A/N: Sequel of sorts to 'Rindu'. Reading that would be recommended, but not necessary. I realize this isn't exactly your run of the mill birthday fic…But anyway, hope you guys enjoy it.
Logan walked down the familiar street, as the sun began to set, casually browsing through the stalls of fruit and vegetables. He missed the smell of the greens, the sound of buyers haggling for lower prices. He missed the hustle and bustle of shopping. There was no need for him to buy anything, not anymore. He rarely cooked now anyway.
Logan turned around instinctively, knowing and recognizing the voice immediately. His raven haired beauty stood before him, silently munching on an apple. "It is your birthday, right?" She asked.
He nodded. "Max…" His voice came out as a whisper.
It had been five months since he last saw her, three since he found out she wasn't really actually married. He had been confused at that revelation, delivered to him via Bling, who also told him that Max had taken the liberty to rid herself of the nasty retro virus. He almost cried as he listened to Bling.
She was still his dark angel.
"Thought you'd be home celebrating. That's what birthdays are for, aren't they?" Her voice sounded different. Hollow and empty, despite her attempts to mask it behind the carefree attitude. Her eyes never lied, not to him, and they were sad, melancholy.
I did this to her.
"Kylie has some friends over. I didn't want to intrude."
It wasn't exactly a lie. Kylie just didn't know he had left.
"It's your birthday though…"A look of confusion crossed Max's features as she tried to understand. Logan knew she never would. After all, he was the one who told her to celebrate at any opportunity they had. Mirth and all that. Hah. What a joke.
"Yeah, well. It's not that important." He told her. He turned around and started walking away. Max followed, not satisfied with what she was hearing. She was walking beside him now, silent, awaiting an explanation.
After five months, this was how she wanted to resume their friendship? In silence? Logan stopped walking.
"You wanna get a drink? There's a bar not too far away." Logan asked. That got Max's attention. She shifted uneasily, her guards all up now. She shook her head.
"Logan, I don't-"
"It'll be like old times. Just a drink, my birthday present from you." The desperation he heard in the voice that came out was pathetic. Then again, his need to be friends with Max was pathetic. He saw Max take in a deep breath, as if reprimanding herself from getting into the situation.
"You should go home to your wife, Logan. Celebrate." Her voice was hard.
"She'll be there when I get home." He said. He immediately regretted saying those words as he noticed Max's eyes flash with understanding.
"Logan, is something wrong? With you and…" Max began tentatively, but was cut off by Logan, his harsh voice hinting at a suppressed anger within himself.
"No, I just want to have a drink. With you." He spoke with an air of finality, as if the matter had been decided. Max sighed. This wasn't how she imagined her first encounter with him after that first day would be.
Logan was in pain, she could tell. She was an expert on that particular emotion. And when you were in pain, you needed a friend. She gave him a small smile and nodded.
Logan grinned at her agreement. They walked in silence the rest of the way, both still somewhat uncomfortable with the whole 'I'm still your friend' situation. Max knew that Logan had found out her little white 'I'm married' lie and was grateful he did not bring it up.
The emotions that would accompany that conversation could kill her.
The bar Logan had been talking about was small. The neon sign board hanging precariously on a single electric wire read 'Fiery Dawn' and the door jingled as they pushed their way through.
"Kinda looks full." Max stated, glancing around. It was a decent enough place, how come she never heard about it? She looked up at Logan, wanting to ask if he still wanted to brave his way through the crowd.
"Got beer at your place?" He asked suddenly, and Max realized where this was coming from. She pulled his arm aggressively, not caring if he knew about the cure or not. She dragged him out onto the side walk and glared at him.
"Logan, go home. You shouldn't be doing this, especially when it's your birthday." She said, wanting to knock some sense into his head.
"If there is a problem between you and…your wife, fix it. But not with alcohol." She continued. Logan was aware of the hesitation as she referred to Kylie, but dismissed it. How else was she supposed to react?
"I just want us to be friends again, Max. One drink, one night, that's all I'm asking for. I…I miss you."
Max shook her head vehemently, ignoring his admission. She didn't need another emotional break down. "Go back home. You want to drink? Drink with her and work it out. Don't ruin your relationship with her."
"Like I ruined ours?" Logan asked her, his eyes fixed on hers.
Why was she whispering? Damn him and his honesty. "Go home, please, Logan." She pleaded. It had taken all she had to brave seeing him today and she definitely could not deal with more emotions.
"Drink with me, I won't mention anything. Just one drink. I need this Max. I need to know that that you're over me. That I'm over you." His voice came out hoarse and desperate. He was begging her, begged her to understand.
The reality hit her hard. She wasn't over him. Never wanted to be, actually. But Logan…he needed this. What was it they said about closure? Once again, she found herself agreeing with him.
It's going to be the last time, she reasoned.
"Okay. Beer at my place. My birthday present to you." She said finally.
"We're going to need something stronger than beer." Logan muttered as he led her to his car parked down the street.
Logan said, matter-of-factly. He was dizzy, and Max's living room apparently had double of everything. Two TVs, two tables, two couches. Funny how he didn't realize it when he came in.
"No, I don't get drunk. You're the drunk one." Max giggled, nearly falling over the armrest of the couch she was leaning on. She took another big gulp from the vodka bottle and offered it to Logan.
She was tipsy, definitely, but not drunk. X5s don't get drunk. X5s don't get drunk. X5s – ah, screw it. She took lunged at the bottle as Logan handed back to her and nearly dropped it. She was very, very tipsy. Not drunk. Another swig of the vodka would probably clear the haze in her head.
They had been going like this for hours. The six initial cans of beer had been downed within the first hour, and now, three hours and a lot of alcohol later, they were both stone high. But of course, Max who was an X5, apparently didn't get drunk.
"You wanna know a secret?" She asked Logan suddenly. She leant in close to him and grinned at him. "It's a big sec-sec-secret." She hiccuppedand started giggling.
"What?" Logan asked her, curiosity getting the better of him.
"I hate your wife…" Max said as she stared at him pointedly. She moved, leaning her head over the armrest.
"Why?" Logan asked her, dragging the monosyllable so that it sounded like it came from a child. He wasn't really sure why he was asking. He already knew the answer. His brain wasn't thinking properly. And the double everything vision definitely wasn't helping either.
"Because I loved you. And you chose her." Max sounded angry. She lifted her head up slightly, enjoying the rush of blood through her head and then leant back. She had told him her secret. She was free now. Free, free as a bird. She closed her eyes and imagined she was flying.
"You wanna know something, Max?" Max opened her eyes and was surprised to see Logan's blue eyes staring back at her. He was dangerously close to her, crouching on the floor at the end of the couch and smiling at her. Upside down, of course.
"Yeah." Max nodded and sat back up. She needed to maintain clear head for his confession. Well, as clear a head as a not-drunk-but-very-tipsy X5 could maintain. The haze in her head was thickening. She stared at him and arched her eyebrows at him, willing him to continue.
"I still love you." Logan whispered, and for a moment, his head cleared and realized, in horror what he had said. He was going to take it back until he saw Max still staring dumbly at him. The foggy feeling returned and his earlier horror forgotten.
"Why?" Max asked, in the same tone that Logan had used on her earlier.
"I never stopped."
"But you left me. And I hated you. I had a cure." She giggled, hiccupping over her words. She was reeling in shock at his words deep inside, but her current state of drunkenness prevented her from doing anything. She grinned at him.
"I'm cured." She repeated. She folded her legs underneath her and paused for a while for the world to stop spinning. It didn't.
"I know." Logan replied. He joined her on the couch and laughed. "I'm married and you're cured. It's heartbreak-breaking." He choked on his words as he laughed some more. Max joined him, giggling uncontrollably.
The laughter died down after a while, and with not a single drop of alcohol left in the apartment, the two fell silent, nursing their own drunken minds.
"It's your birthday." Max said, breaking the silence. Logan nodded.
"Well, happy birthday." She whispered.
The kiss was electric. The years of want and longing went into the kiss. Pain, love, hurt, lust. Tongues dueled, teeth clashed. Their hands were frantically searching, grasping. Even through their drunken haze, they knew who they belonged to. Emotion overrode logic. Love overrode pain.
Clothes were removed, the bedroom door opened and slammed shut, their souls comforted, their needs fulfilled. And finally, they slept in the arms of each other, as they should have been years ago.
Logan woke and sat up, his head pounding and screaming for an aspirin. His glasses were missing and it was frightfully cold. What happened to that damned heater? He felt around and it suddenly dawned upon him that he wasn't at home.
He didn't sleep in the nude at home.
The events of the previous night rushed back to him he turned slowly to the body beside him. He saw lying beside him, previously curled up against his chest, a sleeping Max. Covered up to her neck by the blanket and probably just as naked as he was.
He groaned as he realized what they had done. Any regrets? None at all. Except that Max would probably ask him to forget it ever happened and he probably would have to agree with her. He really didn't want to leave her like that. But he had to.
He loved her. And he knew he would never stop doing so. He never wanted to leave her. He never wanted to marry Kylie. He never wanted to kill…
He sighed as he got out of the bed and collected his clothes. It would be better if he left. No awkward confrontations. Logan quickly got dressed. Spying a piece of paper and a pen on her dresser, he scribbled his apology and goodbye and left it on the pillow.
He exited his apartment just as his phone rang. Preparing to disconnect the call if it turned out to be his wife calling about his whereabouts, he was mildly shocked to find that it wasn't her. He answered as he started to exit the building.
"You went home with her, Cale."
"Nothing happened. She was upset. I stayed the night." Logan said into the phone, hoping to god he didn't sound as nervous as he felt.
"Whatever you say. One wrong move, boy and she's dead. Now we don't want that do we?"
"Good. Go back to your wife, Cale. Tell her you had an emergency meeting with a client. Stop thinking about 452, it's your fault that she's upset anyway."
The line went dead before he could reply and Logan threw his phone on the ground in frustration.
"Perfect fucking way to celebrate my birthday…" He muttered as he crossed the street to where he had parked his car the night before.
Review please. Need to know if you guys want to read more of this, or should if I just make this another one shot.