A/N: **sigh** I apologize in advance for this one. Was actually thinking about turning it into a smut fic, but I rather liked the ending. We'll see how I feel tomorrow, maybe I'll still consider writing a smutty add on ending. It's just a silly no plot, no brainer.

The reason for my apology is that I'm just starting to struggle with voices now.. and OC was a hard voice to pick for a first try! LOL I'm getting there tho.. at least this isn't an inner monologue.. :P See my next fic for that. :P Sorry if there are no karaoke bars in the future, call it poetic license. :P

The song Max sings is Bent by Matchbox 20.

I don't own 'em, never have never will, I just like to borrow them and mutate their inner voices now and again.

Again this is to be set at some funky future date, of course to your discretion. Please assume Logan is healed by this point.


****************


Bent

By: Danae Bowen



"Girl, I don't know why I let you talk me into these things. Seriously, karaoke? Who does that anymore?"

"Just you sit there, Original Cindy knows what she's doin'." Cindy glanced around the dark bar, keeping an eye on the door.

"Expecting someone?" Max frowned. Her head was hurting from the off key singing of some strangely tattooed man. He was attempting to sing "Pour Some Sugar On Me", by an old rock band, Def Leppard. Never having actually heard the song, Max was left only to assume that the original band had actually carried a tune.

"Never mind, watch the stage." Again Cindy's eyes flickered to the door.

Max's eyes rolled and she ran her tongue over her teeth before twisting in her seat to face her friend. "Okay, spill."

"What?"

"Girl, either you done something or you're expecting to, and I gotta know now. M'I gonna regret coming out here tonight?"

"How many times I gotta tell you? Trust Original Cindy, and she won't lead you wrong."

"Why doesn't that make me feel better?"

"You got no faith, girl!" Another glance to the door made Cindy's eyes light up. She grinned. "Thank me later."

Max felt the flutter in her chest moments before her mind recognized Logan standing in the doorway, glancing around the room, looking completely out of place. Max quickly narrowed her eyes at Cindy, before getting to her feet to rescue her drowning friend.

She made her way towards him slowly, suddenly shy, tugging at the tight red tank top Cindy had talked her into wearing. She chewed her lower lip nervously the closer she got to him, and then, when she was only a few feet away, their eyes met. Against her will a slight red tinge stained Max's cheeks, and she glanced down before flashing him a sweet smile. Her fingers played uneasily against the tight skirt she wore as she forced her voice to normalize.

"Hey."

"Hey, yourself."

"Wasn't expecting to see you here tonight."

"Wasn't expecting to come."

"Why did you?"

Logan shrugged. "Got to thinking that I had nothing better to do tonight. Besides, Cindy said you were going to sing. Figured I couldn't miss that."

Max blinked. "Cindy said what?"

Her curse was lost in the groan of the crowd as the Def Leppard wannabe finished his song, and began an evil rendition of "Animal".

Max turned on her heel and stalked through the onlookers back to their table. Logan half laughed to himself, his hand coming up to brush a limp spike of hair out of one of his eyes before he followed her.

After a quick nod to Cindy, Logan settled into the chair next to Max, matching her look of horror as his eyes traveled to the stage. When the audience broke into half-hearted applause for the man's effort, the trio looked at each other and Cindy rolled her eyes.

"Dogg needs ta seek help."

Max groaned. "It's downright mean to applaud."

Logan laughed. "Was worse having to listen."

Max flashed Logan another shy smile, which caused Logan's face to light up that much more. Cindy raised an eyebrow and got to her feet. "You kiddies stay here and chat, Original Cindy's gonna set up her next surprise."

"I'm not singing!"

"Uhhuh, just you never mind." With that Cindy turned on her heel and walked up to the DJ to go through the available music.

Taking advantage of the overly loud next performer, Logan leaned in closer to Max. "So, you going to chicken out?"

Max scowled. "I was never in."

Logan shrugged. "Hey, if you're scared, I understand."

"I am not scared."

"If you weren't scared, you'd sing."

"What makes you even think I can sing?"

Logan grinned and lowered his voice to make sure only she could hear. "Aren't you supposed to be perfect?"

Max's scowl deepened. "Will you get outta my face if I do?"

Knowing that he won, Logan merely smiled, his blue eyes sparkling at her mischievously.

She sighed. "Whatever."

Cindy came back through the crowd, sashaying up to the table. "Guess who's next?"

"I already gathered that." Max got to her feet. "What am I singing?"

"You know it, girl, just go on up there and have fun!"

"Yeah, that'll happen."

Looking miserable, Max made her way up to the stage, muttering her name to the DJ. He handed her a sheet of lyrics to look over, and as she read the song, she lifted her head in surprise. Cindy met her gaze straight on, and Max's shoulders slumped, defeated.

She could take on killers, she could kick a robot's ass, she could sneak her way past an entire army, but somehow, tonight, her friends had outmaneuvered her.

The lights in the bar dimmed, a spotlight coming to rest upon Max's frame as she stood in front of the faceless dozens that stared up at her. Calming her rapid heartbeat, Max focused in on Logan and Cindy who sat fascinated by their young friend.

The music started, and Max took a deep breath before the words she had memorized mere moments before came to her lips.

"If I fall along the way
Pick me up and dust me off.
And if I get too tired to make it
Be my breath so I can walk."

Of their own accord Max's eyes caught Logan's gaze and held it. The other listeners in the room faded away as she continued to sing, only now she was singing for one person.

"If I need some other love
Give me more than I can stand
And when my smile gets old and faded
Wait around I'll smile again

Shouldn't be so complicated
Just hold me and then
Just hold me again"

Her voice carried the old tune perfectly, her lips curved in a small smile as she drew confidence from Logan's awed gaze. He'd never seen her look so beautiful as she did that moment, and her words drove into his heart.

"Can you help me I'm bent
I'm so scared that I'll never
Get put back together
Keep breaking me in
And this is how we will end
With you and me bent."

Without realizing it, Max began moving her hips, as she sang, in a slow, rhythmic motion, unable to stop herself from feeling the emotions behind the words. Logan's breath caught in his chest, her every movement burning into his mind. This was one night he would never forget.

"If I couldn't sleep could you sleep
Could you paint me better off
Could you sympathize with my needs
I know you think I need a lot

I started out clean but I'm jaded
Just phoning it in
Just breaking the skin."

A light flush marred her flesh as she caught the look of pure want in Logan's gaze, her words seducing him like no heated actions could. Somehow, even without knowing, Cindy had picked a song that described Max's heart, her hopes and her fears; somehow Cindy had chosen a song that was allowing Logan to look straight through Max's shields to her soul.

"Can you help me I'm bent
I'm so scared that I'll never
Get put back together
Keep breaking me in
And this is how we will end
With you and me bent

Start bending me
It's never enough
I feel all your pieces
Start bending me
Keep bending me until I'm completely broken in."

Max realized suddenly that she actually meant it. All she wanted in that moment was for Logan to hold her, make everything go away. She wanted to be held in his strong arms until the end of time. Her dark brown eyes were swimming with an emotion she was surprised to see mirrored in his blue ones.

Could he.. fix her?

"Shouldn't be so complicated
Just touch me and then
Just touch me again

Can you help me I'm bent
I'm so scared that I'll never
Get put back together
Keep breaking me in
And this is how we will end
With you and me bent."

She repeated the chorus one final time before both her voice and the music faded away. Stepping off the stage, Max was oblivious to the applause from her rapt but unnoticed audience. Logan was on his feet in an instant, moving towards her. They stopped mere inches away from the other, so close Logan's breath warmed her skin, and she had to resist the urge to close her eyes.

"That was..."

"Yeah."

"Do you want to.. uh, get something to eat.. maybe?"

She smiled. "You cooking?"

His eyes twinkled. "What, you think I'd let you?"

She grinned softly. "We should.. Cindy.."

"I'm sure understands. Besides, I think she hooked up with a redhead at the bar. They're deep in conversation over there."

Max glanced across the room, and sure enough, Cindy was entirely wrapped up in a leggy chick who was just buying them a new round of drinks.

Before she thought herself out of it, Max linked her arm into Logan's, and they walked out of the bar in silence.

Just as they were disappearing through the doorway, Cindy glanced up, and smiled.

"What'd Original Cindy say, girl? I'd never lead you wrong." She threw back her head and laughed. "You thank me later, Maxie."

End.