Logan had noticed it when they were doing their latest in the photography series of 'creepy Minoan runes and why Max's life sucks'… He'd looked at in confusion for a long time before finally just shrugging and snapping a picture. He wasn't completely versed in the ancient language and had decided it was probably just a symbol he'd yet to see.
Max wouldn't get a look at it until an hour later when she and Logan were going through the pictures, deciphering the runes. She'd stare in numb shock at the mark, long after Dix had wandered by and told her that it was no rune. Logan would continue to frown.
The Minoans didn't have that symbol in their alphabet… The English language did.
Hot breath, skimming across her neck. Steady hands, grasping her hips.
Logan wouldn't realize it was a tattoo until he was passing by the gym, on his way to the bathroom only half an hour later.
Alec had removed his sweater and was training in a tight fitting wife-beater. Logan rolled his eyes at all the X-5 females pretending to not watch him sparring with a larger combat model.
When he saw the mark on Alec's shoulder, he almost choked on his own spit.
"Max, why does Alec have a tattoo of a 'M' on his shoulder?"
Needy pants filling the room. Mole's 100-proof, 'guaranteed to numb what ails you', discarded by the TV.
"And why is Dix telling me that that 'A' isn't a Minoan rune, but a tattoo?"
"You know what we need?"
"More booze?" Alec slurred, eyeballing the bottle's dark opening. He sloshed the contents, sighing in relief that they wouldn't have to break out another container.
Max giggled. She crawled into his lap, taking the bottle from him. Alec's eyes flared in interest as she didn't move away, but stayed there, straddling him, taking a sip. It was their… fourth? Fifth, maybe? Bottle, that is.
Who knows… It'd been a shitty day, anyway.
"Umm… well you know… two days ago… that mission that went sideways?"
Dead. So many dead. They'd sent them to their death.
Alec opened the door, his red-rimmed, raw eyes hardly brightening when he saw her. She knew that's probably exactly how she looked. She held the shopping bags aloft.
"I come bearing booze."
He stepped aside so she could let herself in.
Max's face darkened. Logan frowned. "Max, I already told you… that wasn't your fault. You guys had no idea that White had set up the trap."
"I… I know… But later that night… after we retrieved all the bodies… I went over to Alec's."
"Not your fault." He'd whispered. And for a brief, shining moment, she'd believed him.
Maybe that's why she kissed him first.
"You did." Logan's voice was flat.
"And… we might have gotten… a little… teeny… tiny bit drunk?"
She told him it was the alcohol as she gripped his hair, her mouth moving over his. He let himself believe it because he'd started kissing her back.
"You can't get drunk." Logan said flatly.
"Well, apparently I can when there's enough alcohol involved." She snarked.
Logan controlled his hurt. "And you two just... decided to get tattoos?"
"Don't leave me. Don't ever leave me." She chanted as he pushed her to her back, crawling over her.
"Never," he promised, his arms splayed wide around her.
"Yes." Max looked away. "I guess so… it's all pretty hazy. I don't… actually remember much of the night." She hadn't at first anyway… Some of it had come back the morning after. The rest was unfurling itself in her mind even as they spoke.
Max pushed him away, sitting up.
"Word. Just words, Alec. Doesn't mean anything." Melancholy was moving over her like a black fog. But he kissed her again, and she forgot.
"Tell me what to do. I'll prove it to you." He insisted.
Her eyes sparked in interest.
Logan's eyes deadened. "Oh god, Max. Tell me you didn't sleep with him." He'd thought when she'd come clean about the lie that everything was looking up… but God, no…
"Gimme some more."
She handed him the bottle. The tattoo artist rolled his eyes.
"I hope you realize you're not getting out of here blemish free." Alec warned her.
"I already got runes." She frowned. "What more do you want?"
She wondered how a smirk could be such a turn on.
"I don't remember." She lied.
He hissed as her nails raked against the mark on his skin. He shoved her harder against the brick wall in retaliation, his mouth moving to her neck. She clutched at him, gasping as his knee pressed up between her thighs.
"Get a room!" Someone shouted, coming out of a nearby bar.
Yeeeeees. Get a room. Fabulous idea.
They couldn't get back to Alec's fast enough.
"Don't lie to me, Max. Please."
He pressed a kiss to the 'A' on her hip bone and she hissed at the sting. Then his mouth roved lower and she promptly forgave him.
Max's jaw firmed. And then she nodded. Logan's world shattered.
Max wondered why she didn't feel more ashamed.
"Mine," He'd whispered as she slid onto him.
She gripped his hair, her teeth pulling at his lower lip. When she pulled away, she smirked at his almost glassy eyed expression. "No. Mine."
"How could you?"
Alec turned a bored expression on the Ordinary. "I'm sorry?"
"How could you take advantage of her at a time like that?"
Alec frowned, lifting her off of him. She'd gaped in astonishment. But then he'd swept her up, carrying her into the bedroom, tossing her on the bed. He followed soon after, pinning her arms over her head. Her eyes would roll back into her head as his other hand swept lazily down her front, glanced across the fresh tattoo, moved between her legs, played her so skillfully she wondered how it was legal.
Alec ducked out of the way of the angry, almost inept, blow. "Logan, calm down."
"When she was drunk!"
Max crashed into the training room. "Logan!"
"You're drunk, so I forgive you for your delusions." Max said loftily, hovering over him. "But anyone can plainly see that you belong to me."
"I guess we just belong to each other now."
She could agree with that.
Alec turned angry eyes on Max. "What the fuck did you tell him?"
"And for the record." Alec groaned into her ear as he finally, finally, finally was within her once more. "Haven't been drunk since the tattoo parlor."
"I know. Me neither."
"She told me enough." Logan spat. "That you two got drunk and-"
"We didn't have sex until we were sober." Alec interrupted.
Mole snorted nearby, and Max was reminded that they were in a very, very public place.
Alec whirled on her, angrily. "Save it, princess. You were gonna let me take the fall again. I'm done with you." He turned, stalking away. The 'M' on his shoulder was still shiny, in that new way of tattoos, and caught in the light.
Mole was practically chortling in glee by the time Alec had pulled his sweater over his head and stormed out.
Man. Better than a soap opera.
"Can't ever leave me now."
"I know." He pressed a kiss to her temple.
She curled into his side.
The doorframe splintered as the locked door was kicked open.
"You promised." Max shouted. "Promised you'd never leave."
"Yeah?" He shouted right back. "Well, you promised you'd tell Logan. And that didn't happen either."
"There was a lot of alcohol. I didn't even remember the part about the tattoos until this morning."
"Yeah right, like you don't stare at it every chance you get." Alec's annoyed frown was replaced by a knowing look she wasn't quite comfortable with.
"Whatever," She glanced away. Then something occurred to her and she looked back, her eyes narrowing. "And what about you, hot shot? You never wear wife-beaters."
Something shone in his eyes. Something akin to glee. "So, what do you want, Max?"
She frowned. And then grinned.
"I come bearing booze."
Logan could only be sickened two days later when he walked by the training room and caught a glimpse of Alec's shoulder. There was a shiny new 'a' right next to the 'M'.
The 'x' wouldn't be added until after the next big fight.