Blah blah, Kiss kiss, part 12
by pari106

Rating: PG-13; Disclaimer: See chapter One.

A/N: Okay, kiddos, this is it! The very end…until the sequel ;) If I can ever get to it.
Hope you liked it!

Blah blah, Kiss kiss, part 12: Max's POV
by pari106

"I always wondered how I'd react if Zack were captured.

Even when we were children, before I knew I loved him, before I knew
about love, I knew how much he meant to me. But then, he meant so
much to all of us – all the X5s. I knew it would hurt if something
happened to him.

Or so I thought.

I knew nothing.

I had no idea anything could be as painful.

Seeing Zack captured destroyed a little part of me. It didn't hurt. It felt
like someone took away my sould, but it didn't hurt. Because that isn't
pain. Pain doesn't come close.

Pain I can do.

Cause I'm a survivor, right? I'm a fucking soldier. I survive. Maybe it's
the way I'm made, or the way I was trained. Or maybe it just comes from
years of making it alone in this fucked up world. I don't know. But I

But when I walked out of that police station and I saw what "perp" had
confessed…when I saw Zack…

There were three soldiers walking with him. Three more at the jeep that
took him away, all armed to the teeth. Smart men. Trying to take Zack in
with anything less than an assault rifle would have been suicidal. But he
wasn't resisting. He just let those soldiers lead him away. His head was
held high, his expression neutral. No fear; no concern; no anything, really.
A good soldier. And he was walking with that same swagger that was
always in his walk, only now it was more pronounced because he was
trying not to trip over the chains around his ankles…

Fuck, they had chains around his ankles. Around his wrists. I swear to
God, nothing has ever hurt me worse than seeing those chains on Zack.
They might as well have put chains on his soul. That's what they'd done
really. Those chains were little links of metal keeping him from taking off.
They were the physical embodiement of everything Zack had ever hated;
everything he'd ever despised; everything he'd ever been ready to give his
life to avoid. They were the physical embodiement of the loss of his
freedom – the thing he valued most.

When I walked out of the station and saw Zack, all I could think about was
the way his face had looked sitting there in the cabin, in front of the fire.
The way he'd looked when he'd described his first morning as a free man.
I'd seen it in his eyes then, how much his freedom meant to him. How
he'd die before he'd ever give it up again.

But he hadn't died. He hadn't run. He hadn't left me to the foolish fate
I'd secured by returning to Seattle. And he hadn't fought the guards as
they led him away. He *had* given up his freedom. For me. He was
giving up everything I'd seen shining in his eyes that night, all for me.

At that moment, when I walked out there and saw Zack, I didn't want to
survive anymore. I wasn't a soldier any longer. Genetics and training and
experience didn't mean shit. I didn't want to survive. I wanted to die.

I don't even know what happened after that. I can vaguely remember
Logan's friend, Matt, talking to me, looking concerned, warning me not to
do somethig. What could I have been trying to do? I don't know. Maybe
anything. My sanity left me then.

Maybe I was trying to run after Zack? I remember how Zack didn't fight.
Not once. He just let those soldiers lead him away…until he saw me.

He looked up at me. He just suddenly looked up and our eyes met. And I
don't know what I did or tried to do, but suddenly he railed against his
chains. He fought hard enough to knock all six guards to the ground, and I
remember they had to wrestle him into the jeep.

I remember wanting to scream. Wanting to run after them, wanting to kill,
wanting to die. They couldn't take him. Dear God, they couldn't just take
him. They couldn't take him back to Manticore and strip away everything
he'd spent his entire life trying to protect. They couldn't strip away his
freedom. They couldn't take away what I'd seen in his eyes that night in
the cabin.

And that's the last thing I remember before waking up in the lobby at
Metro Medical. I guess Sung must have brought me and I must have
passed out, and sure enough, there was Bling, beside me, telling me just

All I did was nod.

I don't think he even asked me anything, but I nodded. That's all I could

That's when I went numb. All the pain and the anger and the love and the
hate inside me had just overloaded all those fucked up, genetically
engineered senses of mine, and I was numb.

So I just nodded, and went to see Logan.

Afterwards, when I could, I went in to work. I don't know why. Perhaps
for the lack of anywhere else to go where I wouldn't feel the pain beneath
the numbness. I feel it wherever I go, whatever I do. So might as well feel
it at work, huh? Make Normal happy.

As if the prick deserves it. He even had the gall to speak to me when I
went in. But he backed off pretty easy. Good thing, considering the fact
that he tried to turn me in for murder. But it's no matter, I guess. I'm not
really angry at him. Boy's gotta make a buck, right? Besides I'm too
angry at myself to find the time.

And that's when it happened.

I saw the t.v. set there in the Jam Pony lounge, and the news report that
was airing just as I prepared for my first run. A news report. About a
helicopter crash.

Zack's helicopter crashed.

It's funny, the things we remember.

Like outside the police station, I don't remember a single thing I said or
did. But I remember every move Zack made. I remember every second
our eyes remained in contact before his jeep drove out of sight, or I lost the
ability to watch, whichever. I remember watching him walk towards that
jeep, and I remember every single step he took. Every step he took away
from freedom. Away from me.

I don't remember what I ate this morning, or any morning since that day.
Or even if I've slept in all this time. But I remember every moment of my
time with Zack. I remember every word spoken, every look, every smile,
every laugh. Every touch and every kiss. I remember the feel of him and
the taste of him and the scent of him, and I cannot fucking figure whether
that's a good thing or bad. Because remembering is the only thing that
keeps me sane, but it's also the biggest bitch because remembering is all I
can do now.

It's funny, the things we remember.

While I watched that news report, all these memories suddenly flashed
through my brain. Every memory I ever had of Zack. As a child, later, as
a man. That night at the cabin; the morning after. Watching the soldiers
take him away. It all flashed through my mind at once. And even being a
soldier trained in the topography and geography of America's most
populated states, including Washington, I couldn't remember a damn thing
about where the reporter said Zack's helicopter crashed. In that moment, I
couldn't remember anything. Except for my memories of Zack. My
memories of every single thing about him. Every word he'd ever spoken.
Every expression I'd ever seen on his face.

And it sounded crazy. That news reporter sounded crazy. She was talking
about a "wanted criminal"; "no survivors". She wasn't talking about Zack.
She wasn't talking about a boy who risked his ass with his colonel just to
bring his baby sister a red balloon. She wasn't talking about a man who
spent his every moment risking his ass for the only family he'd ever
known. She wasn't talking about a man with brothers and sisters, with a
woman who loved him more than anything, with a mission and a stubborn
streak and a gorgeous smile…

I didn't go on any runs that day. I didn't go home. I didn't go to Logan's.

I came straight here – to "the high place". Up here on the Space Needle.
I've been here ever since.

I came here to think and to mourn and, maybe, now, after all this time to

Zack always said he'd rather die than go back.

And maybe I'm just soothing myself. Or maybe I just know Zack and
what he's capable of. But I can't help thinking that maybe Logan was
right. That maybe Zack's out there, somewhere.

That maybe, if he is, then one day he'll come back for me. Give me the
chance not to leave this time. To show him how not to leave.

So here I am, back in this broken city…

And as long as I'm here, he will always know where to find me.

The End

…(for now ;)