Disclaimer: I own nothing, and this is just for fun. Give the money to James Cameron, Mr. Eglee and Fox.
A/N: Tiny plot, no action, but a perfect excuse to watch Prodigy and think "Hey, it makes much more sense that way". At least, I hope so. And a new poll!!!
Enjoy, review and vote!!
Through time, space and fiction - Chapter Three
The following morning I woke up covered in sweat, and I refused to open my eyes until I recognized the faint scent of cedar wood and heard the soft sound of Logan's wheels on the hardwood floor. After I assured myself that my ID was still on the nightstand, I put on my glasses and left the guestroom, careful and strangely self-conscious.
Logan was in the kitchen, busy preparing breakfast and a mug of black coffee was steaming in front of him. He looked up when I entered the room, a smile on his face, but I could see that either our peaceful evening hadn't managed to erase his doubts about me or that they had returned during the night. His eyes were full of suspicion and tension. Great, just what I need, another round of distrust and questioning. Logan's voice was affectedly friendly as he addressed me. "Hey, want some coffee?" I shook my head and tried to smile despite of my nervousness.
"Not a coffee person. But could I get something to eat before the interrogation starts?" He nodded and handed me a plate. We ate in silence and we did the dishes in silence, both of us trying to delay the dreaded moment as long as possible. After he had stored the last plate, Logan pivoted and faced me.
"So, spill it! Who are you, where are you from, and who sent you?"
I sighed. "I already told you. I'm Mia, I'm from Bavaria, and as far as I know, nobody sent me to do anything. I'm here. That's all I know"
"That's all you know? And what about the 'I know everything about you' speech you gave yesterday?"
"Okay. I know that Max is a transgenic or as you called her once 'a genetically enhanced killing machine'. Not the sweetest compliment in the world, by the way. I know that she grew up at a place called Manticore, in Gilette, Wyoming, and that she and eleven of her so called siblings escaped in February of 2009. She works at "Jam Pony", a bike messenger service. Her roommate's name is Kendra."
"I know that you're Logan Cale and that you spend your time with saving civilization as we know it by exposing criminals as the mysterious 'Eyes Only'. I know that you were married to an alcoholic named Valerie and that your uncle Jonas calls you 'Junior'. I know that you were shot in the back about four months ago and your spinal cord was severed. The level of your injury is T-8. Right now, you're waiting for Bling, your PT-bodyguard-confidante-whatever, to torture you with therapy and wise words about patience."
My voice had become faster and faster, just like the expression on Logan's face had changed from distrust to startled surprise as I mentioned Valerie, his uncle, and finally, Bling.
"How do you know I'm waiting for Bling?"
"Because you are wearing your grey Che Guevara shirt. And matching sweatpants. You always wear them during your exercises. And don't ask me how I know that. I just do."
He looked up to me, just as confused and unnerved as I felt.
"But there has to be a reasonable explanation for all this."
"Logan. If you can find a reasonable explanation why one moment I'm in Bavaria in 2007 and then in Seattle in 2019, only a second later, I will be very grateful." It took a moment for my words to sink in, but then he looked at me like I was a four-headed pink goat.
I nodded slowly and tried a little smile. "Born in '87. I'm actually a year older than you."
He just stared at me.
"Maybe you should talk to Sebastian? And please stop looking at me like. You had no problem with Max being half female, half feline. You're a cyber-crusader, for God's sake. There are so many strange and inexplicable things in your world. Why shouldn't I be the time-travelling, semi-omniscient first person narrator?"
Logan seemed to ponder my words for a moment. "Yeah, that's strange, but… I mean, who believes that the government secretly creates super soldiers should be able to believe in time-travelling as well. And I'll talk to Sebastian."
He still didn't understand, but obviously he tried to.
The relief washing through me was beyond words. He wanted to believed me. He probably grew up with X-Files, too. People who watch Sci-Fi Show do believe the strangest things.
That was the very moment Bling entered the penthouse, the expression on his face priceless. And what was he supposed to think? Logan in workout clothes and me still dressed in one of his old shirts and shorts.
"Ah…Good morning?" Bling said with an inquiring look towards Logan. I stood up and smiled sheepish. Oh God, that man is tall. And what a tight shirt…
Logan cleared his throat and tried to mend the damage: "Bling, this is Mia. She's…"
While Logan was desperate to find an explanation for my existence, I stepped forward and took Bling's hand to a firm shake. "I'm his half-sister. And you have to be Bling."
"Oh. Nice to meet you, Mia. Didn't know you had a sister, man."
"Well, I didn't know myself 'til yesterday." While Logan was uncomfortably shifting in his chair, Bling's eyes wandered from me to Logan and back to me. Yes, he was noticing the eyes, just like Max.
I did my best to look cheerful "That's what wealthy socialites do. Keep their illegitimate children a secret. But maybe in our case secrecy is a family thing." Perfect! Explained where I come from and implied that I know about Eyes Only.
"She is going to live with me for some time." Oh Logan, don't be so stiff! I turned around and walked back to the kitchen counter. "So, Bling…how about a cup of tea?"
While the guys were busy with Logan's therapy, it was my task to archive the evidence from old Eyes Only cases. There was a little room in the back of the penthouse stuffed with video tapes, files (which surely hadn't found there way in there by legal means), and tons of pictures. Logan laughed when he showed me this chamber of secrets and gave me detailed instructions about how to sort everything. We were going to transfer everything to a safehouse once I finished, and I was glad to be helpful at least for a short time.
Max snuck in around lunchtime and brought me some clothes. They were simple long sleeved shirts in pale colors, white, light blue and green, and two pair of dark blue jeans. Her transgenic eye had estimated my size perfectly. She stayed for lunch and I watched Logan trying to sit a little straighter in his chair, talking about the recent Eyes Only case with much more passion than he had done with Bling just thirty minutes ago. I saw Max's dark eyes following every movement of his hands and I quietly listened to their conversation. Again I was overwhelmed – this time not only by her perfect looks but also by her intelligence. You knew all this before. Why does it still surprise you? She left after an hour to return to her Jam Pony duties, whirling out of the door with a promise to take me to Crash and introduce me to the Jam Pony crew someday soon, and Logan and I stayed behind and tried to recover from her sparkling presence.
The next few days that passed were quiet and uneventful. Max took me to a flea market and Break's little store and we bought all kinds of things a girl can't live without. I joked about her feline DNA and even Lydecker and I finally made her laugh. The simple fact that she had someone to talk to about all these things – someone other than "Mr. Serious Logan Cale" – made her more at ease in my company.
I was busy most days with my storage task, and Logan was in front of his computer. In the evenings he prepared dinner for four, a wise decision considering a certain genetically enhanced stomach, and then we waited for Max to show up. Most of the time she came, but sometimes she didn't. Those were the nights Logan worked on Eyes Only cases until dawn, and when Bling tried to lecture him about getting a fair amount of sleep the next morning, he always got bitter. But when she did come, he was all gracious host, and I retreated early to what was now officially "Mia's Room" to lie in the darkness and listen to their amicable banter while she slaughtered him at chess.
I wished those days would never end, and every night I dreamt of danger and loss and pain and of how I couldn't protect them.
On my seventh day in Seattle I got up, snuck to the bathroom and had a shower, trying to be extraordinarily quiet. Max hadn't been here the night before, and when I woke up at 3 a.m., shaking from a nightmare I couldn't remember anymore, I could still hear the low tapping of Logan's keyboard in the computer room.
When I got out of the shower and donned the pink bathrobe I had insisted on buying – I could never use Logan's old red one, too Max in Pollo Loco – I heard a conversation in the living room. I suddenly had a very bad feeling in my stomach. I quickly wrapped a towel around my wet head and tiptoed into the hall, trying to overhear what Max and Logan were talking about in the other room. I oppressed my guilty conscious about eavesdropping – TV show, remember? Millions of people have been eavesdropping! – and tried to get closer without drawing their attention. Hiding behind the door, I could hear Logan's voice.
"You wanna listen to whatever pie-in-the-sky Dr. Feelgood is hustling, be my guest. Just leave me out of it, okay?"
My head exploded. Prodigy…'Oh, God, what should I do?'
I ran into my room and fell on the bed, thoughts and fears spinning so fast in my head that I was afraid of getting sick. I had two possible choices. I could tell them about the hostage crisis at the Steinlitz Hotel or I couldn't. I could tell them about Lydecker or I couldn't. I could prevent Max from jumping off a building to save Logan like a beautiful dark angel would to save the one she loves, or not.
That moment on the bed, surrounded by shattered glass, was crucial. It was a pivotal time for Max and Logan and their love, and I would have rather burned in hell than destroy it. And it turned out to be "all good - all the time", didn't it? And there are other ways to be helpful. I tried not to think about the people that would die during Prodigy. That's their destiny. Max and Logan and the Inner Circle. That's all that counts. If they don't have lines they don't count
I slowly dried my hair and got dressed, then I joined Logan, who was reading a newspaper in the kitchen. He was still tense and I wondered if he hurt himself when he fell out of the wheelchair. Maybe I should tell Bling about it.
"Tea or coffee?" I asked. Logan's only answer to my innocent question was an indifferent grunt. "Tea then," I decided and reached up to look for the kettle on one of the higher shelves. Tea was Bling's and my domain.
"You should apologize, you know," I informed him. His eyes looked up from the censored article about a food-riot in Detroit, but only for a second. This time I earned myself an annoyed grunt and a frown. "She wanted to be helpful. There's nothing wrong with worrying about friends, is there?" I continued while I filled the kettle with water.
"And there's nothing wrong with me she should be worried about!" His sudden outburst didn't impress me. I looked at him steadily but silent, raised an inquiring eyebrow and started looking for the teabags. "Oh god, when did you turn into Bling?" he said and vanished in the computer room to prepare the credentials of Ms Rachel Glasser, Biotech Frontiers.
An hour later I came to look over his shoulder. "Nice. But you have an informant meeting later, so you better leave them with Bling."
"What about you?"
"I have an errand to run" And I'm scared as hell. He nodded and pressed the number of Max's pager on speed dial. When I left the penthouse I heard him saying, "Sorry, for getting pissy before," and I smiled at the elevator doors all the way down.
The Steinlitz Hotel was an impressive building, higher than I imagined. Fortunately, it was still in Sector Nine and I could walk there, although I got lost twice and it took me more than an hour. I walked through the lobby with the attitude of a wealthy European tourist and that, combined with my "expensive vintage" clothes – I wore my old 2007 ensemble - gave me enough credibility that no one even noticed me. Everyone in the lobby seemed to be attending the conference. I was surrounded by PhDs and doctors, journalists from obscure magazines like "The Monthly Gene Pool" and … a blond middle aged man. Donald Lydecker, Genedyne. Oh, Max. I'm so sorry to have forced you into this, but I know you'll make it.
A bright smile and a ten dollar bill changing hands later, I was on my way to Dr. Tanaka's room. Having watched cat burgling Max several times, it was relatively easy to pick the lock, walk in, and get his laptop and all written notes I could find from the desk. When I was already at the door, ready to leave, I turned around and stole some towels and toothpaste from the bathroom, along with one of Jude's toys from the floor. Suppressing the thought of staying to try and catch a glimpse of Original Cindy, I started to walk home. I was no super hero and I would never kick the bad guy's ass – I would leave that to Max – but maybe I could offer some comfort in the cold.
Logan and Bling were already gone when I returned home, and I spent the rest of the day watching KJPK News Special Bulletin about the Steinlitz hostage situation and wishing with all my heart that my decision was right and that it was all good, all the time. My heart stopped beating for a second when the cameraman got a close-up of Logan and Max crashing through the hotel window. After that and with the knowledge that at least to that point everything had turned out right, I fell asleep. I woke up in the middle of the night and found myself curled up on the couch, the lights still on. Bling stood in front of me, Jude sleeping peacefully in his arms. "Seems like I have to give up my bed tonight?" Bling nodded and I took the child from his arms, silently wondering how that tiny six-year old could weigh that much, and carried him into my room. I tried my best not to wake him while I undressed him. After accomplishing that, I put the little dinosaur into his arms. "Sleep well, brave little soldier."
I walked back into the computer room to look for Logan. Just that very moment Bling walked through to door, pushing Logan who sat in his computer chair.
Time to solve another mystery.
"Hey, what the hell happened to the wheelchair?"
"Gravity. Did you see what happened?" Logan pointed at the TV. I nodded. "Well, these guys were seriously annoyed that I got away and so they threw it off the building. Bling got the remaining pieces in the car, but I don't think they are of much use."
""Well, thanks to Max at least YOU escaped the laws of physics." He nodded.
Logan rubbed the back of his head and looked up to Bling. "Do we have to do this now?"
"Yes, we do." I suddenly realised that Logan was still wearing clothes that were covered with shattered glass. They have to get him out of his clothes and check him for cuts. Don't make him feel uncomfortable, Mia. "Do you want me to make some coffee? Tea?"
About half an hour later, Logan was settled in front of his computer, now wearing a clean sweater and pants, and Bling had gone to get a spare hospital wheelchair from the rehab clinic. I sat down on the floor in front of Logan, pulled my knees to my chest and indulged in the warm feeling of success. He looked down to me and smiled wearily.
After some time, I spoke quietly, not to spoil the peaceful atmosphere. "The child will stay with us?"
"Yeah. Until I've found him a new family. I don't have enough room here to keep all of you lost little puppies."
"As long as you keep the kittens. Or at least Max."
He nodded. His eyes were gleaming as I mentioned her name. Max. I did the right thing.
Smiling I stood up and after a moment of hesitation pressed a quick goodnight kiss on his forehead, before I went off to my room. Logan didn't move, but didn't turn away either.
In the doorframe I stopped. "Hey Logan, if Max comes over tonight tell her I have a present for her, okay? She'll get it when she takes me to Crash."
And then I left to comfort a little boy - or to share his nightmares – and still it was all good, all the time.
Dear reader, the poll of the week - votes are welcome in reviews and at DAR- will either lead to a storyline and fluff in later chapters, a storyline and UST or ... pure fluff and no story. Your choice.
Our favourite cyber-crusader's birthday party is at
B: Max's and Kendra's place
C: Who cares? Just give me the fluff?
And many virtual and real bows to Lisa and Shy, who made this bearable for native speakers. Thank you!