Summary: There are some things Logan can never get, no matter how hard he tries. But Alec doesn't have to try. If you'd prefer something less vague: Max staggers into the Penthouse, injured and in pain, and Alec is with her.
Disclaimer: I own them. And I own the Winchester brothers. And the Serenity crew. Oh, wait, I don't? Awwww. Well, there you have it.
A burst of activity in the hall awoke Logan from his uneasy sleep and he jerked in surprise, sending the papers on his lap flying across the room. The door banged open, and two harried transgenics stumbled their way into his loft.
Stumbling wasn't a good sign, considering the genetically enhanced cat grace, and all.
Logan quickly straightened his glasses and rose blearily from his computer chair, exoskeleton whirring softly. He glanced at his watch, noting that it was almost 5:00 in the morning.
"Where have you guys been?" Logan asked as he encountered a haggard-looking Max and Alec. His voice was gravelly, but the concern was still evident. "You were supposed to check in after you finished. Is everything okay?"
"Nice of you to worry about me, Logan," Alec replied with an overly friendly smile, though his eyes were cold and hinted none of the teasing displayed in his voice.
Logan promptly ignored him. "Max?"
His gaze landed on her, and for the first time he realized that her arm was wrapped around Alec's waist, most of her weight was slumped against him.
"What happened?" He asked, immediately noting that she was severely favoring her left leg, around which a large white bandage was wrapped.
"She let herself get knifed by a guy," Alec grunted, and Logan shot him a fierce glare. Though as he did, he noticed the corner of Alec's eyes were crinkled worriedly and his brow was furrowed.
"You were supposed to be watching him," Max bit back, but her voice also held something deeper, something Logan couldn't place.
"If I hadn't been watching him, he'd have gotten your ribs," Alec replied without skipping a beat, and for the first time Logan noticed a thin but undoubtedly deep cut along Alec's neck, just to the right and curving slightly to meet his atom's apple. "Not my fault he moved faster than either of us thought."
She took a step forward, meaning to remove her weight from Alec's side and possibly glare, but her leg crumbled under her. Logan jumped forward and Max's eyes widened in horrified alarm, but at the same moment Alec moved unnaturally fast. He simultaneously caught her falling body and warded off Logan with an outstretched hand.
"I got her, Logan," Alec said sternly, and for a split second the concern peaked through his dilated green eyes. Then he frowned and glanced at Max. "Although she's just using this as an excuse to get up close and personal with her old buddy Alec."
Max growled and chose not to dignify his comment with a response.
"How deep is the wound? Did you get her to a hospital?" Logan questioned, his eyes melting in concern as he studied Max's pale face. How could Alec be so flippant?
Alec raised a brow. "Have you tried convincing Max to go to a hospital?"
Logan's gaze narrowed indignantly, "But if it's serious, she could end up—,"
"Would you stop talking about me as if I wasn't here?!" Max burst out angrily, and although neither of them had forgotten her demanding presence, both men turned to her and quieted all the same.
Or, Logan quieted. Alec couldn't quite manage it. "I patched her up fine," He responded as if there had been no interruption, shrugging and jarring Max slightly with the movement.
She glared. "Alec, put me down. I don't wanna be stuck leaning against you all night."
"Hmm, not the usual reaction," Alec said, smiling wolfishly at her and plainly indicating that most girls would just kill to be leaning up against him all night. Logan felt his hackles rise at the careless flirtation.
"Alec, set her down," The words were harsh, forced and protective, and any anger or amusement in Max's eyes quickly fled.
Alex released a long-suffering sigh and obligingly moved passed Logan, careful to keep a wide berth as he deposited Max in Logan's computer chair. Max shrugged carelessly out of her jacket, letting the material fall haphazardly to the floor as she sagged into the seat. Logan would probably have to throw the chair out and get a new one after this, but he was willing to make the sacrifice.
"What happened?" He asked again.
Alec and Max both rolled their eyes simultaneously, and the sight would have been humorous had the love of his life not been wounded.
"Max got cut up by one of the guards working the late shift." Alec stated, as if it were the most obvious thing in the world. He didn't mention the cut on his neck, and Logan didn't ask.
"Only because you didn't stop him soon enough," Max shot back, fire dancing in her eyes. Then her face went slack, her eyes widened and her lips pursed. The silent change indicated that she was in pain and trying hard to conceal it. Didn't work.
"Max," Logan said anxiously, kneeling to her level while still keeping a safe distance from her. "Look at me," He pleaded, worry strong in his tone. Her eyes remained stubbornly downcast.
"Suck it up, it's not that bad." Alec's sudden harshness had both Max and Logan's heads jerking up in surprise. Her eyes met Alec's and she glared heatedly, reaching up and smacking him square in the chest.
"Shut it, pretty boy." Max gritted through her teeth, but the grimace looked as if it had been caused by annoyance instead of pain. "I could still kick your ass."
"Only because I saved yours," He shot back, his voice even and indignant. Perhaps a little too even. Logan studied the male transgenic thoroughly and gradually found marks of concern; his eyes were dark, a frown was resolutely plastered on his face, and his jaw was clenched now that he wasn't speaking. So why was he acting so completely unsympathetic toward Max?
At the thought, Logan glanced back at her and felt his concern take over again, thoughts of Alec pushed out of his mind.
"Need anything? Something to eat or drink?"
Max shot him a look that was more of a painful scowl than anything. "No thanks, Logan, I'm just going to get back to my apartment and sleep it off."
"Oh, hell no. I have to cart you all the way over there, and you're not passing out and making it harder on me." Alec nodded to Logan, indicating for him to get her something. She huffed and crossed her arms over her chest.
"You are such a whiner," She replied. "I doubt I would even pass out."
"Really? You're looking a little pale there, princess." It should have been harsh, but it wasn't. Something cracked just a bit, and Logan saw how Max's gaze quickly darted toward Alec's face. Logan forced himself to continue into the kitchen and get her something.
He returned a few minutes later and found Max still in his chair, elbows resting on her knees and head bowed so that her silky hair drifted over her face. Logan glanced at Alec, ready to ask for help getting the food to Max, but his breath caught in surprise. Alec was staring at Max with an expression that only could be described as tender. Logan cleared his throat, wary and slightly afraid of the look, wanting it to disappear.
And it did. Alec's face immediately shifted as he grinned arrogantly and raised a brow. "Finally. Now would you please feed her so I can go home?"
Logan shot him an annoyed look, Alec's surliness pushing him over the edge. "I can't go near her, you idiot."
Alec returned the look with equal animosity and then grabbed the simple sandwich and glass of water. He walked the few steps to Max's side and held the plate out to her, almost like a peace offering. She glanced at his face and then did something so out of character that it nearly stunned Logan.
She smiled. At Alec. It wasn't a smirk, or a triumphant grin because she'd just won an argument. It was an honest, sweet, thankful smile. The kind of smile that she rarely even flashed Logan.
She took a few large, hurried bites of the sandwich, obviously needing the fuel. Then she chugged down the water and stood up suddenly, placing the plate and glass carelessly on Logan's desk.
"Take me home," She said, her voice tired. Both Logan and Alec nodded, and Logan felt a pressure settle over his heart as she realized that she was yet again looking at Alec. Talking to Alec. "And don't just stand there; I need help. It's your fault, anyway."
Alec scoffed, but wrapped his arm around her waist all the same. Logan's instincts were telling him to order Alec off of her, but the more intelligent part of him knew Alec was just giving support; Max would have reacted if it was more. At least, Logan assumed she would have.
Alec helped Max hobble to the door, their combined gate slow and painful-looking. Logan could tell the injury took a lot out of her, even though she was trying to put up a brave front. And yet she was allowing Alec to witness the small amount of weakness by accepting his help, which completely baffled Logan. What had happened to their almost hateful relationship? Not too long ago, every word Max had spoken about Alec had been scornful and dripping with sarcasm. What had changed?
"Alec, my jacket." Max's voice whispered through the apartment, and Logan glanced at his desk. Sure enough, her jacket was still resting in a pile of fabric on the floor.
"Just come back and get it some other time." Alec replied, opening the door. Max didn't say anything, but she must have been giving Alec a death glare because a second later he sighed and came back into view. Logan wondered if she wanted to get it now so that she wouldn't have to come back later. She'd been trying hard to stay away from him since their last close call, and she'd been doing an admittedly good job of it. She'd only helped out tonight because he had nearly begged her to do it.
Alec shrugged his shoulders at Logan and picked up the black leather jacket, folding it over his arm. He turned to walk away, but Logan stopped him.
"Take care of her, okay?" He said, his voice managing to sound plaintive and slightly hostile at once. Alec's gaze narrowed, but he just nodded and then walked back toward the front door. Logan followed him and waved at Max, who was leaning against the doorframe with an impatient look on her face.
"Who knew you were this needy?" Alec complained as she shot him a frustrated glare. Max grabbed his arm, and Logan could see she had an unnecessarily tight grip on it as she steadied herself. "Or this touchy-feely? And not in the way I imagined, either." Alec added, wincing.
With that, they both walked through the door and slammed it behind them. Their voices echoed as they walked down the hall and then faded into nothingness as they stepped onto the elevator. And just like that, Logan was alone again. Alone and worried.
Not for Max, because he knew Alec would get her home safe. The injury was serious, but she had incredible healing abilities and would most likely be alright within the next couple of days. No, he was worried because he knew Alec would get her home safe.
Logan hadn't seen the two interact in a while, but clearly something had shifted in that amount of time. And it was big. Whether either of them realized it or not, their relationship was changing into something much more serious. And Logan – who couldn't even offer a helping hand when the love of his life was wounded – didn't like it at all.
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