Ooops guess what I forgot to finish? My challenge from months ago, poor thing was just sitting there, victim of my inability to settle on an ending (waaaaaaay too many possibilities). Went with keeping it simple. Hope you enjoy, thanks for reading!
Oh and thanks to Reilynn for coming up with such a good challenge. I think we all took it in interesting directions (and shockingly enough, I am not the last to finish mine). Also thanks for helping nail down Logan's actual switch over to Eyes Only.
Fate didn't happen. Life was a series of defined events. None of them happening for any greater reason than just coincidence.
Seven months ago she'd needed money; she'd dropped into his place because it was the easiest. Fate had nothing to do with it.
She was at his apartment now because Bling had stopped by Crash to inform her Eyes Only was once more alone.
Her head had tilted back and a cocky smile had graced her lips as he'd walked up to the table she'd been chillin' at by herself as OC was filling up the pitcher. She'd smiled, 'Broadening your horizons?' as always knowing it wasn't the case.
'Not quite, I'm taking it things aren't back to normal between you and Logan yet?'
Normal? Normal, as if there'd ever been a 'normal' for them. 'Actually our relationship is more clearly defined now.' Relationship? Why had that one word hurt so much?
She ignored it and continued on in her thoughts.
It hadn't been fate that she stopped by his apartment and discovered his son; it had been Logan being too distracted to call her.
She hated how people always put everything on fate.
This wasn't fate though.
It was the bar had been boring. Original Cindy had gotten caught up in conversation with someone else…
Certainly not fate and definitely not about their 'relationship.'
No, not all.
She didn't hesitate at the door; she opened it easily and headed in, never pausing once.
He was behind his computer and actually working instead of reflecting on life staring out into Seattle.
"Let me guess?" he began as he started to close up the windows after seeing her out of the corner of his eye, "Bling stopped by Crash? Your apartment?"
"Crash," she nodded, "he thought you might want some company."
"Well," he gave a condescending smile as he turned to her, "contrary to popular opinion, I'm fine."
"I can see that," she even allowed her eyes to roll over him. Black pants, blue shirt, basic Logan uniform, topped off by the ever present glasses and casually spiked hair. Not a single sign of a man who'd spent the last few hours grieving for the family who had left him. "You eat yet?"
His head gave a short nod, "No." He paused but only briefly as the need to amend that admission to explain things really were fine, "I had some things I needed to catch up on."
Her eyes shifted to the corners as if studying him and obviously disbelieving him, "Got anything to eat? OC talked Tommy into sharing some of the peanuts they usually only save for the big spenders, but the thought of piss covered nuts didn't really wet my appetite."
Logan looked momentarily disgusted, "Wonder why?" he replied dryly.
He didn't bother replying, just wheeled past her.
They made piss poor dinner companions, their egos and pride had guaranteed that. She had moments where she forgot she was pissed and was actually nice, he was courteous like normal and scattered their meal with the current events in the world of Eyes Only and the politics of Seattle. Nothing at all like their normal banter that always made them delay the meal to extend it; to savor the entire experience just a bit longer.
She kept having to remind herself though, to not just slip into the old routine again. She would not let him hurt her again. She would not put herself on the line again.
She was surprised after dinner when he asked if she wanted to play a game of chess. More surprise after his groan of defeat when he said "2 out of 3."
She left the room to grab a drink after his second defeat and returned to find him turned away from the game and staring out the window. In truth though, he wasn't staring out the window, he was staring away from her eyes.
"Ever second guess your decisions?" his cool, clear voice asked.
Her eyes focused firmly on the back of his chair and the reflection of Logan looking out of the window and she felt a shiver of pain rush through her, "Yea," she nodded as her eyes looked to the side.
"Hmm," he pondered her agreement.
The haunches were down or at least lowered, it was ask now or never. "Did you love her?" the question startled them both, she hadn't expected to say it, he hadn't expected to hear it.
He turned and looked confused for a moment, before shaking his head, "Probably not. We were young," his shoulders shrugged as if that explained it all, "we tried to make it work for awhile." He chuckled softly to himself as he shook his head, as if amused by what had seemed like a good plan at the time, "We'd actually been broken up for over a month before she told me, I'd already met Valerie," he shook his head.
He caught Max looking at him with interested eyes, "It was a confusing time," he answered them.
"I can imagine," her eyes rolled up.
His eyes went back to looking distracted.
Twenty-five. She tried to imagine Logan at twenty five with a kid. Twenty four finding out your ex was pregnant. That was younger than most of her friends. Logan had been like them once, confused, filled with personal drama, unsure of the path he was supposed to follow in this life.
He looked up.
"Why does your son live in France?" How could you send away someone you loved? Send them away without you?
Guilt flashed through his eyes and he shook his head, "I didn't think about him." He chuckled softly to himself again, "I was so preoccupied with doing the right thing." The word 'right' held a bitter taste for him today as it had quite frequently lately. "I didn't think of him. Call it self-centered, vain," another bitter laugh, "I just never thought that anyone else would be a target for my work besides me."
He cut her off with a shake, "No, police found the plans after they'd arrested the guy."
He cut off her thoughts, "Do you have any idea how many children are kidnapped in Seattle each year?"
Well she'd interrupted one kid-smuggling ring this year…
"Rich kids and poor kids, both prime targets," he shook his head. "Eight well-off children were kidnapped last year, at least forty attempts were reported, there are a lot more though. Targets just because their parents are rich," he shook his head as if it still amazed him. "Three died last year."
"Three out of how many?"
He just stopped at looked at her. "Does it really matter?"
She shrugged. "Kids die, doesn't matter who their parents are, can't prevent it." Damn, where had that come from, damn fate stuff.
"Sometimes you can."
"Could also put your kid in a plastic bubble," a quick head bob and a smirk, "saw it on tv once."
He gave a near silent laugh as he shook his head.
"So why didn't you go with him? You want to keep him safe so badly…"
Another shake of his head as this time he was lost in a thought, full of memories, possibilities that were never going to happen. "Same reason I had to let him go Max. They came after me, they were going to come after him. I couldn't just walk away from it. I couldn't just leave because I…" he shook his head. "I could walk away," he looked down and ruefully smiled as he shook his head, looking at the legs that would never walk again, "I could have a normal life Max. I could slip out of the country and pretend as if it didn't exist, just like so many others. Most can't leave Max. I couldn't walk away because I could."
Logan and his stupid damn morals, everyone else before him, altruism to the highest power…They never taught that in Manticore, not like this…You didn't go into a losing battle, not when you had a way out.
"I think I thought I could make a difference," Max's eyes shot back over to Logan as the soft words eventually came out of his mouth after a long silence, he was staring out the window again. "That it would be worth it. My sacrifice, so maybe one day he could be proud of this country. He could come back; people could have lives without fear again. It could be just a little better." His voice finished low with another shake, "It would be worth it."
"You have," she said after a moment.
"Hmm?" his head halfway turned back.
"Made a difference."
A short chuckle of disbelief was his full response.
She was about to go on, remind him of the various lives he'd saved including her own. Logan's week-long list of good deeds was probably bigger than most people's lifetime's. "Don't think I'm going to encourage your boy-scout complex anymore by spouting off your list of good deeds."
He smirked and turned back.
"Knew it, your ego is already large enough and you still wanted me to pat it for you."
A laugh and a shake of his head as his hands remained lingering over the wheels facing her. He started to move, On with life…
"She ask you to go?"
He paused, answer enough for her.
"So why didn't you?" she asked his back.
"Call me naïve, part of me still believes," he shook his head, "I made a choice, I'm not going to walk away now."
"Naïve nah," she said following with a shake of her head, "masochist with a god-complex maybe…"
Life in the gray…
Trusting in the unseen…
It was okay for another day.
She didn't know about tomorrow, but it was okay for today.
AN: Umm so that was it. Really hope you didn't hate the ending and I should have gone with a different one. Part of the un-edited (yes shockingly enough I do edit on the rare occasion) was the actual convo with Bling, but I decided to scrap it since I kept non-Max and Logan together moments to a minimum (also why you didn't see any Logan and Beth moments because I had a lot of good ones of those floating around my head). Umm yea so once more, hope I didn't screw up the story with the ending (and I'm so going to be saying that again very soon in a different story). Thanks for all the reviews for the last chapter, I do believe it was the most I ever got for a DA story. Kyre: Yea trying to nail down the actual level of guilt was pretty damn difficult. I wanted it to be high though, he has this unintentional way of hurting her when he really doesn't mean to. She just gets the misplaced pain from everything else and he's in this intense 'everything he doesn't have' -including her- kind of time, things he thinks he'll never have/doesn't deserve. (hmm did that just make any sense?)