Note: This is set after Freak Nation. It's going to be M/A eventually, I think. It is NOT a crossover.

Don't own Dark Angel.

Max watched the action unfold below her. It was surprising. Not the fight, but who was winning. She had never really watched Alec fight before, but he was good. Really good. He didn't do the aerial stuff like she did, but he was very fast and changed his tactics to compensate for his opponent so fluidly it was startling. She toyed with the idea of challenging him. She dismissed the idea though. They had become friends and she didn't want to create any more bad blood between them. It had only been a few months since the siege and things were still dangerous. She needed Alec there. Not just as a second, though, which is what he had technically become. Everyone liked Alec. He was so good at smoothing things over and he seemed to be the only one who could calm some of the more hot-headed people here. Also, she sometimes thought that Alec kept her sane. When being locked up in here with nowhere to go, not being able to be around Logan, and having to be constantly aware of danger she sometimes thought that it would drive her stark raving mad. Trading mild insults or watching a movie or TV or just having a drink with Alec and sometimes Joshua were her only breaks from the constant stress. Alec lived with Joshua again in one of the buildings that they had turned into mildly livable. Joshua had become just as protective and brotherly to Alec as he had to Max, and she was glad for it. Alec needed someone to look out for him. Her gaze lingered back to him. He had won the fight and was chatting with Mole. He clapped Mole and started towards her. Vaulting up next to her and sitting down.

"Hey, Maxie."

"It's Max." She said. He jumped, startled. She frowned at him.

"What's wrong?"

"Nothing." He said, leaning a little against the railing and staring out for a moment. She studied him for a moment, and for the first time noticed there were dark circles under his eyes.


"I'm fine." He said a little to sharply. Then he rubbed his forehead. "Sorry." Max shrugged, really worried now. She really hoped that he was just a little stir-crazy. God knew, she was. She was really glad they were closer friends now. A year ago, he definitely wouldn't have apologized for snapping at her. She snapped out of her thoughts when he went to get up.

"Alec." He turned to her, a look of foreboding on his face, and she had to fight down another grin. She could practically see his thoughts.

"Look, if you ever want to talk, I'm here." His eyes widened only a fraction before going back to that impassive look.

"Thanks." He said, walking away. She smiled a little, still worried.

Alec lay on his stomach in bed, flipping the channels on the old TV. He knew he should sleep, but he really didn't want to. He could hear Joshua snoring in the next room. He'd been having weird dreams lately. He was also a little confused with himself. Mostly with his reaction to Max when she'd told him not to call her Maxie. What the hell was weird about that? She'd told him not to call her that a hundred times. He sighed.

"Fuck it." He said quietly, throwing the remote on the couch. He needed to sleep.

Alec twitched in his sleep when the dream started. It didn't focus on one thing, just skipped around a lot.

He was little. Running through the house, when someone grabbed him, lifting him up. He wasn't scared though, as the person set him on his hip and tickled his sides...

He sat in a kitchen. Someone was in the room with him and he could smell something baking...

He felt a hand reach out and smack him upside the head. He looked up...

He sat on the stairs, listening to them fight. He felt tears making tracks down his face...

His hands were on her throat, squeezing. Anger surged through him. She struggled to breathe, to get him off her. He felt satisfaction grow when her struggles weakened and stopped "I'm sorry, Janey..."

Alec woke up with a start. He looked around, feeling slightly panicked. What the hell was that? He reached up and ran a hand across his face and felt wetness on his cheeks. He stopped short and stared at his hands.

Note: Argh. I'm not totally happy with this chapter. Especially the Max POV stuff. But I needed a way for her to watch him and get her thoughts on him.