Disclaimer: Dark Angel was created and is owned by James Cameron, 'Chick' Eglee and Fox. I only dive and swim amongst them for the pleasure and enjoyment of being with Max, Logan and all the others.
A/N: Thanks always to Kasman for the betas. She has tried to make me a better writer. Thanks to Kyre for answering my questions. Also a big thanks to Alaidh for wanting to help with the betas. This is my first real go at a S1 story so let me know what you think. This is to remind me that volunteering can be good. Thanks to Shywr1ter for suggesting a reason Bling can Scuba dive
------------------------Chapter 1 First Stage
Logan's Apartment 3 days before:
Logan was on his phone as Max walked into the kitchen and picked up a bell pepper and sniffed it.
"Yeah...Word on the net is he's a weapons dealer?...Mm-hmm...Okay, this is definitely something Eyes Only's going to have to get into...Really? When?...Tonight? No, I can't. I'll have to call you tomorrow...Yeah. Bye." Logan hung up and wheeled himself into the kitchen.
"Don't hold up the war on my account," Max said.
"The world will still be broken in the morning," Logan replied.
Logan and Max smiled at each other.
"So you know how to boil the water. You wanna learn how to do the sauce?" Logan asked as he went over to the drawers near the stove, and began to withdraw pots.
Max leaned a hip on the counter watching him, the smile still on her lips. "Yeah sure, I'll add it to my resume."
"What, bike messenger, cat burglar, genetically revved up girl, rescuer of crippled cyber-journalists," Logan said dryly, then swiveled around and saw the guarded look in Max's eyes, "Thanks for the last one, by the way," he added swiftly.
With a shrug Max relaxed. "No big. Besides, just returning the favor. Quid pro quo and all that."
"Right. So you chop and I mix?"
"You're the teacher," Max said with a chuckle.
--- --- --- --- ---
"Hey, Max," Bling called from the storage room in the garage as she walked past, after parking her bike.
"Hey, Bling, what ya doin'?" Max replied, diverting away from the elevator.
"Logan asked me to get some stuff from down here to bring up to the apartment, but he musta been collecting stuff for ages, I can't seem to find it.
"So what we looking for?"
"He said there was a large white board down here and he wanted to set it up upstairs," Bling replied passing Max a box of old clothes.
"That weapons dealer thing still buggin' him?" Max asked, turning to watch Logan approach from the elevator.
"Yeah, loads of leads but no way to tie Krane to any of it. Runs his dive business and pays his taxes," Logan said sarcastically as he came to a stop and locked his brakes.
"Logan, I can't find that board," Bling said handing out another box. "Hey, what's this?"
Max and Logan edged forward to see what Bling had found. He pushed a large plastic box out with his foot and then walked out with a scuba tank in each hand.
At the sight of what Bling was carrying a gasp escaped Logan and he pushed himself back.
Looking down at Logan, Max saw him go deathly pale. "You 'kay?" she asked, worry heavy in her voice.
Bling, noticing the sudden change in his client, put the tanks down and stepped forward. "Logan?"
Flashback: The Bahamas:
As the boat rocked with the movement of the divers, Logan sat watching his parents kit up, the Dive Guide overseeing his clients' actions. With a smile at her son, Logan's mother gave him a wave and put the regulator in her mouth. She exchanged an okay signal with her husband. He smiled around his mouth piece, gave Logan an okay signal, and they both rolled backward into the water after the guide, leaving six year old Logan with a frown on his face alone with the captain for an hour.
Holding up his hand, Logan stared grimly at the tanks and box then shuddered, as if waking from a dream. "I'm fine...those...those belonged to my parents," he said with a wistful tone.
"Right, they were divers then? Cool. Never did that. Manticore was more into breath-holding,"
Flashback: Manticore Facility, Gillette, Wyoming:
The young X5s – Max, Zack and Jack - were tethered to the bottom of a swimming pool, holding their breath underwater. Lydecker was standing near the side of the pool with a stopwatch. He stepped back so that the kids couldn't see him from the bottom of the pool, and Jack panicked. As he tried to surface, the tether held him back. Zack failed in his attempts to free him. When the stopwatch hit four minutes, Lydecker signaled for the tethers to be released, and the kids surfaced. He looked down at Max looking up at him then walked off with the knowledge that she was too scared to attack.
"Lydecker was big into proving there are no limits. What the mind can conceive, the body can achieve, with the right training." Only we could still get shot and killed, starve to death, or even drown like anybody else... just takes longer to happen, is all.
"So, you ever tried it?" Max asked, resting one hand on her hip while a finger tip of her other caressed the pillar valve of the tank closest to her, an almost sensual gesture, which drew Logan's eyes back to the tank.
"Uh-uh, started to then…then things changed. Uncle Jonas didn't consider it part of being a Cale," Logan replied, watching in fascination as Max's finger slowly moved up and around the valve and its on/off knob and back to the top in a continuous sequence.
Looking at the two people in front of him, Bling cleared his throat. "You could still do the training, you know," he pointed out as Max and Logan turned their gaze to him. "Learnt to dive in the Navy and I've had some clients who, after their injuries, took it up as a way of expressing their confidence and their acceptance of the way things are." Trying to keep the smile off his face at the scowl Logan threw his way and the smile of eagerness Max had on her face, he bent down and opened the plastic box. That was as near a blatant sexual come on as I have ever seen. Logan Cale, if you weren't so wrapped up in your own self-pity, you would stop denying what is obvious. Funny, though, she keeps denying anything's going on as much as he does. It's like she doesn't even realize the effect she has on him. Shaking his head, Bling started to unpack the box.
"Hey, cool, Logan. Your folks had all the gear…wonder if it's still good," Max said, squatting down to look at the regulators and other equipment Bling had removed.
"Hmm, can we focus here, people? Bling, did you find that board? Put that down, Max. I need you to do something for me. That's why I called. So come on," Logan snapped as he spun around and headed for the elevator.
With a glare at Logan's back, Max put the dive computer down, and slowly stood up.
Bling whispered to her, "Max, learning to Scuba dive will be good for him. I have a friend who's still instructing." The information caused her to pause.
"Yeah, I wouldn't mind myself. Four minutes underwater is way to short to have any fun."
At the stunned look on Blings face she smiled grimly. "Manticore requirement for surviving."
"Right, I'll check it out and get back to you…convincing Logan is gonna be tough," Bling indicated with a nod towards his employer, who was sitting impatiently by the elevator watching the others.
"You check your end. I have an idea…involves dive operator equals weapons dealer equals Eyes Only investigation in the field," Max said with a chuckle. Not that I'm gonna let him get anywhere near Krane, but it'll probably get him to at least try, and finish…wonder why he's so pissed of?"
A/N: I may be stretching the time sequence here. However for this story to really work some more time needs to be added between the end of Out and Red. I don't dispute what other authors, have worked out, but I have always felt that a bit more time did pass between those two episodes.