too well that Manticore would not let them go without a fight.
In that moment, she sent up a silent prayer that those whom had just escaped would stay hidden. That they would know better than her that they should not form relationships with anyone on the outside. She did not want any of her brothers or sisters to go through what she had gone through—to find the love, a soul mate, only to have that rarest of gifts snatched brutally away by Manticore.
" You don't want it getting around that you and yours are out in the world. People tend to get scared of things that are different. Keep your head down."
It felt nice that he worried about her but at the same time she felt guilty. It was his feelings for her that had got him in trouble in the first place, "I always do."
She left, feeling Logan's eyes on her.
As soon as she gets out of the building she runs. She does not stop until she is on top of the Space Needle.
She is afraid to see Original Cindy, or anyone else she use to care about because she is afraid that she will hurt them. The vision of Logan lying on the floor, ill because of her, made her feel ill. She did not want to see him, or anyone who knew her as 'Max', because she was afraid. For one of the first times in her life, she was afraid.
Cause I don't think that they'd understand
Looking down on the broken world before her, she cannot help but see herself reflected back. She realized then that she was not meant for this world because she was made in a lab. She wasn't human, she was different, the other that is always feared.
When everything's made to be broken
All she had wanted when she was in Manticore was her life back. She wanted to be 'Max', not a number, not a lab experiment. Max, who was loved by Logan. She just wanted to be the girl that Logan knew before.
I just want you to know who I am
But now there were more creatures like her loose in the world, some like her that could pass for humans and those that could not. And life as she knew it would never be the same. She could not fight it, it was already happening. All she could do was sit back and watch. And it scared her.
And you can't fight the tears that ain't coming
She touched her cheek, noticing it was wet. When had she started crying? Manticore was gone, as was Renfro, shouldn't she be celebrating? She laughed silently at this thought. She would gladly go back to Manticore if Logan were cured. The possibility that just a single touch from her might kill him was enough guilt on her already chipped shoulders.
Despite all the lies that Manticore had fed them, one thing they had said was true: When you have personal attachments to people you become vulnerable. Thus, never get close enough to another person to form that type of attachment. She had made and error, and just like Manticore had preached, it had made her vulnerable. If she was suppose to be the strong one, whom would protect those she cared about if she was unable?
Or the moment of truth in your lies
It was ironic. The months they had danced around each other. The feelings for each other they had denied for so long. They had waited too long to admit to each other how they felt. It was like some bad television drama or movie where the characters are always within arms length of one another with an insurmountable amount of sexual tension and yet to succumb to it would inevitably screw them over in some way.
When everything feels like the movies
In the end, the characters either got together and lived happily ever after or never realize that the person they have been looking for their entire lives is right in front of them. With each longing look and accidental brush of skin with the one they love, but somehow can never have, they are forced to die a little inside. And that's how she had been living, up until moments before she was taken, when they had finally admitted their feelings and succumbed to the natural urges that accompany said feelings.
She had been living in her own personal hell, an internal debate raging to determine what should be done with the feelings she had for Logan—ignore or explore—and the consequences of the choice she would inevitably have to make. But it had been her decision to live like that—she had not been content but she had been satisfied.
Manticore had deemed it necessary to steal what little she had from her. That personal hell that she had become accustomed to was suddenly not enough of a punishment for her genetically created ass. They had to take everything away from her.
Yeah, you bleed just to know you're alive
Logan had attempted to reach out to her and assure her that this was a battle that they were in together. But she would have no part in that. She would no longer allow herself to become vulnerable—to let someone in. That way, if Manticore ever caught up with her again that she would not suffer as she had, or cause such suffering for another.
And I don't want the world to see me
She considered running away from Seattle, taking up residence somewhere where no one knew her, where she could start anew. But she realized that wherever she went, she could never escape from herself and those that felt the need to judge her due to the fact that she was a science experiment; first, last, always.
'Cause I don't think that they'd understand
She knew that she would never run. That in all honesty it was not a possibility. She could not as easily give up on the life she had created and that had been stolen from her. She had friends, had a boss, had a job, which she did not desire to loose. She had made a life for herself, whatever sense of a life she could create with her circumstances, and even in this broken world, that meant a lot.
When everything's made to be broken
She was no longer some number or designation. She had a name. She was Max.
I just want you to know who I am