I don't own Dark Angel...dammit

A/N: This is a companion to Brown Eyes, but it isn't necessary for you to read it first. I have one more piece to accompany this, hope to have it out soon.

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How long?

I'm not really sure. For months I had believed that she was dead, and yet not really.

My heart stopped when I turned and saw her. I'm serious. My heart honestly stopped. So I did the only thing I could think of, I proved she was real by kissing her. Then I heard her babbling about leaving because soldiers were on the way. I didn't understand. Then I felt a slight cramping in my chest, how odd. Then the pain became indescribable and I mean that.

I collapsed and Max caught me and was yelling at me.

Then I heard him. When I saw him, I'm not even sure I was thinking straight. The guy was in my apartment with a gun pointed at me, telling me it was Max that was killing me.

That will always be the way I remember him, as being the guy who told me my relationship with the woman I loved was over before it had even begun.

My Max kicked his ass, and that made me feel better, believe me.

I was unconscious before I knew what was happening, but my last thought was that he was going to kill me.

Imagine my surprise when I woke up.

I thought it was hard dying, I almost wish I would have, at least then I wouldn't have had to see that look on Max's face. We couldn't touch, and she was poison to me.

The signal that called all the soldiers in, it hurt her. She felt responsible. I could tell she was going before she even said it.

She gave me a call, asked me to get some papers together. Yeah, sure, that's what I do. Then I drive to meet her and my heart stops again. This time, in anger.

How long was it going to be before she mentioned he'd been here, if he'd been gone, I may never have known.

He's there, leaning against his convertible and smiling at Max and the kids. As soon as Max glances his way, though, his smile is gone. I wonder about his intentions. Then he's driving off, and he gives Max a look and that smile and waves.

I don't think I like him.

When he shows up at my apartment, I can't help it, I get defensive. Who does the guy think he is? Max has never needed help before, and she definitely doesn't need help from him. When he left with her though, it was a shock. She hadn't turned him away. She'd just….gone.

When she told me what had happened, well, I think she left something out. She told me that White had implanted a bomb in his head, and that she'd had to use her money, our money to save him. I know that shouldn't have mattered. I'm a good man, I know it's right that she sacrificed the cure to save him. But there's some part of me that feels as though she picked him over me.

Then we were searching for Joshua's brother in the sewers, and he had to mention that he thought Max was hot. I knew that, of course. It was just the way he said it, it made my skin crawl.

He was attracted to her, and it wasn't just her body. No, I had seen him look at her. It didn't hurt that she was gorgeous, but no, this was deeper. If it wasn't why was he getting a job, a job where he'd be around her?

It scared me.

How long had he had feelings for her? Since the moment he'd met her, since she gave him his name?

She's supposed to hate him. That's the thought that keeps going through my head. We were sitting at Crash and she got up to leave, and as she left she acknowledged Alec as he raised his glass to acknowledge her. I saw his trademark smirk and almost didn't notice as she turned her head my way. She was smiling, smiling at him.

But she hates him.

All they do is fight and pick at each other and threaten each other. They don't smile at each other, EVER.

It's always them, now though. I've noticed, no matter what I do, that when she goes on a mission, he has her back. He's her shadow and looks out for her. He protects her.

She has his back too. She acts like she doesn't, but she does. She wants him along on missions, no matter what she says, I see it in her eyes.

How long has that been going on?

Somehow, I don't know when, she's begun to trust him. They work together to free the mermaid, they hang out together at Crash. She left me in the hospital to get him out of jail!

The night of Joshua's dinner, I tried not to be jealous, not to be upset. Guess I did a crappy job, even I heard it in my tone.

When she came to me with the name Berrisford, I was surprised, but I looked it up. I knew it was for him, and when she walked out the door, I knew she was going to stop him from doing something stupid.

I'm not sure what happened that night, I got the abridged version, which seems to happen a lot when it comes to Alec. Still, I couldn't help but feel pity when I saw the girl had died, and I asked Max tobe there for him. I should have known she would have done it even if I hadn't said a word.

It's getting worse too, now. All of a sudden, there's a bond between them, it's slight, but it's getting stronger. I can feel it whenever they're in a room together.

How long has it been there? All along, I almost think it has.

It hurts.

The night that we had the temporary cure, it going to be perfect.

It wasn't.

I heard the bitterness in Alec's voice when he spoke to me that day, that's what confirmed it for me. He was in love with her, and he may not have even known it.

When we were trapped in the car, and Max said there wasn't enough time, and he said he was slow. I felt bitter too, because there was hope in his voice. Yeah, he cleared the people out to give us a moment alone, but he didn't do it for me. He did it for me. Because he's whipped too, to steal his phrase.

I can't stand it. They're getting closer, and she's driving me away. She's afraid of hurting me, but she does it everyday. Not all hurt is physical.

They joke and hit each other, and I hate him because he can touch her. She looks at him and they share secrets, I know it. They have private jokes and it burns me up inside, because she used to joke with me, talk with me. Now he's taken my place in almost every way.

Now, he's even her heart. I see them at her apartment, his arm around her, the smiles they give each other. I die inside, my heart stops again, and not for the same reason. I confront Max and she doesn't deny it. I can't believe it, it floors me.

How long would it have taken for her to tell me?

I don't think about it, I'm hurt when she ignores me leaving Carr's office, but what do I expect? She has him now. Then I watch as she leaves Seattle, twice… I follow and realize she has a clone. Then, I hesitate to free her, because for a moment, I don't know which one is Max.

Do you know why that bothers me? It's not just that I didn't know. It's that a few hours later, when Alec meets Sam, he looks surprised, but never confused, and he automatically knows that Max is Max and the clone is the clone. No hesitation. It hurts. I realize that in the short time they've been together, they have achieved a closeness that Max and I never had.

Alec tries to talk to me about it. I don't know if he's uncomfortable or feels bad. I don't care, I don't want to hear it, no matter what he's going to say. He leaves and I don't mind. I see him in the background when I talk to Max, and I hurt, but what can I do?

I see how he looks at her, and I know he loves her, and I know he'll take care of her.

How long until I let go? How long until I accept it?

I don't know, but it hurts.