With new life being the center of attention, Max hardly had time to focus on herself or Logan for that matter. Although Brin brought a lot of bad memories with her, the baby filled everyone with hope. Max had planned on kicking Brin out as soon as the baby was born, but she couldn't bring herself to do it. Instead, she actually seemed to work harder to keep her there. Max took extra runs at Jam Pony to earn more money for the baby and did a little cat burglary on the side. She either bought or stole things that Brin would need to take care of the baby. Everything from bottles to baby wipes, Max tried to get.
"So you gonna do this run with me or not," Original Cindy asked, irritated.
"Huh? What?" she asked snapping out of her daze.
Original Cindy shifted closer to Max, "Girl, what is up with you? You been out of it all week."
Max rubbed her head, "I'm sorry. It's just Brin and the baby. I haven't been able get that much sleep."
Original Cindy looked at her strangely, "Sleep? Last time I checked, you and sleep don't met too often. Anything else going on?"
Max shook her head, "Nah."
"Have you talked to Logan lately?"
Max stood up and grabbed her bike, "Don't you have a run to do?"
Original Cindy rolled her eyes, "I'll take that as a no."
Original Cindy got up and grabbed her bike as well.
"So what happened?" she asked at the rolled toward the exit.
"Everything, but this isn't like him. He hasn't called me two weeks. Eyes Only has been silent. For all I know, he could be dead."
"Whoa! You're jumping M.I.A. to dead. Don't think of it. Have you checked his place?"
"I've wanted to. So many times, but then the baby cries or I gotta get something or…"
"Bip, Bip, Bip! Come on, people! I'm not paying you slackers to sit on your asses!" screeched Normal.
Max and Original Cindy rolled their eyes and groaned.
"Or that happens," Max finished.
"I hear ya. But…"
Suddenly Max stopped. Original Cindy turned back to her.
Max's eyes fluttered and her body started seizing. She fell to the ground on her bike. Original Cindy rushed over to her.
Original Cindy bent down, "Shh, girl. Don't talk. Now your pills are in your bag right."
Original Cindy unzipped the top pocket of Max's backpack. She took the bottle of pills and opened it. She tried to get Max to take some but she was seizing too hard. Suddenly. Original Cindy saw Max's jeans changing color down her legs.
"SKETCHY!" Original Cindy shouted.
Sketchy ran, "Oh my God!"
"Grab her arms! We need to get her off this bike!" Original Cindy ordered.
They lifted Max together and moved her to the solid ground.
"Ca….call…Lo… ca… him…" Max stuttered. Original Cindy nodded quickly.
"I got you," Original Cindy replied and ran to the phone. Her call went directly to voicemail.
"You have reached the number, you dialed," rang the machine through the apartment.
"Logan! We at Jam Pony! Max needs you! NOW!" Original Cindy cried over the answering machine. Logan was out the door before the message was even finished. He raced the Jam Pony as fast as he could, hating the fact he had to stop every few miles to get through a sector checkpoint. He just hoped he could get there in time, but in his heart, he knew he was already too late.
After she got off the phone, Original Cindy went back to Max's side. She picked her up and held her.
"What are you guys doing?" shouted a young female messenger, "She needs to go to a hospital"
"No. This gonna pass," Original Cindy responded quickly. Max could afford to be taken to the hospital. Not now. Slowly Max's seizure subsided. Original Cindy told Sketchy to her the pills. Max swallowed them and, carefully, they were able to get her to bench.
"Somebody get this girl some water." Original Cindy ordered.
"I'm, I'm, I'm okay," Max stuttered.
Original Cindy held Max tighter.
"No, you ain't. So stop frontin'," Original Cindy demanded.
She looked around and saw everyone staring at her and Max.
"Hey! Don't ya'll got jobs to do!"
A girl held her hands up in surrender and went on her way to deliver a package. The rest of the messengers followed her lead although Normal was walking against the flow, approaching Max and Original Cindy.
"What's going on?" he asked concerned.
"I don't know, but I think…"
"You got your personal day. Both of you. Just get her back on her feet," he stated being oddly sympathetic.
Original and Max didn't have time to think about Normal's attitude as Logan ran through the entrance, nearly knocking Sketchy down along the way.
"Thank God!" Original Cindy exclaimed as soon as he was in view.
He tried to pick Max up, but she fought him.
"I can walk," she said and tried to stand. She shuttered and her legs gave out. Logan grabbed her and scooped her legs up. Max passed out in his arms.
"No, you can't," he uttered and ran out to his car. Original Cindy helped Logan get Max into the back seat. Original stayed in the back with Max as Logan drove. Only while they were on the road did Original Cindy take in Logan's appearance. He looked like he did when Max was gone. Unshaven, unkempt, but what Original Cindy noticed most was the wetness around his eyes, enhanced by his glasses. She stroked Max's hair and looked questioning into Logan's reflection in the rear view mirror.
"What's wrong with her?" asked Original Cindy.
Logan's voice came out in angry sniffles, "I was too late."
Max looked over the city from the Seattle Space Needle. It had been a while since she had been up here, but she desperately needed to think. She wasn't sure whether she wanted to scream or cry or just jump off this structure which was usually such a comfort to her. When she woke up in Sam's office, she was in a hospital gown and Sam tried to tell her what happened in the most gentle way possible.
"Max?" Sam asked.
Max shifted as she regained consciousness, "Huh?"
Max's eyes began to focus, "Sam? What's going on?"
Sam took Max's hand, "Max, I'm so sorry. There's nothing I could do."
Max took her hand back and looked at Sam suspiciously, "Sam, what are talking about? I just has seizure. Notin' new."
"Logan didn't tell you?"
"Tell me what? You're scaring me."
"Max, I'm sorry. You had a miscarriage."
End of Flashback
You're poison. Renfro had said to her once. Max felt like she was right. Max had hurt or killed everyone she ever loved. And everyone I could have loved, she thought.
"What? I was pregnant!" Max shouted. Her shock turned to anger.
"How could Logan not tell me?" she seethed.
Sam moved closer to Max, "He was trying to save the baby. And you."
Max gave Sam a look of confusion. Sam took a breath.
"We knew this would happen. I told him that the retrovirus would cause a miscarriage, but Logan wouldn't hear it. He tried to find a way to stop it from happening."
Max closed her eyes and laid back in the bed.
"Sam, could you leave me alone for while?"
"One more thing you should know. You don't have the retrovirus anymore. It's gone, due to the miscarriage."
Max let out a harsh laugh.
"You gotta to be joking," she stated bitterly with water filling her eyes. As soon as he left, Max started shaking with tears. She was as silent as possible. She saw a set of clean clothes folded neatly beside the bed. She had to get out of there. She quickly got dressed and snuck out of the hospital to the Space Needle.
End of Flashback
The pain she felt just wouldn't go away. She felt this all consuming ache in her heart for the child she would never know, the child that she had killed with her own body. It was a miracle itself that she could conceive at all, but that miracle was ripped away from her and tainted like so many other miracles that had come her way. She had been a mother for two weeks and didn't even know it until it was all over.
Max heard footsteps behind her. The slight wwrrr of the exoskeleton gave away the person before he stepped outside. She didn't wonder too much about why Logan didn't tell her. A whack form of protection she figured, but they could deal with that later. Now, now…
"Do you regret it?" Max asked once he came closer to her, still staring at the city.
"Regret what?" he replied standing beside her.
"The night we spent together?"
"Max," he started reaching out for her hand. Quickly, she moved it away, clutching it to herself. Logan looked back at her sternly.
"Neither one of us could have known what was going to happen."
"That's not what I asked, Logan."
"No," he replied simply, "I don't regret it."
"I was mother," she started with her eyes drifting off into space, "Only for a short time, but I was. I had our baby growing inside me. But because I'm a freak show destined to destroy all I love, our child had to die," she uttered, trying to hold back the emotion in her voice so she could speak clearly. Finally, she turned and faced Logan with her tear-stained face.
"How can you stand to look at me? I killed… I… I…" Max stated, breaking down into sobs. Muttering intelligible phrases as guilt and sorrow went through her body. Logan quickly grabbed her and held her to him, trying to comfort her and sooth the pain that she was feeling. He was in pain too, but he didn't blame her. He rocked her and kissed her forehead. He hugged her tighter saying, "You can't blame yourself" and "I love you, I still love you. Always."
Slowly, she calmed down and they both relaxed.
"It's because of that child that you can hold me like this."
"I know," Logan said still rubbing her back, "Saved my life."
"Is it worth it? Touching?" she asked, grabbing his hand and examining it, "Trading life for this?"
Logan took a deep breath and then turned Max's face to look at him.
"No," he answered.
"Max, I would trade my life in an instant for the life of our baby. But that's not a choice that was up to me or you."
"I wish it was."
"Me too, Max," he admitted, hugging her again, "Me too."
And there they stood. Together, where time was of no consequence as they mourned and wondered. The future was mystery and their past held so much pain, that they just wanted to live in present right now. They looked out into city quietly, trying to accept the things that had happened to them. The lives had been spared and the life that had been taken. Words were no longer adequate to express their feelings, so in silence, they hoped to find their answers. Together.