Summary: Max, Alec, the cure, a hostage situation… MA.
Disclaimer: Not mine. I wish.
This story… Sometimes I think my brain is doing things while I'm not looking… There's nothing terribly original here, so don't get too excited. If you're looking for a magnificent Cure story read inzane73's The Friggin' Cure. This is just the result of working the night shift for too long.
Alec walked into Joshua's old house and stopped in the doorway. Logan and Max looked to be deep in conversation, but they halted abruptly when he appeared. Kinda hurt a guy's feelings, especially since Logan had called and asked him to be there. Max was sitting on the sofa while Logan stood in front of her, frozen in mid-gesture. Interestingly enough, Logan looked both annoyed and relieved to see him.
Alec stepped into the room and grinned. "I suppose you're wondering why I called you here."
"Funny, Alec. Now shut up," Max said frowning. "This is important."
"Isn't it always?" Alec answered, one eyebrow raised.
Things had been awkward since the flag raising. Alec was still her in-name-only boyfriend, but the hand holding thing had thrown a wrench in the works. Basically Max was doing a great job of making sure that both of the men in her life looked whipped. Logan might not mind, but Manticore hadn't made Alec to be a weakling. He'd been made to kick ass and take crap from no one. But Max needed him, so he was trying to keep from being too pissed off. Wasn't working real well, but he was trying.
Alec walked over to the sofa and flopped down right next to Max and threw his arm around her shoulders. Max tensed and started to push him away. Alec wouldn't allow it though and she looked up at Logan guiltily.
"I told him, Alec."
"That you and me… That we…"
"That we've been going at it like a couple of rabbits for months now?"
"No!" Max shouted, her face turning beet red. Alec tried not to enjoy that she looked like she was about to have an aneurysm. He really did. "That we… you…"
"Yes, honey?" he grinned.
"You're such an ass!" Max snapped.
Alec looked up at Logan. "I take it she told you she lied about us being together?"
Logan let out a breath, his cheeks puffing out. "Yes."
"Well, good. You know how I hate subterfuge in all its shapes and forms," Alec said, all innocence.
"So you can take your arm off me now," Max said through clenched teeth. "Are you part monkey?"
Alec was still looking at Logan. "There's nothing wrong with two friends sitting together on the sofa, is there?" he asked, unashamed challenge in his eye.
Logan appeared genuinely angry and it made Alec smile to see it.
"Friends should be able to sit next to each other. Even touch each other. Give a friendly pat on the shoulder." He was still looking at Logan defiantly. "And all without dying. It's nice." He brazenly squeezed Max's shoulder, pulling her closer to him.
"Alec, have you lost your mind?" Max said, pushing his arm off her. She hadn't pushed hard, however, and they remained sitting shoulder to shoulder.
"Just reminding you why there was a lie in the first place. You two need to get over it. You can't touch and you're torturing each other." Alec sighed, crossing his arms across his chest. He chose not to mention that they were torturing him too. "You don't even see each other that much anymore. Make it a clean break and move on."
"You don't get to tell me-"
"But you get to declare me your boyfriend?" Alec cut her off. "I don't get to run your life and I don't get to run mine. That the way it works, Max?"
Alec stood and began pacing back and forth, suddenly feeling like a caged animal. He was so tired. He'd been tired for weeks now. Just couldn't sleep. He'd blamed it on the bullet wound in his shoulder at first. He'd traced the sleeplessness back to that night. But it wasn't that and he was fooling himself to believe it. It was the hand-holding thing.
Max was so blind. She could have accidentally moved just a few inches on that rooftop and killed Logan. There wouldn't have been a thing they could do about it. Was that love? It was one of the stupidest, most dangerous things he'd ever seen. And Alec had a lot of experience with stupid and dangerous.
Logan wasn't a transgenic. He couldn't physically keep up with her even before he'd been shot. He certainly couldn't understand what it really meant to be Manticore property. Max, on the other hand, was a transgenic. Being with Logan meant being cut off from a part of herself. She would always have to be careful around him. How was denying what you were a good thing?
"Alec, will you stand still for a minute and shut up?" Max said angrily. "We need your help."
He turned around at that, his gaze traveling from one of them to the other. "My help?"
"Logan's found someone who can help us."
"Us, meaning the transgenics, or us, meaning you and Logan?" The look on her face instantly told him the answer. "You've found a cure?"
"Sort of," Max said.
"I've located a doctor. He was Manticore and knows about the sorts of targeted viruses they cooked up," Logan cut in.
"Well, isn't that just great." Alec pasted a smile on his face. "You two can live happily ever after."
"Alec, what crawled up your ass and died?" Max demanded.
"Nothing." Alec sighed, ordering himself to calm down. Just walking in and seeing the two of them talking together like the break-up had never happened, like Alec wasn't the one who'd had to take up the slack when Max needed someone to talk to, like Max hadn't relied on him to support her while Terminal City was in near chaos. He was the one she trusted to get the supplies they needed. He was the one she trusted to handle it when the transgenics started carping or fighting. And now here they were, Max and Logan, brushing him aside, looking at him like he was a screw-up and trying to figure out how to fix the virus. They'd come so far and now they were right back at the beginning.
Alec couldn't seem to tamp down the anger he felt building. He'd thought they were finally getting past all that. Where did it leave the transgenics? Max had made herself the rallying point. She'd dragged him along, berated him, guilted him into helping her until Alec had forgotten that there was a time when he hadn't been so deeply invested in making sure they all stayed fed and clothed, safe. And now here they were again, Max and Logan. Where did it leave him? Max belonged with him. Them. All of them.
It made him want to scream. And run. And leave it all behind. He did not need this. He did not need any of this. He could leave this town and never look back. Never have to look into that stubbornly beautiful face. Never have to face the woman who both relied on him and ignored him. He'd have no one to answer to but himself, no one to rely on but himself. He could leave it all.
"Don't you dare." Max was on her feet now, forcing Logan to back up, so that she didn't touch him as she charged toward Alec.
His face clouded with anger and he didn't bother to hide it. He was just so tired that he was having trouble hiding anything from her tonight. He wasn't desperate. Or jealous. He wasn't. He just needed sleep. That was all.
"Dare what?" Logan asked.
Max didn't answer. She just stood in front of Alec, looking at him. If he didn't know better, he'd swear that she looked worried.
"We… I need your help," she finally said.
"Ah." That was the reason for the worry, Alec thought. She needed him for something.
"The doctor asked for another transgenic," Logan said.
"So get one of the others," Alec replied.
"The doctor specifically asked for Max's breeding partner if we knew who it was." Logan looked like he was going to be sick. Apparently he still had some lingering issues with Alec being Max's boyfriend. Good.
"Your DNA. Compatibility."
Alec couldn't help a smirk, his eyes returning to Max. "Everyone seems to think we're compatible, Maxie. Even our genes like each other."
"The doctor hasn't met you yet," Max shot back. "He doesn't know about the personality problems."
"Right." Alec felt his smirk leave and Max actually looked a little guilty for the cheap shot. He sighed and ran a hand through his hair. Could hair be tired? It felt sore from root to tip. "What do you need me to do?"
Max pulled a piece of paper out of her pocket and handed it to him. "Meet me there tomorrow morning at nine," she said, pointing at the address on the paper for good measure.
Alec nodded and looked up, glancing from Max to Logan. "So, I guess I'll just leave you two to… talk."
Neither of them said anything. Logan was once again looking relieved, this time that Alec was leaving. Max looked… he wished he knew what she was thinking, but all he could see was that she still looked slightly troubled, worried. Probably that he'd screw this up somehow and she wouldn't get her cure.
Alec turned to go. Maybe he would be able to sleep tonight. He somehow doubted it. Maybe even more so than normal.
He stopped, feeling a hand on his arm. She'd reached out to him. It was a rare thing and Alec couldn't bring himself to shake it off. Alec half turned back, but didn't look at her, afraid of what he might see there, afraid her worried expression had changed to something else. Pity maybe, or worse, the desire for him to be gone.
"Thank you, Alec."