Title: Recollection (I am terrible at titles!)
Pairing: M/A (At least, I hope it goes that way!)
Summary: Sequel to Remember. Just as Max's relationship with Alec started to develop into something more, someone else turned up and attempted to create a distance between them. How would Max and Alec react?
Spoilers: Berrisford Agenda
A/N: This story could stand alone by itself but of course it is better if you read Remember first to understand how their relationship grew. To make things easier for those who decide to forgo Remember, I have written a very short recap of Remember below.
A short recap of Remember: An old acquaintance of Alec's from Manticore turned up, wreaking havoc with Max and Alec's lives. They finally managed to sort everything out, resulting in the separation of Max and Logan, and a growing friendship between Max and Alec.
Recollection - Chapter 1
The rustle of trees seemed loud amidst the relative silence in the forest. The young man, with his enhanced hearing, felt as if he could hear the scratching sound each individual tree made as it swayed in the gentle breeze. His footsteps seemed unnaturally loud to him as well.
His stomach was growling. He could not remember how many days had gone past without him having a meal, but it was long enough to weaken him. He paced his steps and regulated his breathing, knowing that he needed to conserve his energy for him to make his way out of the forest in one piece. He had no idea where exactly he was; he was just relying on his instincts. His instinct never failed him before, and he hoped that it would not start now.
He paused for a moment to listen, trying to discern if there were signs of any other human being in the vicinity. His ears told him that he was the only one there. He stared straight ahead, noting the muted rays of sunlight filtering at an angle through the gaps between the trees which told him that he was heading east. He forced himself not to look back from where he came from.
He knew he couldn't.
Because he knew that if he did, he might not be able to make himself walk back out.
The streets of Seattle were already abuzz with activity when the two transgenics emerged from the front door of the apartment block. They walked briskly; passing a group of men huddled over small fire in a metal barrel. Intent on warming themselves up in the chilly morning, they paid the two transgenics no attention.
They slowed down slightly as they approached a food stall; the aroma from the fried food tantalising their appetites. Wordlessly, they exchanged a look.
A few seconds passed before one of them spoke.
"So, are you buying or not?" Max asked expectantly, placing one hand on her hips.
A tired looking Alec groaned, "I got us breakfast yesterday. It's your turn now," he complained. He could not believe Max was trying to make him buy breakfast again.
Max scowled, "It's all your fault anyway. If you didn't make me stay up all night last night, I would have gotten up in time to make breakfast,"
"Erm…Max? No offence, but you making breakfast? I think I'll pass," he said, shuddering a little when he remembered the last time she made them breakfast. To say that it was inedible was to put it kindly. At that time, Alec thought he was being poisoned in the most horrible manner. He continued, "Anyway, you don't need sleep with all that shark DNA. I, on the other hand, need my beauty sleep. Which I am now sorely deprived of," he said mournfully.
Max made a face, "I did not make you stay up all night, so don't blame me. You were the one who came over to hide away from your adoring fans. And since you won't eat what I make, then you should buy breakfast," she reasoned, making it sound as if it was a perfectly fair exchange.
Relenting grudgingly, he walked up to the food stall and told the bored looking seller that he wanted two hot dogs. "With lots of onions," he added a little vindictively.
Then he turned back to give Max a defensive look. "I wasn't running away," Alec protested, offended at her words, "I tried to tell them I am not interested, but they were persistent. I can't help how attractive I am, can I?"
Max rolled her eyes, "Yeah, of course they continue to be persistent. I've heard how you try to tell them you are 'not interested'. You always make it sound like you are so disappointed, so why am I not surprised that they come running back after a couple of days?"
Alec rubbed the back of his neck sheepishly, "I don't know. I can't bring myself to be so…you know…harsh," He took out a few notes from his pocked and handed them to the seller, accepting two hot-dogs in exchange. He handed one to Max.
Max's eyes went heavenwards as she said in exasperation, "Then you are not trying hard enough," She paused, thinking for a moment before she continued, "I've got an idea!" she exclaimed; her eyes bright with excitement.
"What?" Alec asked her with some apprehension. That look Max got on her face normally meant that it was something which would not bode well for his well-being. But he decided to listen anyway.
She grinned, "Just think of them as Celia. That should work!" she said triumphantly, biting into her food.
Alec's eyes grew large as his face twisted in revulsion, "Ugh! I am trying to eat here. And don't bring that name up again. Please," he pleaded, holding one hand up as if to ward off the thought of Celia.
Max's grin turned into a laugh when Alec gave her an offended look. She knew that he hated being reminded of what Celia did to him. She did not blame him; Celia was seriously insane.
"Anyway, you won't be laughing after I tell you what Suki asked me last night,"
It was Max's turn to sound apprehensive now. "What?" she asked.
"She got really pissed off when I told her it was over. Then she asked if it was because of you," Alec explained with a wry grin, watching with glee as her eyes widen at his words.
"Come again! Me? What has it got to do with me!" she practically shrieked.
"You can be quite dense sometimes, Max. We spend so much time together nowadays and you think no one noticed? Suki wasn't the only one to bring it up," he pointed out.
"You are joking right?" she asked haltingly. It never really occurred to her to think of how much time they spend together ever since the incident with Celia. Now that she thought about it, she supposed it was true. Nowadays they tended to spend more time talking to each other and going places together.
Alec gave her a droll look, "Do I look like I am joking?"
"Ah well, now that you mentioned it, I can see why they came to that conclusion. I mean, we have been spending a lot of time together," she admitted thoughtfully.
"Much as I enjoyed all our time together, I am also sad that we do not indulge in more pleasurable physical activities," Alec remarked in an exaggeratedly sad voice.
A smack landed on his shoulders, "Dream on, pretty boy. Who knows where you have been? I might catch something," Max jokingly threw his own words back at him, grinning as she thought of the time he stepped into her cell. And how different he was now compared to that soldier.
"Hey, that's my line! And if I recall correctly, you did tell me that you wouldn't mind sleeping with me," he reminded her. He knew that he was stretching her words a bit, but who cares!
"I did not!" Max protested loudly. Too loudly, she realised, noticing the curious look given to her by the other people on the street. Turning back to him, she hissed,"I did not! And you know it,"
Ignoring her, Alec continued, "Well, we might as well give them something to say, right?"
Max glared at him threateningly, "No, Alec," she said firmly.
"Just a suggestion,"
"No," she said with a tone of finality.
An hour later, Alec practically dragged her out of Jampony as she tried unsuccessfully to contain her laughter. It was really priceless, the look on his face when Suki and Marina, having decided to stop fighting with each other over him, came stomping right up to him to demand an explanation for his behaviour.
Alec had just stood there as both Suki and Marina vented their anger on him. They demanded to know why he was seeing both of them at the same time. Alec tried to explain that they were both important to him, but he was not ready for any commitment.
Max grinned as she recalled the subsequent scene.
Suki had asked him if that was the reason he did not ever touch either of them. At which, Alec blanched and stuttered something incoherent. Sketchy and some of the other guys had thrown Alec accusing looks, which Alec ignored. Max realised that Alec must have, in a true male fashion, bragged about his success in bed with the two girls to them. She had such a hard time keeping her face straight when Original Cindy went on to tell him off on his behaviour. And Original Cindy did not mince her words at all.
A small part of her was glad that the showdown happened. After all the gossips she had heard, she naturally thought that Alec was actually sleeping with those girls, a fact which strangely made her feel slightly ill. She did not want to dwell on the reasons for her reaction.
Max grinned as she mounted her bicycle, completely missing the dark look Alec shot at her. They did not speak; they were both lost in their thoughts. Max continued to think about entertaining the incident in Jampony.
Alec's thoughts were much more depressing as he tried to think of how he could salvage his reputation. Not that he really wanted to sleep with those girls. He realised how odd it was that he had not had the urge to play the role of a tomcat anymore.
As an amusing thought crossed her mind, Max broke out in laughter again.
"Get a grip, will you?" Alec told her irritably as her laughter caused her bike to veer precariously towards his. "It's not that funny,"
Max managed to keep her face straight as she said, "No…I guess not for you. Reputation ruined and all. What possessed you to tell all those lies to the guys?"
Alec sighed in exasperation, "You won't understand. It's a guy thing. I can't just go around sleeping with all the girls who throw themselves at me, could I? It is kind of lame to tell them that I dated these girls but it all ended with at the most, a kiss at their front door. And I didn't really lie. They just drew their own conclusions," he explained, unsure why he had to justify himself to Max.
Max went quiet as she considered what he just said. It made sense to her. Alec may be a flirt, but he never meant to hurt anyone. So it made sense that he would do what he did and not take advantage of the girls' affection for him. Max smiled at the thought.
They rode up to the gate of a large house.
"I mean, it's not like I am that desperate for sex anyway. And- Oh my god!" he exclaimed as an overzealous turn threw him off his bike. He got up quickly, glaring accusingly at his bike.
Max rolled her eyes as she gave him a resigned look, "What happened to your feline reflexes?"
"My mind was occupied with more important matters," Alec replied tonelessly.
"Okay, okay…Shut up and ring the buzzer already," Max said impatiently, holding the package they came to deliver in her hands.
"Hmm? Yeah," Alec said distractedly as he reached out to the buzzer which looked strangely familiar. He knew he had seen this before, but he wondered where.
He knew it was nothing good when a feeling of dread started creeping up on him.
A/N: Okay, folks! Short, I know, but what do you think? Can it work as the sequel to Remember? Do you like it? Hate it? Write me a review and tell me so that I know if I should continue or to stop right here!