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Title: Just a simple question.
Summary: M/L fluff for my peeps.
Diversion Point: What if Original Cindy was a better debater than she is? (From TKAA)
In the televised series, she says. "This is just one more reason I'm glad I'm a lesbian. We don't put ourselves through all this drama. After the second date, we move in together."
What if, instead of veering off about her relationships, she had made an effort to help Max figuring out hers, and said: "Really? Well, Boo, if you're that certain, let's review the facts …"
To say Max was nervous when she walked into Logan's apartment was an understatement. The conversation with O.C. had her exceedingly rattled, and doubting everything she thought she knew about her and Logan. Of course, what did she know about human nature in the first place?
"Hey," Max said as soon as Logan answered the door.
"Hey," Logan replied. He looked so …tall standing there in a blue shirt. He was smiling. Didn't he usually smile? He was just standing there. Why was he just standing there? Eventually, Logan gestured for Max to enter. "Come on in."
Max felt a tad too warm, so she took off her black leather coat, and hung it over a chair. Logan walked over to a table in the kitchen where he had wine glasses and poured them each a glass of wine.
"So," they said in unison. Max smiled and took a large drink of wine.
Max took a deep breath, and dove in. "I have a question."
"What?" asked Logan when she didn't continue.
"O.C. was bugging me before I left. Normally, I wouldn't ask, because … well… because…but she just kept insisting."
"That's not a question, Max." Logan looked amused.
"I know. But before I ask, I just want to make sure you know Manticore wasn't big on how people actually relate to each other and I've kinda been making everything up as I go along. Okay, I know you knew that. O.C. is insisting that … well …" Max let out a frustrated sigh. "We're good enough friends that I can ask you anything and you won't get mad or take offence. Right?"
"Of course, Max."
"Good. I thought so. I mean, I'm too useful to get mad at just because I ask one simple, ridiculous, dumb, inappropriate question. I mean, it's got to be hard to find genuine cat burglar, made with real cat." Max smiled at Logan uncertainly.
"That's very true." Logan was definitely getting amused
"So, no matter how dumb the question is, I mean, it's just a question. It's not going to cause any …offence. Right?"
"Right." It was really quite surprising to see Max so …nervous. He couldn't imagine what she had in mind.
"So, … O.C. seems to think …I can't tell her that the reason you page me all the time is for Eyes Only missions, so, of course, she has the totally wrong impression. But …" Max let out a deep sigh.
"Max, it's OK. I promise. Just ask the question."
"Do you want me?" Max looked up at him uncertainly with her deep chocolate eyes.
"Do you want me?" Max repeated, enunciating each word slowly.
Logan just stood there, staring. Max shifted uncomfortably under his stare and took another rather large drink of wine.
"I don't know how to answer that, Max" Logan eventually got out.
"It's a simple question!"
"It is not a simple question."
"Yes, it is. One clause, one subject, one object, verb; simple sentence. In this particular case, a question."
"Two verbs, neither of which refers to a specific action."
"'Do' and 'want' they are both verbs, neither of which specify exactly what … I"
"Never mind! I knew it! I have no idea why I let O.C. convince me …never mind. Forget I asked." Max threw her hands up and walked over to the sofa.
"Well, the sentence doesn't actually specify a particular action." Logan knew that there was something very wrong here, but the part of his brain he really needed right now was in shock.
Max groaned, threw herself down on the sofa and grabbed a pillow to put over her head. "I knew it. I knew it! I don't know why I let O.C. convince me that you were attracted to me. I'm not even human, and you know it. She just kept at it. And I let her convince me that she knew more about men and people then I do, 'cause what do I know? I'm just a freak that grew up in a lab or on the run."
"Max, I …" Logan Cale, man of letters, was shocked speechless. Logan knew this was important. He knew that there was something very significant he was missing here; he just couldn't quite get it.
"Go ahead, laugh. It was stupid. I knew it was stupid. I let her talk me into it anyway!" Max paused thoughtfully under the pillow. "If this was a set up, she is in big trouble."
"What did she say?" Logan walked over to the sofa more out of reflex than anything else. Max just laid there, pillow over her head.
"She kept on about how you are always calling and showing up, which I knew was for Eyes Only stuff, but I couldn't tell her that. Then she started in on how you look 'all goo-goo eyed', whatever that means, when you look at me but I'm not looking at you and …I … never mind. Look, just … laugh and get it over with 'cause after tonight I never want to hear another word about this."
"Max, why did you ask?" Logan heard a voice that sounding just like his asking. 'Very interesting,' he thought. Logan just stood next to the sofa, staring at the pillow Max had over her face. He knew there was something important going on here; he just couldn't quite grasp it.
"I told you. O.C. talked me into it."
"What if I had said 'yes'?" Logan should have reached the logical conclusion by now, he just couldn't believe it.
"As much as I may regret every disaster of a boyfriend I have ever had, I have had them. I am not a virgin, Logan. I know what's next." Max said from under a pillow.
Eventually, Logan put did two and two together. When he did, he did what any red blooded American male, that had just regained the ability to …um …hm… walk (et cetera!) very recently would do upon realizing that the woman of his dreams was here, basically asking if he wanted to make love with her, and he was giving her the impression that the answer was 'no'. He fell flat on his ass, with a loud crash as he hit the coffee table on the way down.
"Logan!" Max was at his side in an instant. "Are you alright? Logan, say something?"
"Ow." It was all he could get out.
"Logan, how badly hurt are you?"
"I think I am OK. Help me to the sofa?"
"Of course, Logan." Max lifted Logan off the floor and placed him on the sofa. Logan sat on the sofa and watched as Max righted the coffee table and picked up the magazines that were scattered in his fall. "You ok?"
"I think so. Max, I'm sorry …"
Max cut him off. "It's alright. I knew better. Just forget it."
"Max, No. Listen to me. I just didn't realize …"
Max laughed and cut him off again. "That's great! I can't wait to tell Cindy that you couldn't even imagine …"
"Max!" Logan interrupted her as he gathered her into his arms. To his immense relief and surprise, she came willingly. Logan settled her on his lap and wrapped his arms around her. She was looking at him with such trepidation. "What I couldn't imagine is a beautiful, vibrant, young woman like you wanting someone as old, obsessive, and …I am just used to thinking of myself as broken, half a man."
Max took Logan's face in her hands and looked in his eyes. "I never thought of you like that, Logan. Never!"
"I never thought of you as 'not even human', Max." Logan cradled her face in his hands and brought her closer to him.
"Well, I'm not." Max looked down.
"You're not less, Max. If anything, you're more." Logan tilted her face back towards him. Logan leaned down and tenderly kissed her. Max opened her mouth to his gentle exploration. Max molded her body into his, and surrendered herself to his tender ministrations.
A/N: For all those wondering why Max and Logan were not interrupted by a phone call, I have several possible explanations:
1: O.C. took a message, rather than give out Logan's number because she didn't want the evening interrupted;
2: OC and Max can't get POTS in a supposed-to-be-abandoned building, hence no telephone;
3: The phone is going to ring any second now.
4: They ignored it in their passion.
You may take your pick.
p.s. Everyone can thank (or blame, as applicable) Maria656 for proofing this fluff. (Note no cliffhanger. :)