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Working Title: Apprentice of Evil.
Part One. The Divergence.
In the televised series Max goes straight to Logan once she finds out that Dr. Vertes has been killed. What if it had occurred to her to clean up Dr. Vertes office before she went to Logan?
Max left Jace at her crib. She took her motorcycle and large backpack to Dr. Vertes run down clinic. She gathered everything she could; Logan's files; Logan's cash; the vials of immunosuppressant; and anything else she could fit in the backpack.
Logan could tell that Max had bad news by the sad look on her face when she entered the apartment. She joined him on the couch, apologized for things that were not her fault.
"Not the best news I could've gotten," Logan said sadly, with his hand on his head.
"You would've thought Vertes knew Lydecker long enough to figure he can't be trusted."
"You would've thought."
"She's not the only doc around who knows about this treatment." Max tried to cheer Logan up.
"Only one I had access to… At least you're all right."
"I'm sorry, Logan."
"Where's Jace?" asked Logan.
"I stashed her back at my crib."
"I set her up with a new identity. She leaves for Mexico tonight."
"No problem. On another matter, you should swing by the clinic and yank my medical records. You've got exposure if Lydecker dumps Vertes' files and reads about my transgenic blood donor." Logan said, wanting to be alone.
"Way ahead of you. I got your files, her files, the immunosuppressant, everything. We just need to call Dr. Carr. See how much of this mess he can sort out. Oh, and I got your money back." Max attempted to hand him several bundles of cash. Logan just looked pained. "This is gonna be okay."
Part Two: That Night
Dr. Carr came over right after work. Once he got there, he and Max started going over Dr. Vertes' files. To say he was surprised by all that Max had to explain to him was an understatement. However he was exited enough about the regenerative possibilities that he forced himself to focus. He was sitting right beside Max at Logan's dining room table when Max read Dr Vertes psychological profile. She showed him, panic in her eyes. Dr. Carr nodded to her. He went into the bathroom, and Max could hear him call Bling and tell him to get over here because they needed to put Logan on suicide watch. Bling arrived in less than thirty minutes. It was only after Logan was under Bling's watchful eye that Max went to see Jace off.
Max would have been happy and excited that a baby was going to be named after her, if she wasn't so afraid for Logan.
When she entered Dr. Carr was talking to Logan in the computer room.
"It doesn't look like her treatments were working. Your function has continued to deteriorate. I am going to put you on an oral regime for awhile then see what that does to your white cell count. Right now, your body is fighting. Pluripotents regenerated your nerves before, if we can get your immune system under control, maybe they can again."
"But I am going to wind up back in the chair." Logan said grimly.
"You are back in the chair. I wish I could tell you for how long. You have no idea of how much you have thrown at me. I learned more tonight than I learned most of my college courses. I need to do some research." Dr Carr said.
"Be careful with the research. Manticore was a covert government agency. If they think you know anything …" Max didn't have to finish. They had already told him what happened to Dr. Vertes.
Dr. Carr nodded his agreement.
"Logan's already done a lot of research on Manticore. He's good at getting information…unofficially." Max was trying to be encouraging.
"Yeah," Logan nodded. His expression was grim.
"I …I am sorry Logan. This is probably going to get worse before it gets better." Dr. Carr tried to reassure him. He looked at Max, then back to Logan. "Sensation will probably seem mostly intact for a little while, if there was … something you wanted to …" he trailed off, embarrassed.
"No," Logan said abruptly.
"You shouldn't try walking on your own." Dr. Carr finished.
Bling returned with the filed prescription for cyclosporine. After watching Logan grudgingly take two, Bling left saying he would return in the morning. Max made sure he would be there in time for her to get to work. Logan wasn't going to be alone, not anytime soon.
Max was just returning from walking out Bling and Dr Carr. She found Logan staring dejectedly at his computer screen and her heart bled for him. The best man she had ever known. A truly noble, honest, and good man; not only had he been dealt an entirely unjust injury, who did he have to comfort him? He deserved human comfort and all he had was a chimera, who knew squat about comforting someone.
"Hey," Max began.
"Max," Logan was startled.
"How ... Never mind." Max knelt in front of Logan, miserable at her social clumsiness.
"Max, I thought you left…I'm sorry …"
"For what?" Max put her hand on his knee.
"I am sure he is doing his best. We dumped a lot on him. He'll get it figured out, but it will take some time." Max began rubbing his legs, looking into his face to see if he could still feel it. She thought so.
"I meant his …comment."
Max looked puzzled. "What comment would you be sorry for?"
"Never mind. I …"
"You mean the 'enjoy it while you can' comment." Max continued to caress is legs, more firmly.
"Not a bad idea. Is there anything you want? A massage?"
Logan hesitated. Why had she phrased it like that, he thought miserably. He was so torn. He had almost talked himself out of taking advantage of Max's potentially embarrassing offer, when he nodded.
Max smiled. "Let's get you someplace comfortable. Got any lotion? Oil?"
Logan couldn't believe he was doing this. He told her where to find the massage oil and wheeled into his bedroom.
Max was very casual about taking his shoes, socks and pants off. He felt terribly exposed despite the fact he still had his boxers and shirt on.
Logan rolled over on his stomach so he wouldn't have to face Max. He couldn't stand the look of pity that she gave him.
Max didn't know much about massage, but she knew where human pressure points were. She lost track of time as she caressed each leg and foot in turn. Soon Logan had lost track of what was going on as well, and moaned softly as she worked on his legs. It was his moans that were her undoing.
Max rolled him over. He tried to stop her, but his strength was no match for hers.
"No, Max, don't," he protested.
"Why not?" As Max lay her body on top of his she could feel his arousal. She'd wanted him for so long, but how did he feel?
"It's not fair."
"Nothing is fair, Logan."
"Max…" he began, then trailed off, pained.
"Logan, you know I would do anything for you."
There was that word again, anything, Logan thought. Does she really mean anything? He decided there was no way she could be lying on top of him and not know what he wanted to do to her, with her, right now. Was he pathetic enough to accept a pity fuck? Did it matter that this was the woman of his dreams and this might be the last chance that he ever had to … have sex? Fuck? Make love? He always did the right thing, but did he have the strength to refuse this? Where was the harm? Didn't he deserve a little happiness?
Max took his silence as consent and removed his shirt. She could feel her body becoming ready for his as he moaned at her touch. He gasped as her hands ran over his nipples. Her hands reached for his boxers. His hands covered hers, stopping her. Logan took a deep ragged breath then nodded and released her hands. She removed his boxers and touched him everywhere. With her hands and her mouth she tried to show him what she did not have words to say.
"Logan. What do you want?"
He wanted to make love to her. He wanted her to be doing this because she loved him, not because it was the last chance he was ever going to have and she felt sorry for him. This was possibly the last night he would ever have, and he wanted to give it to her. "You." He tugged at her clothes and she slipped out of them quickly. He touched her and it was more than he had ever imagined.
"Logan, tell me what you want me to do?"
"I just want to pretend for awhile, for tonight. For tonight, just …love me."
Outside, Max nodded, smiled, and took Logan inside of her. Inside, she wondered if he was pretending she was someone else in particular or just a normal human woman. She wondered briefly what was wrong with her that she accepted this? But, then she knew why. Regardless of what he felt for her, she loved him, and this might be her only chance to make love to him. Or at least pretend that this was making love, instead of just sex. Yes, that was it, the two of them could pretend.
They spent the night in passion, Max determined to do everything in her considerable stamina to ensure that Logan felt enough pleasure to last him until he was healed again. Sadly, neither wanted to break the fantasy, so neither actually said anything beyond the other's name, a few endearments, and some exclamations of pleasure.
When the dawn finally came Logan knew it was over. Even if he were fully healed, he had already lasted longer than he would have believed possible. He stopped Max, held her in his arms, and wept. Max comforted him the best she could, holding him, stroking his hair.
"It'll be OK, Logan. We'll get this figured out. You'll be walking again before you know it. This will be OK."
"I can't believe… what you'll do for me."
Max thought he was talking about putting up with Dr. Vertes, perhaps because it was the only thing that Max thought of as a sacrifice. It never even occurred to her that he was talking about what they had shared that night, the best night she'd ever had, the high point of her life. The only time she had ever felt loved, even if it was pretend. She smiled, "Silly, I will do anything for you. Don't you pay attention?"
They might have talked to each other then, honestly and bluntly told the other what needed to be said, and heard, except Bling arrived to watch over Logan for the day. Max dashed to the bathroom. Logan sighed and got up.
Part Three: The Next Day
Max dressed more quickly than either Logan or Bling could possibly have expected. She was going to join them in the computer room and let them know she was leaving for work, when she overheard part of their conversation.
"So, how are you doing this morning? You seemed pretty down last night." Bling asked.
"I reached a new low … after you left." Logan said.
'A new low?' Max thought. She supposed she could see how sleeping with something whipped up in a lab might qualify, but she never thought she would have heard that from Logan. She couldn't face him. She left quickly and quietly.
"You get enough sleep?" asked Bling.
"I didn't sleep at all, Bling."
Max shut the door behind her and dashed down the stairs so that she heard no more of the conversation.
"You probably should now then, but I am not seeing why you're so upset."
Logan let out a deep breath and tried to explain. "I'd just never had a pity fuck before. Funny part is that it was the best night of my life." He wheeled back to bed before Bling could point out that whatever Max felt for him, it sure didn't seem like pity.
Max's iron will and self discipline severed her well during the next day. She kept busy so she wouldn't have to interact with her friends, which kept Normal happy. If any of her friends noticed anything wrong with her they didn't have the opportunity to say anything about it.
It wasn't until she got home that she sobbed in the shower, for Logan, for herself, and for everything a freak like her could never have.