An: Okay just a little tidbit I thought about like a month ago and finally finished and figured I might as well post. As always it veered off course from my original thought and I failed to get it back in line. It's been a month though, so I'm guessing I won't be successful in that even if I keep it longer. And well after all must post something to celebrate DA being back on tv in the US. :-P
From her perch, not too high atop their hub of activities, she watched.
She watched two in particular.
A little girl with what could only be described as dark brown knots that fell at various levels from her eyes to her ears and a little normally towheaded boy with stringy hair that probably hadn't been properly washed in weeks of similar length.
Not quite 'forgotten children.'
Not always acknowledged, but at least not forgotten, at least not by them.
They ducked in and out of the crowd, some ignored, others frowned, more than a few smiled, the lone man/amphibian that was Mole yelled after them to act like soldiers and not children, leaving Max to wonder, not for the first time, if he'd had more than a decent amount of contact with Lydecker while in Manticore, not that any amount was a decent amount.
But they were just that, children. Four…five, definitely no more than six. They'd never been told their age and others only knew around the time the new wave of soldiers had been born and when that wave had stopped, no specifics.
She probably would have been like most, passing smiles or frowns if not for one thing. The barcode that had been affixed to the Petri Dish they'd once waited in.
It was like looking back through a warped mirror because he never smiled that much, not even at that age.
Smiles and laughter had been trained out of them, but he always smiled less, always aware of his responsibility, despite their young age.
The clank of feet approaching her on the metal platform made her turn.
"I was reading this article," he chomped into an apple before continuing with a full mouth, "about twins who never knew they were twins, separated at birth and reunited as adults."
"And your point Alec?" Max asked with a sigh as her eyes closed, living with the guy could seriously try her patience and she'd thought working with him was bad…
"Feel any resentment towards her? Like she stole your life?"
Max frowned and turned back to that little girl who tagged the little boy in the crowd and darted off again. "She's not me," her voice low.
"Certainly looks like you," Alec said walking over and leaning over the side next to her.
"Just DNA," she leaned over with him and watched, "she's going to be better than me," her voice at this point not much more than a hushed whisper.
"You're supposed to save the world, talk about hard to top," Alec's cocky smile appeared as he knocked his head to the side to look at Max.
Max's head shook, "Better than me in all the ways that count, I didn't do that, Sandeman did. She'll be a good person," she nodded at her. She had never looked like that, she thought watching the happy young girl oblivious to the insanity surrounding them.
"Aww, you're a plenty good person Maxie," Alec's voice light and teasing, "aside from being a serious bitch at times."
Max's eyes narrowed as she turned to him, "You deserve it." She turned back to the little girl, "She won't hurt people," her eyes betrayed her as they swayed across to Logan in deep conversation over a set of blueprints.
"You hurt him to save him," Alec pointed out, biting back the urge to say, 'I told you so.'
"Can dress it up anyway you want, I hurt him…Again." Letting him think she'd screwed yet another guy…
"And he forgave you, so move past."
"Doesn't change the fact that I hurt him."
Alec sighed, never would he have guessed back in tiny cell that was Max was, well such a girl. "Still wish I had a Mini-Me," he said taking yet another bite of his almost forgotten apple.
"It's got to be weird to see 'you' but it not be you."
She shrugged, "You get used to it." Three in, you definitely got used to it. This one was different though, the X-7 and Sam she could relate to, on some level she was them, had been them. The little girl though…
"You know," he said extending out the hand he was holding the apple in to point.
"Hey," someone called up as a few drops of juice hit their head.
"Sorry," Alec called down. He turned back to Max, "Where was I?"
"Ending your story?"
He frowned, "The mini-psycho," he turned back.
"His name is David and Zack's DNA was just fine, it was whatever those freaks did to him that caused that."
"Yea yea Davie," Alec nodded, "point is the rumor has it he was based on 'Old Blue-Eyes' himself."
Max's eyes once more began to roll, "Don't see much of Sinatra in him."
"Not that Blue Eyes. Forgot how little time you spent in Manticore. Deck. Talk about quite the lady killer back there."
"He was quite the lady killer out here as well," she remembered Vertes.
"Wonder if they wanted to see if it would happen again," he leaned back over.
"What?" she asked not really paying attention to what he was saying.
"Deck and his wife, you and Zack…"
"What me and-"
Alec turned with a 'come on' expression. "You weren't only the favorite of Lydecker were you Max?"
"How'd you know about his wife?" she realized to ask.
"Guards talk," he answered simply.
"Is that true about Zack?"
Alec shrugged, "It was just a rumor, so was the wife thing though and you just proved that."
"It's just her eyes," she defended.
"Maybe that's why it's weaker, you guys aren't the full deal, just bits and pieces."
"Genetic memory?" he shrugged, "Maybe soulmates?"
"Spend much time with OC lately?" her voice tinged with humor.
He turned, "Tell me you don't believe in it? Tell me there isn't something to it. How do you explain what you were to Zack, how they are?" his head gestured back to the kids. The kids who hadn't been separated since Manticore.
"Trust me Zack isn't my soul mate," no the recipient of that title was off limits, off limits to the point of an electrical fence separating them in the form of her flesh.
"Maybe that's the problem," he turned back, "maybe they put more Lydecker in him than they put of the wife in you."
"They've disproved all that crap Alec," her head shook. Zack and Lydecker that really just had to be a rumor…she hoped.
"Trust me Max all I've had is time on my hands for the past three weeks, just because they couldn't prove it doesn't mean they disproved it. I've read a lot of issues of Time and Life in the past few weeks."
"Notice they're over a decade old?"
"Yea so's the issue of the National Enquirer that warned the world was coming to an end. Yet that seems pretty on the mark still."
"World didn't end," she replied dryly.
"It did for more than a few and the rest came close enough to it."
"Why are you so annoying lately?" her head titled back to him.
"Three weeks, no ass or booze," he explained. "Back on topic, tell me you don't think they were on to something," he asked looking at Max.
Just then Logan started walking and had to pass Lilly, he dropped down a smile as she beamed upwards.
Alec frowned watching Max's changing expression to one of slight confusion, he turned back, "Figures," he muttered.
"Shut it Alec," she automatically replied.
"Yea well it proves my point. I bet I could pull in a decent amount from a case study on you guys."
"Shut it now," she reiterated as Logan started to ascend the stairs towards them.
"What were you like before your life started to revolve around Logan?"
"Shut it," she hissed as Logan grew closer.
"What are you two fighting about now?" Logan asked a moment later.
"Us fighting?" Alec waved the apple core between them as he feigned innocence.
"Yea," Logan slowly nodded with a gentle mocking, but mostly indifferent eyes. He'd long since given up trying to settle anything between them, especially since he'd thought it had led to a relationship not that long ago.
"So what are you up to?" she asked brightly, trying to put off any further interrogation. Last thing she needed was for Alec to infect Logan's mind with any of his theories, Logan wasn't exactly the type to let anything go.
"Trying to get a read on our water supply," he waved the rolled up documents in his hand.
"What do you mean a read?" she asked rushing forward, "I thought we figured out we were in the clear on that?" she snatched the documents away from him.
"We figured there are several pipes that run through here to the rest of the city that we're assuming they won't cut off for that reason," he pointed out.
"Not even the politicians in DC are corrupt enough to risk the broadcast of that on the news." The elderly and kids dying from dehydration? That was something people remembered on Election Day.
"Yea well as it was pointed out to me, those aren't the pipes we have to worry about," he walked over to where Max had spread out the plans, "excuse me," he smiled to her.
She took a step back as Alec began to role his eyes.
"We need to worry about these two lines," he followed them with his finger, "they can be cut off once they pass through here."
"Meaning that could take us out, no muss no fuss," she groaned, "explain to me why we're just catching this now?" There were plenty of poisons even Manticore couldn't protect them against.
"Hey," Logan said raising his hands, "I'm just an ordinary." He disavowed all guilt, after all this wasn't his area, and it wasn't shocking they'd missed it with everything else they were doing.
She sighed and turned, "Alec can you-"
He nodded as he rolled the drawings up with one hand, "I've got it." He tossed the apple towards Logan, "Take care of this for me will ya?"
Logan looked down at the apple core he'd caught on instinct, "You're a bastard," Logan casually said as Alec was already making his way off the platform.
"Yes but I was a very well-thought out and expensive bastard," he smugly replied.
Logan sighed and shook his head walking over the garbage can, tossing it in; then frowned down at his hand before wiping it on his jeans. "Don't worry," he said turning to see Max with a perturbed look on her face, "we caught it in time."
"Think it would make a difference if they knew how much trouble we were going through to save them?" she asked rather dejectedly as she once more leaned on the railings and looked down.
He was assuming, she meant the people they'd just been worrying about and not those below. "If they believed us about a mysterious comet coming to spread death?" He nodded and bit his lip, "If they believed us, I'm sure they would find some way to blame the transgenics."
He looked over the railing, not daring to risk leaning on it.
They gazed down in silence at the masses. Individuals that had been created solely to be used on every level there was, despite being one of them, her heart tended to break for them.
Logan let out a low chuckle and Max a sweet smile as Lilly and David realized they had an audience and started making faces.
"We're going to have to find a family ready for a son and a daughter," Logan commented as he absently thought about it. He'd put out feelers awhile ago about finding some of the children new homes, but he had a feeling it would be a long way off before they'd actually be able to move any of the children out.
Max smiled, "Yea."
He turned at the wistfulness in her voice, "That is unless you-"
She turned momentarily confused and then laughed realizing what he was asking, "Uh no, that would just be weird," she laughed some more, "not to mention really difficult to explain to the neighbors in like 10 years."
"I'd imagine so," he looked back out as she did.
"Hmm," she thought about it. It would be kinda nice to get to actually do and have the things, she'd always wanted. This wasn't the time or the place though, she realized, she couldn't mold her expectations onto some innocent kid because she had her DNA. Hmm okay or maybe that was the whole parent/kid relationship… "Yea no," she nodded before she talked herself into it.
"Shame we can't send them out to Buddy's ranch, Zack was a pretty good big brother…"
"I know, can't risk it. Her growing up with this face," a finger pointed at her own as she pouted.
He turned and looked at her with a cheesy smile, "Did I ever tell you how cute you were as a kid?"
She looked up and laughed as she rolled her eyes.
"Not quite as breathtaking as you are as an adult, but not half bad."
Her eyes briefly gestured downwards, "Yea well maybe you should be giving her these moves, a twelve-thirteen year wait for her might be the smarter route."
"Ah that's right," he thoughtfully nodded, "I was coming over here to tell you something as Spock distracted me."
Her head tilted and she bit back the laugh as she always did when hearing that name. Luckily for him the name was based on his purely factual and not at all emotional manner instead of pointy ears. The attitude they could do something about, ears would have been a different story.
"So that stash of papers Joshua had in his room," Logan began.
The papers she'd taken back from the science geek?
"A few people stumbled across them and apparently it's turned into some sort of jigsaw puzzle for them."
She watched his smiling lips move with interest.
"They got a pool started this morning on when they'd actually solve it."
Her lips couldn't help but twitch up in a matching smile.
"I put fifty down on tomorrow morning. The real money apparently is on Friday afternoon."
2 days from now?
"But I'm hopeful, considering though 3 of the guys working on it picked that time I'm thinking they may know something they're not letting on to the rest of us."
"So the money's on Friday?" she repeated the words.
"That's what I hear," he nodded, "I'm going to try to track down Mole, word is that he's got a bottle of wine stashed somewhere, I'm sure we'll be able to come to an agreement about it."
She smiled, "Trying to pull off a romantic evening or get me drunk so I don't realize where we are."
"A little of both," he admitted with a lighthearted smile, "I was repeatedly informed something's should be perfect."
She laughed, embarrassed by her own words, "At this point I think I find brushing your teeth romantic."
"Bling's a godsend," Logan shook his head, thankful his friend had not only swung by Sandeman's and packed up Logan's essentials, but somehow managed to score over two dozen toothbrushes and had passed them out, which made life a little more bearable in TC.
"You're telling me, virus or not, I'd still be five feet away."
He turned away for a moment smiling out onto their new home before turning back with a question on his lips.
"Of course realize once we get out of here, I expect some serious wooing," she informed him before he could say anything.
He chuckled to himself, wooing, hadn't expected that to come out of Max's mouth. "By the time we get out of here you're going to think serious wooing means a hot shower," he accurately joked.
"By the time we get out of here?" she questioned. "You serious? That's the equivalent of a weekend in Paris right now."
He laughed once more, was this finally going to happen?
She turned away once more, "That reminds me, want to know what else is romantic?"
"Just plain ol' showering," her head bobbed as her eyes twinkled.
"Are you implying that I smell?"
"Let's just say you've smelled fresher," she turned.
"Hate to point out you're not really one to talk," he teased back.
"Hey," her hands raised as she took a step back to look at him, "you're the one who asked."
He turned and laughed, "I'll do my best," soap was another limited commodity inside TC. "Before you say anything don't suggest shaving is romantic because Bling somehow missed that in the bathroom," a hand ran over the thick beard that had obscured his beautiful face.
Shaving shit, she realized to herself. "Maybe you should go work on that bottle of wine," she said with a hurried smile.
"Will do," he nodded, "I'll catch up with you at dinner."
She took a moment to gather herself before heading down the stairs in a rush these weren't the type of guys to take losing money easily, there would be a cure in just under two days and that meant one very important thing, she didn't have a lot of time to find a razor. There was silly perfection and then there was Logan thinking he was sleeping with Krit…
"Gem," Max said rushing up to the young mother, baby in tow as always, "I need your help."
She caught sight of Lilly and David once more as she went to leave the main hall with Gem tagging along beside her. A serious moment between the two, as if he was scolding her for something.
Max smiled suddenly seeing a very similar image in her mind from her own childhood. But lives and personalities that had once been on the same track had veered in a different direction several months ago. Max didn't doubt that the little girl's future would be brighter than hers ever would be, but for the first time in months her own wasn't looking too shabby. Of course it would still look a hell of a lot brighter if she could get her hands on a razor…
Thanks for reading! Oh and it was supposed to be a solely Max thinking about the differences between her and Lilly in case you were curious about how it veered.