Strong Silence

Disclaimer: All Dark Angel characters are property of Cameron/Eglee productions. The rest are mine.

Location: Jam Pony

"Come on people. What do think this place is? A social club?" Normal waved his clipboard at Original Cindy and Max who were talking near the lockers. "Bip, bip, bip!"

"If that man bips Original Cindy one more time, he's going to be sitting on that clipboard...permanent." OC rolled her eyes at Max. "Where's he gonna send us with ten minutes left?"

"Across town probably." Max smirked then turned to Normal. "Come on, ten minutes. Let us bounce."

Normal studied his papers. "Bounce, bounce. No. No bouncing here. Of course I do have a package that needs to be delivered. " He came closer to Max. "You know, work?"

Resisting the urge to smack him, Max stepped back and sighed. "You have warped priorities. Where to?"

"404 Sycamore. Two blocks. Can you handle it?" He ignored the priorities comment. He knew there was no point in arguing. It was his duty to make them work and it was theirs to do everything not to. What a world.

Max grabbed the package and waved to OC not to worry about it. "I'll take it. Meet you at Crash tonight?"

OC looked at her. "Hangin' with me again? Where's Mr. We'reJustFriendsButCan'tBeApart gonna be?"

Max shrugged. "We are just friends and he's probably sulking as usual. Can't a girl just wanna kick it with her homegirl once in a while?"

OC studied her face. "Aiight but I don't buy all this you be selling Original Cindy."

Smiling, Max hopped on her bike and left Jam Pony. "Yeah well, maybe neither do I." She said to herself as she rounded the corner to Sycamore.

*******
She had just finished delivering the package (and signing for it)..."bip, bip, bip" she sang to herself. Her leg was already over the seat when she heard the voices coming from a nearby alley. They weren't talking to her but something still disturbed her.

"Come on, let me see him."

"You better not get in our way."

Sighing, she wheeled the bike over to the edge of the alley to take a look. There were three teenage boys talking to a young girl. She was standing in front of a cardboard box, saying nothing, but not moving either.

The tallest of the three, rail thin with black hair, leaned in close to her. "Why don't you just leave before we make you?"

The girl just stared at him, her hazel eyes never moving from his. Again, she didn't move.

One of the others, younger than the first, with greasy blonde hair and a disgusting leather jacket, decided he had had enough. "That's it. You are going to move." With that, He put his hands on the girls arms to pick her up."

Without a word, the girl brought all of her meager weight down with her work boot clad foot onto the boy's sneaker.

Cussing and clutching his foot he grabbed her arm as the other two closed in more.

"You are going to be so sorry you just did that." He said as he raised his hand.

"Hey boys." Greasy turned, hand still in the air to see Max.

She put on her sweetest smile. "Whatcha doin'?"

Trying to match her smile, the tallest stepped towards her. "Just a little talk with ...our sister here."

Max knew a line when she heard it. She also knew that it wasn't worth her abilities to kick their butts. "Really." She looked at the girl. "They your brothers?"

The girl lifted her head to look at Max who was captivated by the gaze. She couldn't be more than 7 or 8 but there was a confidence in those eyes. Without emotion, the girl looked at the boys and back to Max, shook her head once and stepped back.

That was all that Max needed. Stepping between them and the girl she folded her arms. The tallest one was a few inches taller but she knew he would be a problem. "You fellas wanna leave on your own?"

As soon as she saw the smirk cross the last one's face, she knew their answer. In a second, she had grinded her heal into the already damaged foot of the blonde, threw a punch at the "silent" one who had begun closing in and landed a kick in the chest of the tallest. Dazed, confused, and in some pain, they decided not to pursue it any further. Running from the alley, she could hear their mumbled threats...if she wasn't a girl, etc...yeah, right.

*******

Max smiled as they went and turned to look again at the girl. Hoping she wouldn't run away too.

Amazingly enough, she was still there, looking at Max with the same expressionless face.

"See that happen everyday, do you?" Max asked, half to herself, not expecting an answer. Bending her knees she looked at the box the girl had been protecting. Following her, the girl bent down and put her hands in the box. When they emerged, she was holding a small black kitten with white paws. She lifted the cat to Max as if to say, "Look", lowered him again, and started walking to the opening of the alley.

Max watched her and wondered why a young girl would be in an alley by herself. Concerned, she called to her. "Hey, little sis."

She paused and turned looking at Max.

"You live around here?"

She turned and pointed to the building across the street.

"What's your name?"

The girl put a finger to her lips like she was telling Max to be quiet but never made a sound.

Max looked at her, still wondering. "Sshhh?" (What's her name? Secret?)

Nodding once, she turned and made her way back across the street. Max watched her as she disappeared into the building. Shaking her head, she wondered if that was normal. Do all children act like that? Just walk away from someone who helped you and tell them to "sshhh"? After all, she wasn't exactly the "normal" child growing up. Who knew what kids thought. Still, it didn't seem right.

Shrugging to herself, she grabbed her bike and headed back to the apartment so she could meat OC at Crash. As she pedaled, she could still see the girls face in her head. "Kids..."