For anyone and everyone who is still following this story, sorry if this is really deep and over-analyzed

For anyone and everyone who is still following this story, sorry if this is really deep and over-analyzed. Considering that the last ep was so depressing, it's been hard to write fluff. You know, I would, if I was given SOMETHING TO WORK WITH!!! Okay, rant is over. Cameron and Eglee are not sadistic, just never mind.

Part 3

Things were so much easier before. Before when I didn't have to worry about anyone other than myself. Before when my actions had no unwanted consequences on anyone else. Before when it was just me against the world with none of the mess and baggage of relationships.

Before when I didn't know what I was missing.

Truth is, I don't regret it. Because even with my guilt-ridden conscience brooding silence and apprehension over our heads, lying here with Logan's scent and familiarity surrounding me, I feel, for the first time in my life, completely safe. Not physically safe; I don't pretend not to know that my life is more periled with every minute I stay with him, but just safe. As if Logan's arms are the one place no one can touch me. That the ticking time bomb over my head and my fate known only to my creators never existed. That I can just fall away from all of this and not have to hide anything or hide from anyone. Just human, just Max. Just Max.

The clarity in his eyes as he watches and waits and the butterflies go haywire in my stomach hides nothing from me. Somewhere in the recesses of my mind I wonder when it was that our unspoken trust was formed. Perhaps it was never formed at all, it was just a given from the first time we met. When our innermost secret was entrusted with the other, not by choice, but by circumstance. When we fought the urge to wage war against the other with our intelligence and choose instead a different path. We hold equal burdens now, and somehow that makes them less. Somehow, that has broken the wall that is always hidden behind, that allows for mistakes. We just stand amid the rubble instead of having to reach across. He bared all to me, and the least he deserves is the truth. He has earned it.

We face each other but our hands are still linked. I lick my lips to unstick my tongue from the roof of my mouth. His patience is terrifying.

"When I left your place tonight I was pissed. At you, at the world-"

"At Zack," he says softly, with all seriousness.

It's strange, how he reads me. I look down at my hands and take a deep, shuddering breath.

"I felt completely let down."

He nods, his jaw working.

"Like when I found out about Val."

"Yeah."

I watch the pain cross over his features and I don't think I can go through with this. I can't hurt him again. So I stand and walk to the window, my insides heaving. I look out and see the rain washing the city into a murky dark gray. It pounds on the concrete sidewalks and decaying brick buildings, but somehow, its destruction is lost in its act of cleansing. I need to tell him, even if he hates me for it. Even if I ruin everything between us. Even if he wants me to leave.

"I ran away Logan," I say, still facing the window, "I ran away and tried to find what I was missing in someone else. In anyone else." I laugh a little to myself, the words so weird as they come out of my mouth. "I don't know what I wanted. I just didn't want to feel so disgusting."

I turn and he is still watching me, not moving at all.

"But I didn't find it." I whisper. "I thought that if I tried hard enough, I would make him change something in me. But he didn't. He didn't change a fucking thing. Except maybe to lead me back here."

I find his eyes, even though a sea of darkness separates us.

"I'm sorry." I say.

I feel empty. Carved out. Like those words have taken more energy from me than anything I have ever done. Terror creeps up now, into the pit of my stomach as I wait for him to say something.

He cautiously gets up to join me at the window, our eyes never breaking contact. They are telling me something, but their meaning fails my grasp.

"Don't be sorry, Max."

"Logan," I say, terrified to let him continue.

"Max, listen to me." His voice drops to a caress. "Never be sorry. If anyone should be saying they're sorry, it's me."

I open my mouth to protest but he raises a finger to stop me.

"We both know you don't belong here. Not just because it's dangerous for you to stay, but because you're not meant to be in a cage, Max. Seattle's your cage and I don't want to be the one holding that key. I can't let you stay and put your life on hold while risking everything for me. I'm holding you back, Max."

I want to scream. I want to shake him and yell at him that it's not that way at all. That everything he has said is wrong because it's not important. I want him to show anger and jealousy and all those other things that I expected. But not this. Not this bullshit that breaks us into pieces. He's wrong. He is. I want so badly to show him how wrong he is. To say something. Anything.

But nothing comes out. Not even a breath.

"You don't belong here. And even though it's against everything I have wanted I will let you go." He strains to keep composure. "I want you to go. Go see the world and go be with other men and go be with the others, Max. I can't ever give you enough."

"You are enough," I whisper, incredulous at his words. "How can you not be enough when you are everything! Do you think I stay out of pity?!" I spit, emotion erupting abruptly.

"No, I don't doubt your sincerity. But sometimes I have to question myself, and you." His eyes look tired, as if he cannot bear this hurt any longer.

"I never had to make a choice, Logan," I say, my voice brittle as I try to reach him. "I never once considered leaving with Zack if it meant leaving you. I try to forget Manticore, Logan. I've been trying my whole life. And the only time I've ever been able to forget that I'm not a souped-up mutant warrior has been with you."

I can't stop the rush of tears and I let them streak down my face as I keep talking shakily.

"Don't make me lose that, Logan. Please don't let me lose you."

He thumb reaches up to brush away a tear and I fall into his arms. I hold onto him tightly as the tears keep coming and I'm afraid that if I let go I'll never find my way back.

The room ripples with the falling rain, with the blur of tears. His voice is hushed near my ear.

"I can't keep you to myself, Max. It's not fair to you."

I pull away and study his face, looking for signs of reluctance. I half smile when I see it, clearer than ever.

"It's not fair for me to keep you all to myself but I do. And I will."

He presses his lips to my hair and his arms encircle me tighter. His grip will not fail. We stand alone amid the rubble of a broken world and for the first time in my life, I know that everything is in its right place.