Disclaimer: Max, Logan, Kedra and everything/else related to Dark Angel belongs to someone else. I own nothing.
AN: Okay so I recently bought the first season of DA (Yay for sales at best buy!) and this little scene just came to me after watching (and rewatching and rewatching...) Out and it just stuck in my head and wouldn't leave me alone. It is a bit of a AU and can be set oh just about anytime after Out that you like. It's such a clichéd and overdone kind of story, but I don't care. We all need a little fluff sometimes.
The story-fairy keeps bugging me about doing a Max perspective to this but I don't think it really needs one. It might be nice though.. a little companion piece... hmmm... oh, crap...damn you story-fairy, damn you to hell.
At Least This
The first thing he hears upon waking is the muffled sound of pre-pulse rap music. Someone a floor or two below them is blasting it as loud as it will go. He glances at the red numbers of the alarm clock on the table next to her bed, and wonders absently wonders about the sort of people who would be playing music that loud at four in the morning. His mind clouded slightly by only a few hours sleep, he forgets momentarily that her neighbors aren't like his. Rich forgetful old ladies hardly ever cause such a raucous.
When he hears a fairly loud crash as the music stops, followed by some harsh sounding tones, he begins to sleepily ponder about the whereabouts of the owner of the bed he'd fallen asleep in. The place where she had been laying as he'd happily drifted off to unconsciousness earlier is still fairly warm. She hasn't been long too long he muses and she doesn't need sleep after all. Still he'd much rather have her with him where he can see her and touch her and in general be reassured of the actuality of the night's earlier activities. The fact that he is in her apartment, in her bed, naked, should be assurance enough he knows, but the lack of her presence is slightly disquieting.
He looks over at the empty wheel chair next to the bed, within arms length, with his wrinkled clothing atop the seat, and considers dressing and going to look for her. He is slightly startled by how out of place his shiny chair seems among her things, but he finds he is oddly comforted by the sight of his crumpled clothes. The missing buttons from his new blue shirt are nowhere in sight. Their absence reminds him of eager hands and heavy breathing.
He groans as he pushes up on his arms into and blearily searches for his glasses, unsure where they landed in the scramble. His only light comes from the orange streetlight outside and a few candles that haven't burnt out yet, so his search is pretty much futile. He sighs as he lays back, putting his hands behind his head and staring up at the slightly cracked ceiling. Probably wouldn't have been able to find her anyway. A vision of her in black zooming on her bike through the wet streets comes to him. She never wears a helmet; she keeps one for others but refuses to wear it herself. It worries him. Many things worry him. She always tells him to lighten up and invites him to Crash. He always refuses and thinks unhappily that maybe one day she'd just stop asking, which usually makes him both relieved and depressed. Her friends surely would have noticed the way he stared at her.
Before, in between explorative kisses and blissful inhalations he told her, many times, just how beautiful he thought she was. More than once, he had come dangerously close to confessing how deeply he felt for her. The words had nearly spilt out of him at particularly passionate moments. Her deep eyes and shinning smile would suddenly overpower him and the urge to tell her that he loved her more than anything would seize him. In the same moment though, images of his family's cabin and her form as she walked away would come. She would leave if she knew. He was sure. And it would destroy him.
For months he has been telling himself that pressing for anything more than their miraculous friendship would be suicide. There was no way she could ever feel even remotely similar. No way. He was what remained of the once strong and powerful underground journalist Logan Cale. She was Max. There was no way.
Now though, with her sent lingering around him and memory of the taste of the creamy sauce they had eaten(which she definitely had Kendra make for her) stillfresh in his memory, he couldn't help but wonder if/hope that maybe he meant as much to her as she did to him. What had started as a simple "how about we try this me-cooking-for-you-for-once thing again," dinner between friends had progressed to something he had been dreaming about for longer than he'd like to admit. One minute they had been laughing at some mundane workplace accident, the next they were locked in the kind of fervent embrace that was usually saved for tragic love stories. If you asked him now how they had managed to move to her room, transfer him to the bed, and get past of awkwardness of the "things might work differently for me now"-"I know, we'll be alright"-conversation so quickly, he wouldn't be able to tell you. It was all a blur of wonderful desperation and disbelief. He is still a little bit in shock.
He hears the front door open and close and then the voices of two female voices whispering. Girl talk? He hears bits of the conversation: a "Damn 2B with his stupid boom box-" and a "You did what?" Kendra hadn't been around during dinner and he wonders when exactly she came back to the apartment. She must have noticed the conspicuous unwashed plates and half full glasses of wine when she first arrived. He can only imagine the teasing Max was to receive from her roommate, and is relieved that he won't have to deal with Bling for at least a few hours.
He feels her presence suddenly and looks over at her leaning against the frame of her plywood door, watching him. Having not heard the conversation end or the squeak of the door opening, he is slightly startled to find himself so suddenly under her scrutiny. She studies him for a minute and he wonders what exactly it is she sees. His long form sprawled out on her small bed? Or some deeper analysis?
"Hey," she says quietly before he can think too much about it. "Hey yourself," he replies, taking in her soft smile and somewhat tousled hair. He can't help but smile back as she removes her worn bathrobe revealing a small red tank-top and his stolen, plaid boxers. She throws the robe with the rest of his clothes on the chair. No tearing through the streets tonight then, I guess. "Where'd you go?" he whispers gravelly as she slides up next to him under the sheets.
"Had to take care of some noisy idiots," he chuckles, remembering the crash from a few floors below. Of course, he thinks.
"Max," he murmurs bemusedly as he runs a hand through her curly hair. It's soft. Everything is soft, he marvels.
She continues to study him as she lightly caresses his arm, up and down. Her look is thoughtful, as if she too is questioning the reality of the situation they've found themselves in. She leans close to him and gives him a gentle kiss before pulling back to whisper, "go to sleep."
"Do I have to?" he doesn't want to wake up without her again. Next time he will surely be alone in his apartment staring up at his familiar ceiling, trying simultaneously to remember and forget the details of an incredible dream.
"Yes. Sleep. Now." Ever the field commander, she is both playful and demanding at the same time. She is amazing. She is his.
She touches his face and he closes he eyes at her touch. "You're tired," she informs him, "it's four in the morning… mere mortals need some shut eye, even the all powerful Eyes Only."
"You won't leave?" he murmurs, almost nonsensically, exhaustion taking its toll once again.
"I'm not going anywhere," she quietly assures.
He pulls her close, inhaling her sent, trying his best to memorize every detail before drifting off. Please don't let this be a dream, let me have at least this. He feels her warm breath drift over him and one hand tangle its fingers with his own.
"I love you," he breathes sleepily, forgetfully. She pulls him closer to her. "I know," she breathes back, "I know."
So there it is. Hope you enjoyed it. Reviews are always appreciated.