Title: From A to Z

General Rating: T

Specific Ratings: A-K+, B-T, C-M, D-T

Pairing: M/A

General Disclaimer: Dark Angel does not belong to me.

Specific Disclaimer: 'Annie Get Your Gun' song doesn't belong to me, I was inspired by an MA You Tube video. Also, the line from Supernatural totally doesn't belong to me, I just thought Alec would like pie as much as Dean.

Author's Note: I'm working on my other fics, I just get these urges to write one-shots and I grouped them together with alphabetical prompts. Most are AU, some more so than others, but I hope you enjoy them all. Please read and review. I love me some reviews.

Max and Alec: From A to Z

Anything

"Mission accomplished." Alec plopped down in the chair across from Max's desk. "We got needles, drugs, bandages…whatever Doc's little heart desired."

"And it only took you four hours." She was unimpressed.

"We had to consecutively hit nine different hospitals, in ten different sectors, avoiding the law, hostile mobs, and hot nurses, on a Friday, when everyone's particularly stupid." He flashed a grin, "Like you could've done better."

"Oh, I could've."

"Uh-huh."

Max bristled, "Anything you can do, I can do better."

"Please."

"You know its true Alec. I can do anything better than you."

"No, you can't."

"Yes, I can."

"No, you can't."

"Yes, I can."

"Fine. Prove it." He leaned back in the chair, "Let's start now. I can hit a target dead center, with one bullet. How about you?"

"You know I don't use guns. That's not a valid issue."

"Of course it's valid, you said anything," he argued.

"Not guns."

"Then I guess I win this round, thanks for playing. We can give it another go tomorrow." And he was gone before Max could yell at him.

On Saturday he offered, "I can live on bread and cheese."

Her eyebrow rose at the randomness. "And only on that?"

"Yep."

"So can a rat."

"Hey!" They turned to stare at the offended party. It was Mouse, who had an abundance of rat DNA and very little imagination.

"Sorry."

On Sunday, he announced, "I can get that shipment of food for $650."

"I can get it cheaper," Max shot back, "$575."

"$500."

"$450."

"No, you can't," he protested

"Yes, I can."

"Fine, I'll leave it to you." Alec sauntered away, whistling as Max tried to figure out what had just happened.

"Damn it, Alec!" she shouted after him.

On Monday, after a particularly heinous day, they met at the bar someone had decided was essential to TC's residents and he challenged, "I can drink my liquor faster than a flicker."

"What the hell's a flicker?" she asked, gesturing for a beer.

"Really fast," he grinned, downing his scotch.

"Well, I can drink it quicker. And get even sicker."

"We can't get sick, or drunk," he pointed out, "And I don't think 'sicker' is proper word."

"If we could, I'd definitely get more sick." She downed her mug and decided that was the end of that.

On Tuesday, he declared, "I can open any safe."

"Without getting caught?" Max asked, smirking.

"Sure."

"That's what I thought you'd say. You crook."

"Like you haven't done it," he contended

"Stealing is wrong."

"Sure, 'cause that's what you were saying last week when we lifted that painting from old man Smith's gallery."

"Shut up."

On Wednesday, she took the initiative, "Anything you wear, I can wear better. In what you wear, I'd look better than you." She was trying to convince herself that he didn't look absolutely mouth-watering in the leather jacket, because he was Alec, and eww.

"In my coat?"

"In your shirt."

He grinned, "In my boxers?"

"Yes."

Alec started stripping immediately, offering her his clothes. "Well, go on."

Refusing to back down, and ignoring naked Alec and the denizens of TC roaming through Command, she grabbed the offered clothing and ran to her office. Five minutes later she trooped back out, looking small in his oversized clothed. "Well?"

He gave a lop-sided smile, "Point to you."

On Thursday, he shared, "I can knit a sweater." At her look, he elaborated, "I did bodyguard duty for a couple months for the President's mother. Sweet little lady, but she insisted that if I was going to be around, I would learn to do something useful with myself other than hovering."

Max smiled at the picture he presented, "Well, I can fill it better." Although his lithe form had been broadening with the manual labor starting a small city required, and he looked completely scrumptious in the green sweater that had come in the last shipment, and what was she thinking?

On Friday it had been a week since they started the little contest and he asked, "Can you bake a pie?"

She thought for a minute about lying, "No."

He sighed, "Neither can I."

"Then why'd you ask?"

"I wanted some pie. Hey," he perked up, grabbing her hand and hauling her down the road, "Let's stop at Gem's, she always has pie."

"What's with the pie?"

Another smile was shot back at her, "I love me some pie. Besides, I bet I can eat more than you."

"No, you can't!" And she sped up, trying to beat him to Gem's little bakery.

On Saturday, they had a day off from the joys of running a nation and were relaxing on top of their apartment building. The roof of which was Max's new High Place. "So, who won?" Alec asked, sitting up to look at her.

She sat up as well, angling her body to face him and considered him. She finally leaned forward, catching his lips with her own. When she pulled back, he was looking dazed and it took him several moments to find his voice. "I did."

He blinked, "How do you figure?" He sounded a little breathless and she smiled.

"Obviously I kiss better than you."

Another blink and his hazel eyes sharpened. "Like hell."

And then he was kissing her and she felt all those muscles she hadn't been dreaming about pressed against her and she felt her body going pliant, molding into his, and then she remembered that he had ten years of training on her and could probably hold his breath longer. The sneak.

When he finally released her lips, she was panting, trying to follow them even as she tried to get her vocal cords working and catch her breath. Her fingers clutched his jacket and she gaped when he grinned cockily at her.

"Oh, I totally won!"

Even if her ability to articulate was gone, her hands worked just fine, and she smacked him upside the head. "Ass," she murmured.

"Always have to get the last word, don'tcha Maxie?" he inquired softly, rubbing his head even as he lowered it back down to hers.

Brick

He was feeling a little offended, especially when she went from an incredulous stare to openly laughing at his offer. Max never laughed. "What?" he demanded.

"Oh my God, you're serious?" At least she had stopped laughing.

"Of course I'm serious."

"What makes you think I'd want you as my mate?" she challenged, voice tinged with her outraged amusement.

Alec sighed, putting on his most charming grin. "C'mon, Maxie, everyone knows you want my ass." She scoffed and turned to go. "Wait." He let the smile drop as she turned to look at him again, expression closed. "Look, you're an 09er, but you've declared yourself leader of our little Freak Nation, so you have to play in the Manticore world."

"What that's supposed to mean?" Her tone was hard, but he could see the confusion in her eyes.

"It means that you're an unmated female trying to be alpha. X-5 females don't do that, Max. You want to be in a position of power, want to pull rank, you need someone at your back."

"You have my back," Max responded immediately, flushing.

He felt genuine smile flash across his face at the revelation, "I know that, and I'm glad you recognize that, but I have no formal claim. I have no right to challenge those who try to take your position…who try to take you."

"Me?"

"Those heat suppressors only work for a year before you need a booster," her eyes were wide now, "We don't have the facilities to make those drugs right now. When you go into heat, you'll be vulnerable without a pre-chosen mate."

"I'll fight it," she whispered.

He could hear the tinge of desperation and felt himself starting to get angry at her naiveté. "Think Max," he said harshly, grabbing her arms to shake her, "You think you're gonna hide out in the middle of Terminal City, spraying pheromones everywhere, and fight against your instincts when there are a hundred transgenic males pounding on your door?!"

She had grasped his forearms to stop the shaking. She looked up at him, just realizing how serious he was being about this, how upset he was. Max wasn't sure when the conversation had gone from humorous to crucial. "What about Logan?"

Alec's green eyes went blank, and Max wanted to take the question back. "Logan's an Ordinary, Max. He has no business in X-5 politics and power plays, no matter how much you try to include him. He can't protect you. Hell," and anger seeped back into his voice, "he can't even touch you!"

She wanted to slap him. "This conversation is over."

"Fine." He released her from his hold. "But you need to make a decision soon and my offer still stands."

"Alec…"

Great, apparently he hadn't done such a good job of hiding his hurt. "I've gotta finalize plans for the supply run tomorrow." He gestured toward the door to her office, "See ya around, Maxie."

"Alec."

He turned at the door, watching her try to find something to say. "Max…just think about it okay. You know me. You trust me," he quirked her his smirk, "to an extent. Or would you rather it be a stranger? Someone like Rand or Brick?"

Max's thoughts raced. It had always been a stranger. Some guy she hooked up with in a bar or on the road. A night of heat-fueled sex and it was all over but the crying. Here, in this place, surrounded by her people, her heat would lead her to be mated to a male for life. Would she really want it to be a stranger? Someone she knew in passing…

Rand worked in the reconstruction division, helping to make TC habitable. He was funny, cute, and smart, but she wasn't attracted to him. Slice ran TC's entertainment center. He was sweet, sunny, and knew how to make a girl laugh, but she couldn't imagine him in her bed. Brick was second to Mole in security, he was a combat model; tall, dark, handsome, full of muscles…He'd indicated more than once that he wanted her. But she also knew he wanted to be leader of TC, would likely treat her as the submissive in the relationship.

She needed a partnership, an equal. "No."

"Max?"

"No, not a stranger." She took a deep breath and met his gaze. Those stupidly long lashes of his were blinking with incomprehension. "How do we do this?"

Alec thought his heart might leap out of his chest. She was looking at him, those big brown eyes determined, and he felt himself go a little weak. She was actually agreeing to this, to be his mate. He could do this. He could handle this. "I'll come over tonight," he said, exuding a confidence he didn't feel at the moment.

"Okay."

"Okay. Later then." And he was out the door, hoping his legs didn't give out until he reached his own dilapidated office.

Cold

"This is stupid," Max stated, rubbing her hands together. Her brother looked up at her and shrugged, dragging their third party toward the fire in the small two room cabin. "Why'd we get stuck with that idiot anyway?"

"He saved your life," Ben countered, a little offended. His twin lay unconscious, unable to defend himself against Max's verbal onslaught.

The mission had been simple; infiltrate a small Alaskan genetics company and see if they could be of use to Manticore. 494 was to be a new computer tech, as he had the highest scores in hacking and comp skills on any base, 452 was to pose as a geneticist they had just hired, while 493 was surveillance and intelligence.

It had been going well until one of the many beefy security guards had taken a liking to Max and not accepting the very concise 'No way in hell' she given, had tried to press his luck. She'd practically handed him his head on a silver platter, breaking her cover, and 494 had been forced to break his own to pull her out of trouble.

They were quick, and smart. X-5's always were, and they'd led their pursuers on a merry chase while heading to the small shack where Ben was stationed. 494 had fallen through the ice while shooting at their last tail, preventing the enemy from getting a shot off at 452, but even his high body heat and stamina hadn't saved him from the effects of the cold water.

Max had dragged him all the way to where 493 waited, letting Ben handle his twin while she warmed her hands by the fire. "Is he waking up?"

"Maxie…" Ben trailed off, checking 494's pulse rate. The other man was shivering, breath short and uneven. "He's turning blue."

"What?" Max was by her brother's side immediately. "Get me a blanket," she ordered and Ben headed for the tiny bedroom he'd been using. Max got to work on 494's clothes, removing the wet garments and fought the urge to rub the exposed skin, unwilling to cause any further tissue damage.

"Here." Snatching the blanket, she cocooned the other soldier. "It's not working, we need more." She wasn't that fond of the guy's cocky attitude, as unlike Ben's sweet demeanor as possible, but she didn't want to lose a fellow X-5, even if he wasn't a unit mate. "Go in the other room."

"What?"

She pulled her outer things off and started on her second layer of clothes. Once she was down to her thermal long johns, she realized Ben still hadn't left. "Ben!" she said, "Go in the other room!"

"Why are you taking your clothes off?"

She felt a blush rise, never able to keep up the Manticore mask with her favorite sibling, "Body heat."

His eyes widened when he realized what she was saying, "Maxie, no!"

"Did you want to do it?" she asked stridently. Ben shuddered at the thought of being pressed naked against the other man, even though, and maybe especially because, they were clones. "I didn't think so." He set his mouth in a grim line and retired to his bedroom.

Max had never been naked with a man before. She knew it was important in the outside world, to people who weren't Manticore. Knew what nakedness often led to in the real world. On the base females were sequestered during their heat cycles; showers, while coed, were only taken with your own unit and everyone kept their distance; on a mission, even though she had been taught the fine art of seduction, she was normally able to pull off an assignment without it going too far.

So this was new; her warm body against his cold one, her soft curves against his hard muscles, and her flesh against his flesh. Max wrapped herself around him tightly, willing him to live. After losing Eva on a mission two years ago, she and her unit had been scrupulous about losing no one else, leaving no man behind, even if they were smart aleck assassins who refused to listen to anyone but themselves.

494 thought he might be dead. That he might be in what the guards called 'heaven' because he was warm and he felt incredibly safe. And that smell…he took a deep breath, feeling the tickle of hair brush against his nose. What? Opening his eyes took effort, and he found himself staring at a wooden ceiling.

The last thing he remembered was coldness seeping into his bones and the look on 452's face when the bullet went whizzing by her. He shifted and heard a little groan. Surprised, he tilted his head downward to see the source of warmth and scent and hair. 452 was tangled around him. Naked, he realized.

He grinned, perfectly content to take advantage of the situation. 452 was gorgeous, even by Manticore standards, and he had none of the brotherly feelings toward her that his twin had displayed.

Hands stroked, and he maneuvered her beneath him, erection straining as it brushed against her. His lips caressed soft skin, and felt her arch up against him, moaning in her sleep. 494 sent a quick thank you to Lola in Kezmekistan for teaching him all the ways a woman could be aroused, and focused on making 452 whimper again.

"What?" Her voice was soft as her big brown eyes fluttered open. "What are you…Oh, oh, please…"

Her lips were chapped, but they clung to his, and he couldn't help but enjoy the sensation. "Open just a little bit more, 452," he ordered gently, nudging at her legs.

"We…You can't," she protested, even as she followed his direction, allowing him to sink down between her warm thighs and surge up into her heat. "Oh! Blue Lady!"

The exclamation was odd, but even odder was the fact that she was a virgin. Apparently 452 hadn't taken advantage of mission downtimes for fun. And even more odd than that was that the fact left him feeling very satisfied.

"I saved your ass, 452." He smirked lazily as she looked up at him, eyes a little dazed at the feel of him moving in her. "In some cultures, that would mean you belong to me." Her eyes flashed and he chuckled, moving a little faster, and her retort was cut off with a gasp.

A creak of a door had 494's head up, searching for the threat, and he met the eyes of 493. Wide hazel stared back, taking in the scene with alarm. 494 let out a low growl of warning, 452 was his, but it was 452 herself that caused his twin to retreat back into the other room. She reached up, wrapping her arms around his neck and tugging him back down to continue his assault on her lips and body.

Later, she pushed his collapsed form off of her and looked down into his face that was so much like Ben's and yet completely different. "So, I saved you from dying of hypothermia." She drew a finger down his torso and straddled his rapidly responsive lower half. "Does that mean you're mine now?"

"Baby," 494 replied, "Let's call it even."

"Sounds fair." She ground down, eliciting a groan, and Max smiled. "And don't call me 'baby'."

Daughter

"494."

Alec forced himself not to snap to attention. "Deck," he drawled, hoping he sounded casual as he met the gaze of the Colonel with insolence, "its Alec."

"So I've heard." The older man studied the transgenic, amused at his obvious attempt at nonchalance. 493's twin was not what he had expected. "Max named you?"

"She insisted upon it."

"It seems to have stuck."

494 shrugged, "I like it better than Dick."

Deck chuckled, ignoring the surprise that 494 quickly masked, "Her second choice I assume."

"You'd assume correctly."

"I just wanted to thank you for the rescue, son."

"I'm not your son," the young man replied immediately, voice harsh.

"No," Deck agreed, "But Max is the closest thing I have to a daughter."

Green eyes blinked, "Max hates you."

"Something I regret, but children don't always agree with their parents." 494 didn't respond, just watched him warily. "She has some of my late wife's DNA."

That got a reaction, eyes widening, flashing with distaste. "You sick bastard."

"So I've been told," he said amicably. "I'm going overseas to aide in the search for Dr. Sandeman."

"Are you expecting gratitude?"

"No," Deck said sharply, "I'm expecting you to look after my daughter."

494 finally moved from his lounging seat, standing up to get in the Colonel's face. "I always have Maxie's back," he hissed, eyes now narrow, "I don't need orders."

"I thought not," Donald smiled, "Young men rarely need orders to protect the girl they love."

The statement had 494 reeling away, expression cornered. "Are you sure that snake venom didn't fry your brain, Deck?"

His smile grew, "Cale's an idiot, 494. I'm asking you to keep her safe from him as well as the outside world."

"She won't welcome my interference with Logan."

"Then you'd best be subtle. I heard you were very good at such things back at Manticore, a high success rate on solo missions…"

"This isn't an assassination."

"No," he agreed, "but you'll still be on your own." Lydecker scrutinized the young X-5 and decided he liked what he saw. Even more so now, then when the transgenic had hauled him out of the cell the Familiars had held him captive in for months. "I'm trusting you with my little girl, son, can you handle the responsibility?"

Spine and shoulders straightened and Alec met the Colonel's gaze openly. "Sir, yes, sir."

TBC…