Disclaimer: Dark Angel and its characters do not belong to me, but the plot is mine. This fan-fiction had been written purely for entertainment purposes. No infringement was intended and no profit had been made out of this.
Title: Reunited Or Not
Rating: T (M-rated chapters will be identified individually)
Show: Dark Angel
Genre: Angst/Drama (Kind of!)
Summary: Sequel to Breeding Partners Or Not. What are the chances of Alec and Max getting together again?
A/N: This is the result of the requests from you guys for a sequel. After whinging about it for days, I've finally managed to finish the first chapter. It's kind of difficult to continue on after the end of Breeding Partners, I think because the story has already concluded in my mind. But here's my attempt. Hope you enjoy'll it.
For those who haven't read Breeding Partners, you need to read it first before reading this, otherwise nothing will make sense!
Reunited Or Not - Chapter 1
The radiance of the full moon filtered through the dusty windows to bathe the sparsely furnished room and its inhabitants in its pearly glow. The balmy night was silent save the soft sounds of heavy inhalation and exhalation of the occupants of the room.
Sweaty from his exertions, Alec shifted his bare back against the back of the wall and positioned his arms in a more comfortable position. His fingers were laced together, his arms stretched over his head, displaying his taut muscles. He was sitting on the floor, staring straight out of the window, watching the dark clouds shifting over the moon.
His mind was back in its usual place. Whenever he was not actively doing something, it was inevitable that his thoughts would settle on one person. Max. It has always been that way even before the downfall of Manticore's facility. He just had not realized it until after the fire. And now, thinking of her has become as natural as breathing for him.
It was not as if he was thinking of anything in particular. Just her. He knew that she was alright; he had just checked on her a few weeks ago. That was another regular habit for him nowadays; to watch her quietly from the shadows every few weeks or so. Just to see if she was doing okay.
He continued his visit even after he had seen with his own eyes that she had moved on.
Alec closed his eyes and took a deep breath, trying not to think about that one aspect of her life which had caused him so much internal grief. His heart felt as if it had been stabbed when he saw her with that guy. He guessed that he was still hurting somewhere inside, but it was more bearable now, dulled with time. Perhaps because it had to be, otherwise he would not have survived the pain.
Two months ago, he had decided that he should do the same. He had decided that he should try to move on.
"You're thinking about her, aren't you?" a female voice beside him asked. Alec did not miss the tinge of reproach in her tone.
Without opening his eyes, he replied mildly, "About who?"
"The girl in your head," she said, rather impatiently.
Opening his eyes, Alec lowered his arms and twisted his body around to face the owner of the voice. "I didn't know that I have an imaginary friend in my head. So why don't you tell me who she is? Is she hot?" he said with a smirk.
The girl's voice suggested that she was offended by his response. "How am I supposed to know who is she? All I can guess is that she's someone you probably had a relationship with at some point in the past. The one you can't seem to let go."
His jaw settled into an uncompromising line. "You're forgetting something."
Her tone was cautious when she asked, "What?"
"I don't do relationships."
Max rapped loudly on the door to the penthouse.
Nowadays, she no longer just barged into Logan's apartment unannounced. The last time she did that… Max shuddered, not wanting to recall what she had seen. Some things were better left forgotten, or if not forgotten, at least pushed very far to the back of her mind.
Like walking in on Logan and Asha while they were 'busy'.
The door swung open.
Logan stood on the other side of the threshold with a welcoming smile on his face. "Hey," he uttered his usual greeting.
"How're things?" she asked, walking past him into the apartment. As usual, the place was spotless, completely unlike the one she shared with her flatmates.
His exoskeleton whirred softly as he began to walk. "Things are okay. I'm working on something with Asha. Some S1W issues," he said as he returned to his computer and sat down.
Max came up behind him. "So, any news?" she asked anxiously.
He shook his head, glancing over his shoulders at her. "I'm afraid not. I've tried everywhere, but those guys are good."
Snorting inelegantly, Max said, "Yeah, well, no surprise there. They were trained to lose themselves on command." Then she frowned. "But there're so many of them. Chances are, at least one of them might have slipped."
A voice inside her head taunted; or is it just your wishful thinking, Max?
"I don't know. There are no signs of unusual activity anywhere. That's what I've been trying to track," he explained, and then paused suddenly.
Wondering why he seemed so hesitant, Max asked cautiously, "What is it?"
He took a deep breath. "You know, Max. It has been ten months since the fire in Manticore."
She looked away, not wanting him to see the disappointment and pain in her eyes. It has been ten months, but it had not lessened her anxiety. It was not any easier for her now. She still thought about Alec all the time. And although it had become less agonising, she still thought a lot about their unborn child.
She needed to find him.
No matter how long it took.
Strengthening her resolve, she said in a stronger voice, "Yeah, I know it has been ten months. So?"
"So, chances are, they have all split up and left Seattle. Max, I don't think we're going to find them. We can't keep looking endlessly," Logan explained, sounding a little impatient.
Her lips tightened. Was he saying what she thought he was saying? "You mean you won't keep looking," she accused, her voice tight.
"It's not that, Max…"
"Then what is it?" she broke in angrily. She could not believe that he was doing this to her. That he was letting her down like this. Did he not realise how important this was for her? How important it was for her to find Alec?
"Max, ten months is a long time," he said with a weary sigh.
She glared at him. "Let's get this straight. You're complaining about spending ten months searching for a bunch of transgenics when I've spent an entire year risking life and limb on your missions. What happened to our quid-pro-quo, Logan?" she asked. She was so angry, so furious at him that her voice was barely controlled.
"I know, Max. It's not as if I didn't do my part. I found Ben…"
Her disgusted exclamation interrupted his sentence. "You found Ben. What about the rest? I did more than one mission for Eyes Only," she pointed out.
Taking a deep breath in an attempt to calm herself, she said, "Look, I know you're busy and all with Asha and S1W. But do this one thing for me. Find them. Find Alec. And then we're even."
He gave her a beseeching look. "Max, I'm not saying that I won't help you. And I'm not doing this because I think we owe each other something. It's just that the chances of finding them aren't that good. We might be just wasting our time," he explained.
She exhaled loudly, suddenly feeling weary of the entire argument. "I need to find them, Logan," she said sounding a little defeated. "If I can do more myself, I would. But I don't want to risk alerting Manticore if they're still around."
He fell silent for a moment, and then sighed. "Fine. I'll look again," he relented.
She brightened immediately. "Thanks. Just this once and that's it," she promised.
"Max, you know I'll always be here for you."
"Yeah, okay. Anyway, I've gotta blaze."
"So soon?" Logan exclaimed, looking a little upset.
Max shrugged and gave him a sheepish smile. "What can I say? Normal's a slave driver."
Without a backward glance, Max walked out of the door and shut it behind her. Then the smile immediately slipped from her face and her shoulders slumped visibly.
The ache in her heart intensified as thoughts of Alec began to assail her again. Why was he not looking for her? Has he forgotten about them? Had she effectively rejected him away she refused to stay back in Manticore with him? Was that why he did not bother to look for her?
What if it was worse? What if his absence meant that he did not make it out?
No. He was skilful enough to fight his way past the X7s. If she had done it, he would have been more than equipped to do the same.
What if it was too late for them?
Alright, this has got to stop, Alec thought to himself.
This was like some kind of self-inflicted torture, the worst kind he could think of. Watching Max was one thing. But watching Max with her guy was another thing altogether. Yeah, he was glad that she seemed content, but he could not help but wish that he was the one who put that smile on her face, not some other blonde guy.
He knew that he had made the decision to move on months ago. But he could not help himself. It has been two month since he had seen her last and however much it pained him to admit it, he needed to see her again. It was like a dependency which he could not shake off. A craving which he could not satisfy.
The helmet obscured his face, so this time he could get closer. He shifted slightly on his bike, knowing that he should leave. He was just parked not far from her apartment block, the one that the blonde guy had moved into more than half a year ago.
Max's guy had just pulled up beside her on his bike. He had gotten off his bike and was now standing beside her with his side profile to Alec. He was saying something to Max, who was also standing beside her bike in preparation to go somewhere. Crash, probably, Alec thought. But whatever he was saying, she did not seem to take it well. Lover's quarrel, he thought with a grimace.
With luck, maybe they would split and then there might be a chance, a hopeful voice inside him said.
Alec squeezed his eyes shut when he realised what he was thinking. Yeah, right, what makes you think that she'll accept you even if she broke up with Blondie over there? Don't you think that she'll be asking why you stayed away so long without a single word to her?
He should have just gone up to her when he had a chance. Something like eleven months ago.
Now it was probably too late, he thought dejectedly.
"I can't believe he wants to stop looking for Alec. I thought we had this quid pro quo thing, but he obviously only sees it from his side."
"Maybe he has a point, Max."
Her eyes rounded for a second in surprise, and then narrowed. "What are you saying, Zack?"
"They would have split by now if they're smart. There's no one to lead them now. Why would they stay so close to Seattle? This is the first place anyone would look," he explained.
"Are you saying that we should stop looking as well? Who's side are you on?" she asked angrily, feeling a little betrayed. Of all people, Zack should understand.
"Max, Seattle is big and who's to say he's still here. He might be in Canada or some place like that, hiding out."
"I need to find him, Zack."
Zack sighed. "Max, you've been staying static for months. I hate to say this but has it occurred to you to wonder why he hasn't found you?"
Max stared silently at her feet. She understood what Zack was trying to tell her. It had occurred to her too, more than once in fact, but she did not want to believe that Alec would just leave without at least saying goodbye. Unless the whole thing about him caring for her in Manticore was just a lie.
She refused to believe that Alec could be so cold-hearted. "He's not like that. And I can't just give up," she said softly.
Zack wrapped an arm around her shoulders. "I know. Sometimes I remember things after our escape. It had been hard, tracking all of your down, but I never gave up. I wish I could remember more."
"But you understand, right?" she gave him a beseeching look.
He stared at her for a moment before he replied, "Of course." Gently, he wrapped an arm around her, pulling her close.
Max leaned onto him, grateful for the comfort he was providing.
It had been pure luck that she had found Zack nearly seven month ago. Sketchy had asked her to deliver a package to the area frequented by the Steelheads, and that was where she saw him. He did not recognise her at first and had wanted to fight her. But she remembered how glad she had been when he had finally remembered. Fighting with Zack was not something she wanted to do.
Zack has holes in his memory, courtesy of Manticore's poking and prodding, but he had been slowly remembering things over the last seven months. It was an encouraging development. Max knew how frustrated he has been feeling, unable to recall his past fully.
Zack suddenly tensed beneath her cheeks. Wondering what has gotten to him, Max looked up quickly to see him gazing at a spot some distance away. Curious, she turned in the same direction, but nothing seemed out of place.
"Zack? What's wrong?"
He tore his gaze away from whatever he was seeing, turning back to her. "Nothing. I thought I saw something, that's all. It's nothing."
"I'm going for a ride. You want to join me?" she asked, needing to get away from everything for a while.
Zack shook his head, looking distracted. "No. I think I'll just hang around here."
"I'll see you later then," she said.
A/N: So, there you go! I'll be eternally grateful if you review this to let me know what you think. Unless, of course, you're completely bored catatonic by now! (Sighs)