Male Trouble

by Maria656

takes place mid-Female Trouble then goes its merry way

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Disclaimer: I do not own Dark Angel, nor am I making any money from this.

This is solely for my personal amusement, and hopefully that of others.

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A/N: This is a result of several discussions on What might have happened if Max had answered Logan's question, "Is it easier for you if I'm in the chair?" (Thanks to Reilynn for kickstarting the idea - remember that discussion a thousand years ago on DAR? Told ya' it got me thinking. ) Some of the dialog from the show isn't 100 percent word for word, just the gist of it.

(Italics in parentheses means thoughts)

-o-o-o-o-o-o-

"Is it easier for you if I'm in the chair?" Logan asked.

Max stares at Logan, unable to decide for a minute whether she should give in to her impulse to mop the floor with him. (And you thought he was an insensitive jerk when you tried to make dinner.)

"What do you mean 'is it easier for me'?" Have I ever for one second, in word or deed, acted like that chair meant anything? The only thing I know about that chair is that when you are in it, you are either totally absorbed in Eyes Only or too wrapped in your own self-pity to see what's in front of you. That chair is a Non-Issue, like asking if the fact that you wear glasses makes a difference to me."

"You didn't notice me until the first time I stood for you."

"Hah! First of all, you stood for you, and I was happy because you were happy. Second, I asked you several times to come out with me and you always turn me down. Except for missions and one walk in the rain, which you never asked again by the way, we don't do anything together."

"What about dinners?"

"That doesn't require any effort, especially since you would have to cook for yourself and you don't have to leave the house or put yourself out. The one time I when I tried to make dinner for you we have to work!"

"I apologized-"

"-I'm walking around wet and Naked in a towel and you are still glued to the computer and don't even notice! Men look at me everyday, but the one guy I care about only cares about me if I can work."

"That's not-"

"And just so you know, I'm not deaf, blind, or stupid. I saw you go from walking solo the night of dinner to using the cane when Zack and I got back. I heard you falter when I was getting the food. I chose to stay and have dinner with you and I would have happily donated more stem cells, but you bricked up the walls around you so fast. You blew me off for the ball game and never apologized. I spend more time with you than even with my best friend and you still take me for granted. I must be a first class dope because I'm still here taking it, waiting for the day you wake up. Now here." She throws his leather jacket at him. "We're going to see Vertes."

-Cut to M and L in the car-

Logan sighs. "I'm sorry for before ... for everything."

"I understand," Max replies in soft voice.

"I don't think you do ... I got to see what it was like to be whole again, to function as a whole person again-"

"You've never not been that to me."

"Nothing means more to me than staying out of that chair ... I'm not gonna live my life like that."

(Just take the knife and twist it more) "You said before that you didn't want to tell me for a lot of reasons - what reasons?"

Logan sighs heavily before starting to speak. "I didn't tell you at first because I didn't want to worry you in case it turned out to be nothing major. Then when it was major, I wanted to fix it before you found out. Plus, I couldn't take failing again."

"Stop the car. Please." Logan pulls the car to the side of the road while Max turns in her seat to face him. "Look at me." Logan turns to face her. "Did it ever occur to you that I might have wanted to be there for you? Didn't the hospital business teach you anything about me? Hasn't the whole time you've known me taught you anything about me? I'm not that same selfish brat you met that only wanted to ride a motorcycle and hang at Crash. It's not about quid pro quo or meal tickets or anything else we've tried to hide behind. I feel more strongly about you than anyone in my life ... Original Cindy says that's love." Max looks at her lap.

Logan takes her hand in his trembling fingers. "Are you saying that you love me?" he asks softly.

Max is nervous but realizes that this step is necessary for them both. "Yes Logan. I love you."

Logan gets tears in his eyes and takes several deep breathes. "I never thought I would hear those words again, especially not after the shooting."

Max can hardly speak from the pain she is feeling. "How shallow do you think I am?" she asks in a barely audible whisper.

"No Angel, it's not you, it's me. I couldn't believe that anyone would love me, let alone a genetically perfect super girl."

"Logan, you've stayed up all night with me having seizures. You know I'm not perfect."

"I don't even think about it since you've blown me away since the first time I've laid eyes on you. Bling and Lauren told me what you did while I was in the hospital. I've been falling in love with you ever since you were telling me about parabolic mikes." He gives her a small smile.

(Did I hear him right?) "Are you saying that you love me?" she asks in a whisper, afraid that saying it to loudly will break the spell of whatever is happening to them.

Logan lifts her face to look her in the eyes. "Yes. I love you, Max Guevara."

Max's breath catches and a few tears start to fall. "Oh God. I never thought I would hear that ... I mean, by someone that meant it, not someone trying to get into my pants." At those words Logan looks away from her. This gives Max another idea. "Would I be correct in guessing that not being in the wheelchair is not just about walking?" Logan nods and hangs his head down. "You do realize that there are options?"

"You shouldn't have to--"

"What makes me so special?" Max takes Logan's hand. "I chose you and this is a part of you. If the doctor can help you, I'll be happy for you, but if not, it'll still be okay. Let's go see her."

Logan kisses her hand and then caresses her cheek and then gently kisses her on the lips. He feels tears, not sure if they are hers or his. Max opens her mouth for him to deepen the kiss. They cling together for a few moments then slowly separate. She caresses his face and gives him one more quick kiss.

"Let's go."

-o-o-o-o-o-o-

-Back to the episode, continues up to the part where Max telling Logan that Vertes is dead and his files need to be removed ...

"This is gonna be okay," Max says hopefully.

"Yeah," Logan answers.

Max starts to leave, but in the hallway she hears Logan yelling, swearing, and things breaking. She starts crying but lets Logan have his fit. She pulls out her cell phone and makes a call. "I need you to come over right away."

"What's wrong?" Bling asks.

"I'm worried about Logan. I just had to tell him that the doctor who was going to help him was killed and he's not doing good. I have to take care of something else that can't wait, or else I would stay myself."

"I'll be there in 10 minutes."

"Thanks Bling. I'll be in front of the apartment."

-o-o-o-o-o-o-

Bling arrives, Max leaves. (The Mrs. Moreno debacle doesn't happen. A/N: those of you that know me know that is my biggest peeve – still not buying the mysterious floating fortress or any other ridiculous ideas) Max has read Logan's file and is upset, but she has faith that Bling won't let him do anything permanent. Bling hears her come in and meets her in the living room.

"How's-"

"He's okay Max. He's resting – I spiked his tea." Bling signals to Max to follow him into the kitchen. He points to the cabinet above the refrigerator. "I put the guns and bullets in there along with any medications he could possibly use to hurt himself. He'll never admit it, but the outburst probably did him some good. He's been very stoic about everything up until now; very stiff upper lip and 'big-boys-don't-cry'. He needed to cut loose." He puts an arm around Max. "He'll be okay. We won't let anything happen to him."

Max nods her head and then burst into tears. She sobs on Bling's shoulder for a while then stops and wipes her face. "Sorry Bling."

"It's okay. You probably needed to cut loose too. I'm sure you've been holding a lot of things in too."

"When I read Dr. Vertes report about how despondent and depressed and potentially suicidal he was, especially after I had to give him the news that she was killed, I was never more terrified in my life. The only thing that kept me from blazing the bike over old ladies and small children was knowing that you were here to protect him. If anything had happened to him," tears roll down her cheeks, " I wouldn't have survived it."

"I know. That's because you love him."

Max looks at him in surprise. "Is it that obvious?"

Bling smiles at her. "Yes, to me anyway. I see how you both look when the other calls or comes around, the way the sparks just jump off each other when you see each other, and I believe you've each saved the other's life numerous times; I mean jumping off a building was above and beyond the average informant duties. I know that you would do anything for each other. That's Love, whether you admit it or not. And not that anyone pays me any mind, but you both need to admit it and soon."

"We finally did, yesterday. I just hope it's enough for us to get through this."

"You'll be fine if you guys just remember to talk to each other and quit these adolescent games. Let me know if you need more info about how his medical condition could affect your relationship."

Max blushes and turns away from him. "Maybe later ... I feel so guilty; if I had helped him in the beginning maybe this wouldn't have happened."

"I was with him in rehab Max. He mentioned you, but he never blamed you, or anyone else besides the shooter."

"What did he say?" Max isn't proud of herself, but her curiosity is too strong.

"That the 'most beautiful woman he had ever seen' had dropped into his life a few days before and he didn't think he would ever see her again. If I remember correctly the words 'tough and sassy' were used." Bling is fighting back a grin.

Max rolls her eyes, but she smiles. "Sassy, hmm? Better than smart a$$ I guess ... I'm gonna go in with him now. Thanks for everything Bling."

"No problem. I'm gonna check in with Sam and then I'll check on you guys later." Bling leaves.

Max goes to Logan's room and looks around. The room is modern and kind of stark, like the rest of the apartment. Logan is asleep in his king-sized bed. Max decides to look around a bit. His cologne and change are on the dresser and she notes a few pictures on top as well. One she presumes is of his parents, another at Bennett's wedding of him and the rest of the wedding party, another of Logan and her at the wedding that she didn't realize was taken, and the one that really surprised her, one of her with her Jam Pony cap on that looks like her work ID stuck in the mirror. (That little stinker.)

Max sits on the bed beside Logan. He stirs briefly, but remains asleep. He has a frown on his face, and Max very lightly strokes his forehead and he relaxes some. She speaks to him in barely a whisper. "Oh Logan, I'm so sorry. You'll never believe that the chair didn't matter to me, but it only mattered to me because it mattered to you so much. You matter to me. I love you so much and I want to be with you, share my life with you. If I didn't have to worry about the black ops chasing me, I'd even want to be married to you and have babies with you, assuming I can anyway. We've gotta figure a way to talk to each other and stop running away from each other. I'm through running from you Logan Cale. You are either going to deal with me or send me away, but I'm done with the dance we keep doing. I love you." She scoots down beside him, wraps her arms around him, and gently kisses him on the head. She just listens to him breath and is gradually lulled to sleep by the sound.

Max wakes up when she feels Logan stirring. "What's wrong?"

"Nothing, I just need to go to the bathroom." Max moves so he can get out of bed. When Logan returns she is sitting on the side of the bed.

"Is Bling still here?"

"No, but he should be here sometime this morning. He said he was going to talk to Dr. Carr. I'll let you get dressed while I go call in sick for work."

"You don't have to do that Max."

"I know that. I don't mind."

"I don't need a babysitter." The words come out more harshly than Logan intended.

"I'm not-" Max stops herself from answering back in anger. She lowers her voice then continues. "Remember what we discussed yesterday? People that care about each other, love each other, do things for each other. I'm here because I choose to be. After breakfast, can I use the computer? I need to look up some things." (Like a certain doctor in Japan. It may be a slim chance, but I'm still going to check.)

Logan sighs and moves to take her hand. "I'm sorry Max. I didn't mean to be so prickly. Of course I'll fix breakfast and you can use a computer. Will the laptop be okay? It's hooked up to the net too."

"That's fine ... I'm gonna change my clothes and get some coffee." She starts to leave but Logan pulls her back.

"Hey." Logan pulls harder so that Max has to bend down closer to him. He puts his hand on her neck and pulls her closer to kiss her on the lips. " Thank you."

She gives him another quick kiss. "You don't have to thank me, but you're welcome." She goes to change in the guest room.

They meet in the kitchen just as Bling is coming into the apartment. "Hey guys. How's it going?"

Max and Logan look at each other then look back at Bling. "Managing," Logan replies with a small smile.

"Getting ready for breakfast," Max adds. "Logan's going to wow me with his his secret recipe French toast."

"Well, be warned. That's how he got me to work for him," Bling said with a chuckle.

Logan is gathering ingredients and utensils and is acting like he is totally innocent.

"Found out alcohol won't work on us so you're gonna try food instead, eh?" Max arched her eyebrow at him.

"I'll never tell. Taste and see for yourself," Logan said with a wink. "Instead of applause, feel free to throw clothing."

"Hah!"

While Bling is glad they finally got off of their collective butts and started moving forward, he has no desire to view a striptease at breakfast, at least not one that isn't done by his sexy wife. (Note to self-Take a few days off and fix Maria breakfast in bed.) "Should I come back later?"

"I can't speak for him, but I'll behave, at least for now." Logan's eyes widen at her statement, but he wisely keeps his mouth shut and continues preparing the food.

"Oh ... My ... God! This is incredible! This may be the best thing you've ever prepared and I've eaten a lot of your cooking."

Bling notices all of the verbal and nonverbal communication, happy that his friends are finally starting to get it together. "Max, continue your breakfast. Logan, let's hit the exercises. I have feeling that I won't be able to hold you attention for very long."

Max smiles and ducks her head to hide her blushing. "I'll remember this Bling."

"I know you will."

"You know you're in trouble, Bling. Women remember everything anyway, and an X5 woman – forget about it." Logan and Bling go into the exercise room.

While they do the reps, Logan gathers his nerve to speak. "Uh, Bling, ... you know, uh, that, uh, conversation I wouldn't let you finish ... in rehab ... I uh, think I might ... want to hear the rest of it." He hopes the red face can be passed off as exertion from the workout.

Bling waits a few moments, collecting his thoughts in an effort to avoid saying anything that would cause Logan to shut down before he can get the answers he needs. "Anything in particular or do you want to the whole A-to-Z spiel?"

"Maybe the A-toZ as it relates to me? I don't know when Max and I are going to cross that bridge, but I guess I should be prepared in the event that I need to."

Bling talks to Logan while they finish the workout, with Logan periodically asking Bling questions. At the end of it Bling hands him a prescription slip and goes out to get his breakfast. Max has finished and goes to speak to Logan.

"I hope you didn't let him give you anything that would mess with your blood pressure."

Logan looks at her with his mouth open then shuts. (She knows, at least a little bit. Do not freak out, do not freak out.) "Well you know I don't like needles." (That's it, just act normal ... Hey, that means she's been thinking about it too, and before today.) Logan gives Max his trademark heartbreaker smile.

Max knows he's full of crap, but she decides to let him slide for now. "Want me to get that filled for you? I can do it on the way to my apartment."

"You're leaving?" That came out a little higher than he expected. (What do you expect you already told her you didn't need a babysitter.) "If you can pick that up it would be great. I let the pharmacist know you're coming for me and you can put it on my account. You can drop it off when you get a chance." He's trying to act nonchalant about the whole thing and failing miserably.

Max comes over to Logan and sits in his lap. "Don't be sucha baby. I'm going home to get a change of clothes and let OC know where I'll be and then I'll be back." She kisses him and he starts to relax and responds to her. "Whoa Mister. Bling is still out front and I want more than a quickie now that we are finally getting to this."

(She really has been thinking about this. Not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing.) Logan gives Max another brief kiss. "How awful would it be if I said 'hurry back'?"

oOoOoOo THE END oOoOoOo

Reviews highly appreciated – please and thank you! (admit it-my way was much better, eh?)

Special thanks to GypsyDoggy10 for beta-ing, esp. after the killer thesis – smooches!