Disclaimer: I don't own the series ''Dark Angel'', nor do I own any of its original characters. All I do own is my imagination and the plot.
A/N: I always want to put down something memorable in my author's note, but can never think of anything worth while. I figured that that's what the story's for. The only thing I do want to mention is that I started with the quote, which is from the song ''Sentimental'' by Kym Marsh, and the title naturally followed from there, as did the story. It is my first attempt at a Dark Angel centered story, so, though I do want you to keep that in mind, I also want you to be fair in your opinion of it. I do hope you'll find it enjoyable in some way. :)
Sentimental (part 1)
''You give me warm sunshine when I say I like the moon, and you give me a rainbow when I'm feeling black and blue, but still something's happening; I'm falling, and does that make me sentimental?''
It was eleven o'clock on a Friday night, and that was all it was to Alec: just another Friday night. He didn't count the days or tick them off in anticipation of some special occasion. He didn't even have a calendar; in fact, he didn't keep track of days. At Manticore he never had to, and he had liked it just fine, because why bother when every day was like the one that had come before and would be like the one that'd come thereafter? He had only needed to keep track on missions outside Manticore, and he had only done that because he had to; and they had thrown off the routine he was used to.
Life on the outside had done so at first, too, though it hadn't taken him long to fall back into a habit of sorts. Every day was like the other, even though he had come to like the weekends a little better than the rest of the week. He never had to work on them, and for a normal person that would mean that they could stay up as late as they wanted without having to worry about getting up early on the next morning. Of course, he was anything but normal, and wasted less than a handful of hours on sleeping.
He was more of a night person; he always felt like he could blend in more then, despite the fact that he looked as normal as they'd come. Fortunately for him, looks were deceiving, and he looked like one of those all American guys who always played in bad movies on late-night TV, with the exception of having a few extra perks. What could he say, he had good genes, and he usually would go out and take advantage of that, but sometimes he just liked to stay in and watch TV. He would always find some movie on where he ended up pitying the hero, while stretched out on his beat-up couch with a bag of chips of some kind.
Tonight was one of those nights, where he was all by his lonesome, though by choice, unguarded and comfortable in, what he liked to call, his palace. It was nothing like Manticore, but it was his home, and he didn't mind being in it, which hadn't always been the case with Manticore. Sometimes he had despised the place, and he had thought of running a few times, but had remained loyal to it for as long as he could.
Shortly lost in his train of thought, he didn't hear the door to his apartment open, though his attention was immediately drawn to Max as she came strolling into his apartment.
''I thought I'd locked the door,'' he reacted nonchalantly, used to Max's unannounced visits, never calling beforehand, but usually having the courtesy of at least knocking.
''You did,'' she confirmed.
''Huh.'' Another chip disappeared in his mouth. ''And you didn't knock because?''
''I didn't want to disturb you,'' she explained with a careless shrug.
He raised an eyebrow. ''And you thought that walking in here at what is almost midnight wouldn't disturb me?''
''I figured you were watching a movie or something,'' she answered with nod in the direction of the TV, while shrugging off her jacket. ''And I know how you can get into those.'' She threw it over a chair and jerked up one of her shoulders. ''Well, I really thought that you would be at Crash. I prefer having your apartment to myself.''
She turned away from Alec, and he watched as she went over to his kitchen and opened one of his cabinets as if it came natural to her. He knew that she had a good sense of direction, but he now also knew that it wasn't her first visit to his apartment. He didn't know how often she had been in here before, and though her breach on his privacy bothered him some, it didn't bother him as much as it should have. He knew her, he trusted her, and he would even go so far as to admit to himself that he had developed some kind of soft spot for her.
''Right.'' He put the bag of chips aside and began wiping his hands on his jeans. ''Speaking of my apartment, don't you have one of your own?''
Max hoisted herself up on the counter and began unwrapping the chocolate bar she had been out to find. Now he knew why he could remember always buying the stuff, but never actually eating it. ''Cindy has a friend over and I didn't want to disturb them.''
An image popped into Alec's mind, one that nearly made him smile. Max saw the way his bottom lip twitched and rolled her eyes. ''Is your mind always in the gutter?'' She broke off a piece of chocolate and put it in her mouth, this image much more vivid, though he managed to hold back the cheeky grin as he got up. ''So, why didn't you go to Logan's?'' he asked, saying the other man's name to remind himself that he was a part of her life, a more important part than he should be, but who was he to interfere in her life when she left his alone?
''Actually, I just came from Logan's.''
''What, did he kick you out or something?'' It was meant as an innocent remark, one she should've taken light-heartedly and made his eyes glimmer with amusement, though they didn't light up completely because of her reaction. She cast her eyes down while breaking off another piece of chocolate, not saying anything in return when she always had something to say. ''Did something happen?'' he curiously informed.
She put the chocolate in her mouth and used it as an excuse to stay quiet.
Alec sighed at her childish behavior and in response took a few sudden steps towards her to take the chocolate from her. She threw him a look that he chose to ignore. ''Now, let's try that again, did something happen with you and Logan?''
Max didn't look at him as she slid off the counter, their bodies less than an inch away from touching, granting that she reestablished the distance by placing her hand—palm down—on his chest and pushing him from her. Her fingertips lingered, even when she was already on her way to the door.
He turned, frustrated by how she chose to walk away instead of talking to him. ''Oh, come on, Max!''
She stopped and spun around slowly on her heels, her arm crossed. ''I thought you didn't care about what's going on between me and Logan?''
She nodded and turned back around, opening the door while Alec moved quickly, too quickly, to close it again. ''You always take things so personally.''
''And you are always such a jackass,'' she countered while reaching for the door once more. Again he stopped her, putting most of his weight against the door. ''Just tell me what's wrong.''
Max licked her bottom lip before answering. ''We got into a fight.''
''And nothing, Alec.''
''Well, it must've been something if you came here,'' he told her.
''I told you, I couldn't go home.'' She pushed her hair from her face. ''And I thought you would be out.''
''You could've gone to Crash.''
''Is that a hint? Because if you would just get out of the way I-''
''Why do you always jump to conclusions like that?'' he cut her off. ''I just meant that-''
''I know what you meant, Alec!'' she lashed out at him.
He instantly moved his hand from the door and held it up in his defense, thrown by her tone and attitude. ''Hey, if you wanna leave so badly…'' He gestured towards the door and took a step back. ''I don't even know why you're freaking out on me. It's not like I did anything this time,'' he said.
He backed away from the door, and Max opened it only to close it again. She sighed, but didn't turn to face him just yet. ''The fight was about you.'' Her shoulders dropped and she crossed and uncrossed her arms as she went to face him. ''The fight was about you, Alec,'' she repeated.
''Figures.'' His eyes slightly narrowed. ''So, what did I do this time?''
To his surprise Max shrugged and said, ''Nothing. Logan just…'' She bit down on her lip, looking away from him before fully meeting his gaze. She was looking vulnerable to him for one of the first times.
''Just spit it out, Max.''
''He said that I was spending too much time with you,'' she confided to him, the words coming out in a quickly strung together sentence. He could barely make out what she was saying. ''He sure does take his role of the jealous boyfriend way too seriously,'' he jokingly replied.
''He wants me to spend less time with you.''
''So naturally the first thing you do is break into my apartment.''
''Well, what do you expect me to say, Max? It's obvious you've already made your choice; otherwise, you wouldn't be here.''
Tears filled up her eyes, and she tried to hide it from him by letting her hair cover up her face, though he saw it. He always saw when something was off with her, even when he wasn't really paying attention. He opened his mouth, but she beat him to it. ''He did this before. Logan.'' She looked back up at him, not bothering to push the strands of hair aside. ''He didn't like me being around Zack either. He didn't trust him.''
''And he had good reason not to,'' Alex chipped in. ''Your big brother had an even bigger crush on you, remember that?''
Max's hand shot out and she gave him a hard push. ''You always have to bring that up. He was suffering from memory loss,'' she came up for her brother, though it still made her feel uncomfortable when she thought about it.
''I'm just kidding, Maxie,'' he said, affectionately taking her by the arm and pulling her into him, into a hug. She didn't fight him, but relaxed into him, used to the touchy-feely manner he liked to handle her with, even when it mostly just was to her annoy her. She shook her head. ''It's not fair. He always wants me to choose between my family and him.''
''Ah, but I ain't exactly family, now am I?''
''Ben was,'' she whispered.
She heard him sigh and he pushed her from him. ''Are you ever going to stop comparing me to him?'' He held her by the upper arms, as if he wanted to shake her. ''I'm not Ben, Max.'' He said the name with disdain and a sadness of sorts, sick of having the feeling that all he was doing with her was living up to Ben's image.
''I know you're not.''
''Then why do you always make me feel as if I just have the misfortune of walking around with his face?''
''Don't talk about him like that,'' Max said and taking a step back, out of his reach. ''You think it's hard for you? You didn't know him, you didn't grow up with him, or watched him die. I'm reminded of that constantly, Alec,'' she added in a softer voice, somewhat ashamed for showing her feelings so openly to him, when normally she always had her walls up with him.
''Because of me? I make you feel horrible, is that it, Maxie?''
''Yes,'' she answered truthfully, not missing how something within his eyes flickered out. ''You can make me feel really bad about myself, but you also make me feel better about my life, and myself. Safer. I don't have anybody left but you, Alec. I need you to be here, and that's why I've been coming here.''
''Comfort. You came to me for comfort?''
Max shrugged, revealing a small smile to him. ''You've got my back, right?''
Alec nodded, smiling back at her. ''Yeah, I've got your back, Maxie.''
''Good,'' she said, taking back the chocolate he handed to her.
He watched as she walked over to his couch and made herself comfortable on it. Like she belonged right there and not anywhere else. He grinned.
The moment lasted until she decided to change the channel.
Please review? (: Like I said before, be fair and honest in your review, if you'd be so kind as to leave one that is? The pairing is a new one to me, one I don't think I have gotten pinned down in this one piece, but hopefully, when inspiration strikes again for this pairing, I'll do a little bit better. Thanks for reading. :)