This is just some random stand alone I wrote while i was bored the other day. I'm home sick and decided I wanted a max and alec story up. My flu-induced head came up with this...

Good Coffee

Sitting on his shabby couch, Alec drank his mud-like coffee and sighed. This wasn't what he thought "life outside" would be like.

When Max had fought so hard to get out of Manticore he had figured, well there really must be something good out there. Then he had the chance of freedom and it wasn't so bad. Given he had none of his family around him and normal life was kind of boring. But that was why he hung around Max. She kind of solved both problems. She wasn't family as such, but she was transgenic and that was all the familiarity he needed. She also had the knack of finding ways to make everyday life not so boring anymore. So he stuck around with her and discovered things were okay. He made friends, grew fond of ordinaries, enjoyed his freedom of choice. He and Max seemed to resolve whatever they had against each other and even start a strong friendship. And then… he followed her back into a cage.

For months they had been locked up in terminal city. Well not literally "locked" since they used the underground tunnels to carry out supply runs, but as far as the ordinaries were concerned they had been stuck in there for three months. He could've ran. He could've left his lab-made family behind and started afresh. No one would have ever known and being by himself it would have been easy to stay off the radar. But somehow he had developed a conscience and had stayed. He knew Max would need his help, and his family was also there. And where there were transgenics, life was certainly not boring.

The downsides of staying however were things like: mass hatred from the ordinaries, agent white, bad living conditions and lack of food. All would be somewhat bearable for the day if he just had a decent cup of coffee. Honestly after all the crap they had stolen you would think some good coffee would be around. But no, here he was sitting on his couch - which was about to fall apart - drinking horrible coffee. He sighed again feeling defeated, it was going to be a bad day.

Knock, knock.

"Who is it?" Alec yelled annoyed. It was his day off. He should at least be allowed to be depressed in peace.

"Max, now let me in!" came the reply.

He grumbled wondering what he was needed for. Holding his coffee he got up and opened the door.

"What do you need Max?" he asked rather impatiently.

She raised an eyebrow. "Why do you have somewhere to be?"

"No.. I just…" He rubbed his temples in frustration. "Is everything alright, did the supply run go okay?"

"Relax, Alec. I just came to hang out. Don't get all wound up like a yoyo on me." Max said lightly.

He looked at her disbelievingly. "You came to my apartment… to hang out?" Without thinking he took a sip of the luke-warm coffee which he had been holding all along then winced. He placed it on a stand grimacing.

Max laughed. "We're friends aren't we? And it's my day off too! Plus I brought you a present." She pulled out a paper bag from her backpack. "It's gourmet instant coffee. It's pretty damn good."

As the words 'gourmet' and 'coffee' sunk in Alec's jaw dropped. "Okay, now I KNOW you're not Max! What have you done to the real one and how much do I pay you to keep it this way?"

She scowled and hit him on the shoulder. "Hey! Well fine, I won't share my coffee then. I'll go share it with Jax instead."

Alec smirked and grabbed her wrist before she turned "No, no wait, I want that coffee." He also didn't want her to go spend time with TC's newest charming resident. "And the real Max is not so bad"

She shook her head "As far as apologies go, you suck." She shoved the coffee into his chest "and coffee duty can be yours as a consequence.

He smirked again and gestured her to the couch while he went and made their coffees.

"So really Max, you came to hang out?"

She rolled her eyes at his back. "Why do you find that so hard to believe? We're stuck in TC, I managed to find some grand coffee and decided to share it with a hard-working friend of mine, and all you do is complain!"

"Well to be fair, before the whole TC thing we only ever hung out at crash. And that was usually not to your liking, so forgive me for being surprised. And where did you get the coffee anyway?"

Max winced at the truth. "Yeah well things have changed. You're probably my closest friend in here besides Josh. And we're together all the time for work. I don't see why we can't just have a friendly chat. Also, you've been working really hard lately Alec, and I want to say thanks. TC wouldn't be running without you. As for the coffee, if Logan notices his expensive blend missing, just make sure you don't smell like it on his rare visits here…"

Alec was touched at her casual acceptance of their friendship and that she had noticed his input and had thanked him. She was a great leader too; he didn't think she needed to be told that. He was also amused that she had bought him stolen coffee. "You stole it from Logan?"

"Not so much stole as… burrowed forever."

"It's the same thing."

"No I… ok I stole it."

Alec laughed "How is Loggie-boy anyway?"

"Wheels is rolling along as always." Max suddenly looked taken aback at what she had said. "I mean, he's fine. A little upset. He still thinks we're together."

Alec wasn't so upset about Max's lie anymore. No one even knew about it except the two of them so it didn't matter anyway. He wished she wouldn't be dishonest with him but he guessed it was for the best. Hearing her call him wheels was amusing though, usually it was him throwing degrading remarks at him. "Wheels, Max?" He asked bringing the cups of coffee and sitting beside her.

She bit her lip then took a sip of her coffee. It was wonderfully good, warming her throat and her insides. She smiled at it.

"Well… it's what I used to think of him when he annoyed me too before we were together. I guess he's just been annoying me a lot lately too. He keeps asking me what I see in you, and I have to keep coming up with stupid lies that won't hurt him. So while he was ranting on about something, I remembered why I started helping him to begin with anyway. I felt pity for him because he asked for my help and I said no. Because of that he ended up in a wheelchair. But as I was standing there, not-listening to him, I remembered that he hadn't kept up his end of our bargain. Through the talk he had a cup of coffee by his computer which smelt really good. So after we had finished his almost one-sided conversation with minimal input from me, I left. When he was out I snuck back in and stole a couple of bags of coffee. I've got two for myself and thought you might like one."

Alec stared at her seriously. "Max, I thought you loved him?"

"I did… I do. I'm just not in love with him anymore. I don't know if I ever truly was. Just the thought of a normal life with him always sounded so good. Don't worry, I'll tell him the truth about us soon okay? I just need a bit of time to sort things out in my head."

"Wait, so you're going to break up with him?" he asked astonished.

"Well yeah, no point in dragging on what's already over." She replied.

Alec was surprised at how much she had revealed over a cup of coffee. He shrugged nonchalantly "Tough day." He said drinking his coffee.

Max shrugged back and smiled "Nah, it feels good to be free."
She leaned over and kissed him on the cheek. "And this is relaxing just sitting around your place drinking coffee. See we are friends."

Alec, surprised by the kiss, smiled at Max. "Guess we should have coffee together more often eh?"

"Yeah we should." She replied.

"Well coffee buddy, since you're here anyway, want to watch a movie with me. It was how I was planning on originally spending today."

"Sure" she replied snuggling back into the couch to get comfortable.

Alec smiled. He had a decent cup of coffee and suddenly the day was looking up.


eh, the end.