Summary: An act of mercy from Alec's days at Manticore returns to haunt him. MA.
Disclaimer: Nothing. I have absolutely nothing.
A/N: If you're looking for Logan, you've come to the wrong story. The poor guy's sweet, but he bores me to tears.
Alec couldn't breathe. Why couldn't he breathe? And why did his mouth taste like dirt and… gasoline?
"Buddy, you all right?"
Alec raised his head out of the puddle and rolled onto his side, wiping the filthy muck out of his eyes.
"Yeah," he said, spitting a mouthful of garbage back into the puddle. "I'm fine." Alec looked down at himself. He'd really liked this jacket and there was no way he'd be able to get the smell out. He'd have to find a new satchel too. Keeping them was not an option. Living in a cesspool like Seattle was hard enough on a transgenic nose.
At the moment, though, he was grateful for every bit of feline DNA he owned. The car had come out of nowhere and nearly run him over. Only his quick reflexes had saved him from having tire tracks across his back. It happened from time to time. Whether it was running from White, trying to get packages delivered or chasing Max all over town at breakneck speed, the rest of the traffic didn't always care if he was in the way.
"You sure you're ok, kid?" the man asked. "You took a header straight into the building."
Alec looked around and saw that when he'd jumped, he'd managed to ram his head into a brick wall and then fall face first into the puddle at its base. That explained why his head hurt like, well, like he'd rammed it into a brick wall.
"Kid?" He looked like a blue-collar worker sort, jeans, work boots, flannel shirt, which made sense since he was in an area with a lot of warehousing.
"I said I'm all right." Although he didn't feel like it, Alec grinned to let the man know how all right he was. "Nothing a drink and a lady friend can't fix." The guy snorted his approval and visibly relaxed as Alec had intended.
"Never seen anybody move that fast." The man eyed him curiously.
"Vitamins," Alec said off-handedly.
The man's gaze narrowed, in an instant, curiosity changing to suspicion. "Thing is I don't know if anybody could move that fast."
Great. "Well, this has been fun." Time for a quick exit, stage left. Alec clapped his hands together. "A little sludge, a near-death experience. Good times. But I think I'll go now." Before the man could say anything else or call the police, Alec picked up his now damaged bike and hoofed it. Wasn't exactly macho, but it was better than getting picked up by the sector police. At Manticore, being practical had kept him alive. These days it kept him free.
Alec walked into Jam Pony still covered in drying muck, smelling like a sewer and carrying the mangled remains of his bike. Normal took one look at him and started clucking like a mother hen. The man grabbed a cloth from somewhere and started wiping at him until Alec had to physically take him by the shoulders and push him back.
"Uhh… thanks, Normal, but I'm pretty sure it's a lost cause."
"Just let me-"
"What happened to you?"
Alec inwardly cringed at the dulcet, yet unmistakably derisive tones. Sure enough, the one person he'd most hoped to avoid walked out from behind the lockers. Max smiled, taking in every crusted over inch of him. The woman liked nothing better than seeing him humbled. It was a good thing it took a lot more than a mud puddle and a near miss to bring him down.
"Unlike some people, I was actually working," Alec offered, one eyebrow raised. He shrugged trying to ease the ache in his neck and shoulders. "Car came out of nowhere and nearly hit me."
Max looked behind him to the remains of the bike that, unlike its owner, hadn't been able to jump out of the way. Alec could have sworn the barest hint of concern crossed her face.
"You ok?" was all she asked.
"Need a shower," he answered, rubbing at his nose and this time he was sure of the real compassion he saw. She understood the downside of a super-sensitive nose.
"You go home," Normal ordered. "Miss Late-As-Usual-This-Morning can handle your last run."
Max let out a huff of frustration. "Are you kidding? It's closing time!"
"I'm sorry. Did that sound like a request?" Normal asked, eyeing her, and Alec couldn't help the amused smirk that appeared.
"This loser," she pointed at Alec, "can't figure out not to ride his bike in the middle of the road and I'm the one paying for it?"
"No," Normal shot back. "I am. As in paying your salary. Which we can easily change if I hear another word." He produced a large package as if out of thin air and pushed it into her arms. "Now, bip!"
Max's irritated glare landed on Alec. "I hate you."
"Your mouth says I hate you," Alec replied, "But your body says…"
"I'll kick your ass if you finish that sentence?" Max hefted the huge box and stalked toward the doors.
"Ok, yeah, that's a pretty close translation," Alec assured her. "I'm going to ignore that though. It might further scar my delicate psyche. I've been told I had a troubled childhood."
"Well, you're giving me a troubled adulthood," Max huffed.
He cupped a hand behind his ear like he was hard of hearing. "I'm sorry, I didn't catch that. I was ignoring you."
"I said you're an ass," Max snapped. "A-S-S. Tell that to your scarred psyche."
Alec laughed good-naturedly despite his continuing headache and followed her outside. He stood there while she got on her bike, struggling with the oversized package.
After watching her continue to fight with it for several more seconds, Alec finally took pity on her and grabbed the heavy box. "Come on. I'll carry it. This one's not going too far. Normal will never know the difference."
"I thought you were going home to take a shower." She wrinkled her nose in disgust. "I don't know what you fell in, but you stink."
Alec quirked an eyebrow. "You really know how to sweet talk a guy, Max. You sure Manticore didn't give you charm lessons?"
"Yeah," Max said. "It was right between Battle Tactics and Music Appreciation."
They turned the corner, Max on her motorcycle pacing him. Almost immediately they heard the roar of an engine. Alec turned just in time to see the car barreling toward them.
Close. It was too close. And it was the same car as before.
Alec had barely a second to push Max, bike and all, out of the way before the car hit him. He distantly registered it as he was flipped up, crashing into the windshield and then up and over as the car sped away.
The world around him was a quickly darkening haze, but he heard the bulky package he'd been carrying fall down next to him with the distinct sound of glass breaking. Normal was going to be pissed.
I was missing the show terribly for some reason and a little story popped out. We'll see where it goes.