Title: Desperate Measures
Author: jracklesfan77
Show: DA
Genre: Angst
Pairing: M/A
Type: Stand Alone
Summary: After having been given a taste of her own medicine, Max takes desperate measures...

Desperate Measures

She sat staring blankly into the dark, moonless sky. Nothing was as it should be. Her life had become twisted, confused and only now she realized, devoid of something she couldn't live without. Someone she couldn't live without.

She's had a disagreement with him earlier that had escalated to a full-blown fight. What had started with heated words ended in painful blows. And his parting shot was especially hurtful.

She yelled at him loud enough to be heard halfway across Terminal City.

"What was I thinking when I inflicted you on the world! I should have let your head explode!" she screamed and pulled at her hair in aggravation.

He deadpanned and stepped back, taking in her rigid stance and hard eyes before replying coldly and quietly. He'd had enough and it was written on his face as clear as day. His words chilled her to the bone.

"Do me a favor, Max. Drop dead."

And he walked away without a second glance.

It was hurtful because he meant it. She'd given him a couple hours, tops, to come waltzing into her office and start annoying her again. But he hadn't showed up. Hours later she looked for him at dinner but he was nowhere to be seen. And finally she's gotten up the courage to ask Joshua if he'd seen Alec.

"Everything cool, Big Fellah?" she asked. When she received no reply she continued. "Have you seen Alec?"

Josh looked at her with sad and unforgiving eyes. "Medium Fellah left. Why did Little Fellah send Alec away?"

She sputtered indignantly. "Is that what he told you? I did no such thing! He probably realized what a screw -"

Joshua barked. "No!" Max stopped mid-sentence as the dog-man dismissed her explanation. "Medium Fellah not tell Joshua anything. Joshua knows. Little Fellah and Joshua, are not cool. Not cool at all."

Word had gotten around Terminal City very quickly. No one would look at her, let alone speak to her. At Crash, Max went to see her friends. But a few of their transgenic co-workers had tipped them off in regards to what she'd done. Sketchy gave her the evil eye and walked off without a word. And even Cindy found it hard to speak to her, and that was saying something. So she'd gone to Logan.

Logan had been delighted and didn't hesitate to express his joy. He had Max all to himself and didn't need to worry about the handsome, younger man who he knew without a doubt was in love with Max too.

Max hadn't wanted to hear it. Listening to Logan badmouth Alec hurt. And what more, it made her think less of Logan. In a matter of hours her entire life had turned upside down. She was in limbo.

Logan had thought to double the joy. He had placed a box on the table in front of her.

"Open it!" he urged eagerly.

She lifted the lid and gasped. Inside the box was a hypodermic needle, filled with a clear blue liquid. She raised her eyes to Logan's and saw his tears of joy. Her own teared as well, but not from happiness. Quite the opposite.

"It's the cure, Max! 6 hours and we can be together like we've wanted to be for so long."

The only person left for her to turn to was, and it was suddenly painfully clear, the one person she didn't want to be with.

She wanted Alec.

"I - I - I'll take this home."

Logan nodded sagely. "It's probably better to do this overnight. The wait won't feel so long!" He reached out to caress her hand with his gloved one. She pulled away sharply and sprang to her feet.

"I've gotta jet. Later."

Max had wandered the streets of the city aimlessly. Some hours into the night, she found herself in a seedy part of town. A man approached her.

"I can make all your problems disappear for a while. Two hundred bucks and you'll be floating like air, trust me."

In a daze, Max reached into her pocket, withdrew her wallet and extracted two hundred dollars. In exchange, she received a syringe in a sealed wrapper for sterility and a small vial of clear liquid.

The man called over his shoulder as he walked away, "No more than 2ccs or you'll never come back."

His words barely registered at the time.

But now, as she sat on the Space Needle she recalled them clearly.

She looked down at her hands, each holding a syringe filled with magical drugs. One to help her start life anew, a life she no longer wanted, the other to help her end her existence completely.

She hadn't felt this alone since the escape. She'd never been a quitter before. But then, she'd never acknowledged her weaknesses before. Max had simply ignored them, or clashed with whoever showed her up. She'd never given up a fight. But there was no battle left to wage. Her life was empty. The one person she wanted to be with not only hated her, but wanted her dead.

Her eyes flicked from the clear needle to the blue one and back again.

Suddenly a voice spoke up behind her.

"Need some help, Max?" The offer was insincere and his sardonic laugh made her shiver.

"Clear or blue?" she replied quietly.

He thought for a minute, wondering what she was talking about. " Why not. I'll go with clear. It sounds pure." he snorted.

Max quickly injected the clear liquid into her arm. A full 5ccs. She looked up at Alec in silence, waiting for the drug to take effect.

"What's it for, Max?"

"The blue one is the cure."

Alec's mouth dropped open. "Why didn't you take it?"

"Logan and I...there's nothing there anymore. I don't want to be with him anymore."

"Ok, but you don't wanna kill the guy, right? So why not take it to be safe?" Alec couldn't believe he was having this conversation with her. For months he'd been dying to hear those words, to know he might have a chance with her. But after their fight that morning, he wasn't sure what he wanted.

Max giggled. Her world was suddenly bright and she was thinking truly happy thoughts for the first time in almost a year.

Alec eyed her strangely. "Uh, Max, care to clue me in on the private joke?"

She giggled some more. "Cat burglary is fun!" she replied, as she lay back on the Needle and spread her arms and legs in a flurry of motion. "Let's make snow angels!"

Alec was lost. "It's summer, Max. There's no snow."

"Don't need snow, silly! Flap flap flap! I'm making snow angels! Ben and Jondy and Krit and Syl and I made snow angels once! Oh, and I had a red balloon for a couple of minutes. It was pretty. I never saw a balloon before that."

Giddy Max was a sight Alec had never seen before and it disturbed him. What the hell had she injected herself with?

"Uh, Max, what was in the clear syringe?"

Her tongue felt heavy and thick and she was tired. "GHB" she breathed.

"Huh?" Alec's face showed confusion and a flash of fear.

"Liquid Ecstasy."

"Oh god, Max! How much did you take?"

"Full." The words were harder to get out now. Her tongue felt dry and her breathing was labored.

"Why, Max! What the hell's wrong with you! We need to get you to a hospital, NOW!" Alec was shaking and tears slipped down his cheeks.

"Did you a favor." The words came out a whisper.

Alec stilled as he recalled his harsh words of earlier in the day. Pulling her into his arms, he stroked her face gently. "I didn't mean it, Max! I couldn't - you can't - I never -!" Realizing how little time was left, he bent his head forward, ignoring the tears that steamed from his eyes, and brushed his lips gently across hers. "I love you, Maxie. You can't die!"

Max's eyes fluttered and she weakly reached out to him. "Alec, I love you." Her eyes shut and her arm fell limply to her side.

Even the strongest person can break, and he did. Alec sobbed long into the night, cradling the body of the woman he loved close to his chest.

- FIN -

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