Lady swore and everyone in the control room shot her strange looks. Their princess had changed so much since associating with the transgenics. She had picked up their manner of speaking and their foul curse words.
"You should have let us know," she was saying angrily into the phone. "We could have easily had her transferred here. We have a hospital!"
There was silence as she listened to the other side of the conversation. Lady twitched perceptibly.
"Logan, you know Max is stubborn but that is hardly worth risking exposure."
Logan spoke more and Lady itched to tell him exactly what she thought of Max foolishly endangering them. She didn't however. She settled on a semi civil 'goodbye.'
She snapped the phone shut and clenched her fists. She took deep even breaths. Lady wasn't prone to fits of anger. Another change real life had wrought on her.
One of the operators received a call that he would have rather not shared with their leader but he had no choice.
"We have a problem," he said meekly.
Lady's hand absentmindedly drifted to her hip where she usually kept her sword. The operator was glad of its non-attendance.
"What?" She managed to control the venom in her voice.
"There's a disturbance at the club."
Lady put a hand to her head. "Could my day get worse?"
A messenger strode into the room. "Your mother requests an audience."
Lady tilted her head skyward. "Oh funny. You're funny!" She addressed the deity Isis, wondering why she couldn't let her have a normal life.
"Thought you said you were tight with the bouncer." Max crossed her arms accusingly, staring at her buddy Cindy.
She shifted uncomfortable, trying to see past the line of people. Original Cindy had finally managed to coax Max out with promises of a spectacular night. It was all going up in flames now.
"Boom Boom. He's gotta be around here somewhere." Cindy was now on tiptoes whilst Max wondered how the bouncer had gotten the nickname Boom Boom.
"Thought you said he was gonna get us in." Max was not going easy on her friend.
"He will as soon as he sees that we're in line." Cindy was a little irritated at Max's attitude now. "'Sides it ain't like you don't have connections at this club."
They were in fact outside Iccult. "You know how I feel about using the cult."
"Lady is ok."
"Yeah, but I don't trust cults in general. They get weirdly fanatical. So don't make a deal out of it."
A group of people stumbled up laughing and whopping. Max paid no more attention to them than the fact they provided a weapon against Cindy. "Oh. Looks like they're tight with Boom Boom, too."
"I'm gonna go up front and I'm gonna see what's going on. If I come back and find out that you bailed…" Cindy left the threat hanging.
Within minutes Cindy wished she had bailed. She wished it very hard as she nursed her broken arm.
Max had felt very guilty. She did that a lot of the times these days. She knew deep down it wasn't really her fault Original Cindy had gotten hurt from the transgenics at the club but she felt responsible nonetheless.
It was puzzling though. Transgenics were trained solders, well versed in the art of covert operations. Nothing that had happened had been secretive. It was more overt actually.
Max resisted the urge to jump when she saw Lady standing, hands on her hips. This was the closest the woman had come to looking genuinely pissed off. Max found it amusing but was disgruntled that she had been so distracted she hadn't noticed the lock tampering.
Cindy waved a weak hand at Lady, who returned it with a tight smile. This got more of Max's attention. Lady was uptight and a little repressed but she had usually been nice. Especially to Cindy.
Cindy caught the tension and reacted. "I am going to lie down. Give you girls some talking room. Be nice, Boo." The last part was for Max.
"We had a transgenic problem at the club."
"I know I was there," Max replied, looking around to see if they had any tea.
Lady's face showed shock. "I didn't think you would do that to us, Max. I knew you hated the cult but more the idea."
Max's head snapped up. "You think I orchestrated that?"
"Um let's see," Lady pretended to look thoughtful. "Yes!"
"Why the hell would I do that?"
"Cult aversion? To annoy me? You're one of the few people who know the real meaning behind the club!"
"I noticed you're not banging on Alec's door." Max was triumphant. Surely that would shame the girl into backing down.
"He wasn't home." Lady's voice was rising. She was truly angry now.
Max grabbed her arm. "Lady what the hell is wrong?"
Lady shoved her away but Max managed to force her into a complicated arm bar. The younger woman's face pressed into a wall.
"Lady, you need to chill out. Now!"
Lady struggled for a second before resigning herself to her position. She knew Max was stronger and faster.
"I didn't set that up!" Max tried to inject sincerity into her voice. She was furious that Lady had suspected her.
"Are you trying to tell me it was pure chance?"
Max released Lady. "That's what I'm trying to say."
Lady rubbed her wrists. "Ok."
Max took a step back. "You believe me? Just like that?"
"I honestly don't want to get put in another arm lock."
Max felt a ghost of a smile tugging her lips. "Good reason."
"Look. I have some ideas about what's going on here. But I need a little time. I'll sort them out."
Lady watched Max, wondering if her mother would approve. God knows after their little chat she had other things to worry about.
"Fine." She said it a bit sulkily.
"Fine," Max said leaning against the wall.
Lady moved towards the door. "Do you think we'll ever be friends?"
"Sure. Just give me time." Max smiled.
"Where the hell did my clipboard go?" Alec wondered riffling through his belongings. It was no where to be seen.
"Looking for this?"
Lady stood in the doorway, holding it. "Joshua, said you left it with him."
"Ok thanks." He plucked it gently from her finger tips. She didn't look happy.
He tried to think of something witty and distracting to say. He opened his mouth, let out a nervous laugh then closed it again.
"Haven't heard from you in a while."
"Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned."
Alec shifted uncomfortably and wondered why this was so ridiculous. They both knew they had feelings for each other but still they played this ridiculous game of cat and mouse. It had taken all of Alec's maturity and courage to do his little speech.
"Here for a particular reason?" he prompted, hoping that it was because of him.
"Nope," she shrugged. "Well I was going to accuse of sabotaging the club." She was pleased with how casual sounded. Inside her heart was beating a peculiar pattern.
"Oh," Alec looked down. He was a little crest fallen.
"You look like a kicked puppy." Lady noticed.
"I know. It's a little pathetic, isn't it?"
Lady smirked a tiny bit. "Yes."
Alec realized something at that moment. "You are enjoying this!"
Lady looked a little startled. "I am not!"
"You are. You wrench." He had heard that insult used during his time at the cult.
She shoved his shoulder and without thinking he grabbed her wrist and pulled her in to be kissed.
Of anything, Lady had not expected that. She couldn't resist and all her feelings for him flood back to the surface.
Eventually her mind took over. "I can't," she breathed and staggered backwards.
"Yes you can. You're the little plane who knew it could." He reached for her.
"Train. The stories about a train." She moved further away knowing that if he wanted her enough he could easily catch her.
"Why not?" he demanded. His voice was raw and eyes burning with desire.
"Because I'm being promised to Duke tomorrow," she blurted out.
Lady was out the door before Alec could even process the information. For some reason he was calm. This wasn't a problem, this was the motivation he needed to take action.
He was going to pay the cult a little visit.
AN: This was one of those awkward connect the dots chapters. Also a return chapter. I need to get back into the feel of the story after so long away. Please review. It would make my day.