Author's Note: Ok, so this is my first ever fanfiction. I decided to use Nickledime17's alphabet prompt. I'd love to hear what ya'll think. :) Since this is the first story I've posted, I'm not really sure what I'm doing yet so please, bear with me, and let me know about any screw ups I make.
Disclaimer: I don't own Dark Angel or Jensen Ackles. Sad. I know, makes me cry too. :P
Original Cindy stood on top of the roof of the command center of Terminal City and stared unseeingly at the Freak Nation flag the snapped proudly in the breeze. She was back for a visit, her time with her friends had to be carefully monitored because of the toxins that kept their home moderately safe. Max and Alec were busy trying to solve a food shortage problem and she'd been left alone with her thoughts in the meantime.
She was thinking about Max. Her boo, her friend, her sister. There was something about that girl that made the people in her live willing to do damn near anything for her. Brother Zack for instance, he had allowed himself to be recaptured by Manticore to save Max from that same fate. He had forced himself to forget everything but some part of him had never been able to let the memory of Max go. He had even put a bullet in his brain in order to give her the heart she needed to live.
Brother Ben was another example, one that she'd only recently learned of, from Alec of all people. Crazy killer with a truly whacked out obsession with teeth, he had gotten Max to snap his neck. Alec had been trying to drink himself into a stupor when he'd let that little gem slip. According to what Max had told him, he wanted to die rather than go back to Manticore but Alec had another theory. He thought that Ben had known that the two of them would never make it out of the woods with Lydecker and his men closing in if he and his broken leg were slowing them down. He was pretty sure that Ben had chosen death as much to save Maxie as he had to save himself.
Logan Cale, the infamous Eyes Only, loved her boo so much that he'd put his own life on hold after watching her die. Hardly sleeping, barely eating, his sole purpose in life had been to bring Manticore down. And then when Max had come back to him, he'd been so in love with her that not even a genetically engineered retrovirus that made a single touch deadly had been enough to make him let her go.
Normal, annoying man that he was, always threatened to fire Max. Never did though. Her boo was never on time and failed to show up for work for days at a time, for months on end, without ever giving a real excuse and yet the girl still had a job right up until the place had been under siege. Hell Normal had told her girl that she'd always have a home at Jam Pony. Who'd have thought that that uptight white boy had enough of a heart to say that?
Even Sketchy, finding out the girl had been made in a test tube, hadn't been enough to keep him spun for long and she had to give her boy props for that. He'd done a complete 180 from thinking of transgenics as a threat to thinking of them as friends. He'd been willing to step up to the plate and stand shoulder to shoulder with Max and her family, helping turn public opinion in their favor thru his writing.
And Alec, not matter how Max yelled at him and kicked him around; he'd drop whatever he had going to have her back. Oh, he'd whine and complain, plenty. O.C. knew that it was just an act. Wouldn't do to have Max know just how much she had him under her thumb.
Her boo was one lucky girl. Sure she was under siege and things weren't exactly coming up roses but with friends like hers, willing to do anything for her? O.C. knew it was gonna be "all good all de time" as Herbal Thought used to say.
Alec had done a lot of growing up since the night he'd swaggered into her cell at Manticore, spouting off about how they'd been paired off as breeding partners. He'd changed for the better in a lot of ways. He was a great 2IC, and had a knack for public relations that bordered on genius. So when he'd approached her to tell her that he had an idea that would benefit all the denizens of Terminal City, she'd been willing to sit down and listen to his latest scheme. But by the time he was half way through his proposal she was staring at him in stunned disbelief and her hands were itching to reach out and slap him.
A bar. That was his idea of a beneficial project. Never mind that there were shortages of food and water and power. Never mind that what little money they had at the moment was being used to arm them in case things took an ugly turn. Alec thought that all of that should be set aside so that they could set up a bar.
"Are you crazy?!" She said, unable to keep quiet or listen to his blathering any longer. So patience had never been her strong suit but in cases like this, who could blame her? She could see him opening his mouth to say something but cut him off before he could utter a sound.
"We've got the police and the national guard breathing down our necks. We've got more problems to solve than we've got hours in the day and rumor has it that there's a call to have the army come and wipe us out and you want to put everything on hold to build a bar?" She was literally shaking with anger by the time she stopped shouting.
Damn she's hot when she's pissed, Alec thought, trying to rein in his thoughts enough to explain his reasoning to the irate woman in front of him. "Max just listen to me for a minute." He did his best to sound reasonable even as he watched her start to pace. She was so tense he was surprised she hadn't snapped and she wasn't alone. "Everyone around here is wound up tighter than a drum. People are scared, they're nervous and it's starting to show. Fights are breaking out all over Terminal City and its only going to get worse. We need to have something, some way for everyone to relax and unwind."
She raised an eyebrow but didn't say anything and he took it as a sign that he should continue. "Now I've managed to pull some strings with my contacts and I've got some stuff coming in. Televisions, game stations, a pool table, and I figured that we could set up a rec area but I think we need something more. A place sort of like Crash; where the older X's and anomalies can get together and hang out. I mean nothing helped us relax after a long day more than swinging by Crash, having a few beers with the gang right?"
He could see that he was getting through to her and honestly it shocked the hell out of him. He was still used to being the screw up that she dismissed out of hand.
Max's mind was going a mile a minute. She hated to admit it but Alec had a point. The tension in TC was approaching the breaking point and it should be defused as fast as possible. Having a rec center and a bar would be a good way to do that and it would foster a sense of community that was still badly needed. She found herself nodding slowly. "Do it." She said.
Alec stared at her blinking for a while, unable to believe that she'd actually just said that.
"We can get people to help on a volunteer basis." She continued, "So that we aren't pulling manpower away from other projects." She glanced over at Alec and was suddenly struck by just how handsome he was. There was a glint in his eyes that she suddenly found impossibly sexy. Sexy? I did not just think of Alec as sexy! I must be going into heat. She thought in shock.
She knew that that wasn't the case though, almost as soon as she'd considered the idea. She was just trying to justify her reaction. She couldn't take her eyes off of him. It was like a switch had been thrown in her brain and she was suddenly seeing clearly for the first time and to see him was to want him.
She wanted him. Alec's head jerked up and he stared at her in shock. He could smell it in the air, her arousal, could see it in her heated gaze. He took an involuntary step towards her, instinct taking hold. He'd wanted her as his mate for so long he couldn't remember when he'd fallen in love with her.
He let out a long rumbling growl that sent a shiver down her spine and she found herself taking a tentative step towards him. Before she knew what was happening she was being crushed up against him, her body melting into his. He stared into her eyes questioningly until they fluttered closed. Then he was kissing her and the whole world disappeared. Nothing was real except for the feel of his lips on hers. She gave herself over to the kiss, allowing herself to surrender to him but even transgenics had to come up for air eventually and it was enough to let reality crash back in. She shoved him away, struggling to get her breath back.
"Get out of my office." She ordered, her discomfort over her reaction making her sound more pissed off than she was.
He looked at her in confusion but left without comment for once, but not before she saw the hurt in his eyes.
6 weeks later
Max stood and walked away from the computer where she had just held her last video conference call with Logan. Brushing the tears away from her eyes, desperately trying to stem their flow, she hurried to her apartment. She'd finally ended things with Logan for good. That morning in her office with Alec had ended up being the last nail in the coffin of her relationship with the ordinary. It had forced her to do some thinking. Alec was right; they were a danger to them, the ordinaries. And as much as she tried to convince herself that she loved Logan she had to admit she was kidding herself. She did love him but she wasn't in love with him and hadn't been for a while now. Her attraction to her 2IC had been a wake up call.
She was ready to move on. And as scary as it was, she wanted to move on with Alec. It had taken a lot of soul searching and more than one late night talk with O.C. to forced her to admit that the attraction was more than physical and that the thought of losing him caused something in her chest to tighten and her breath to catch in her throat. They hadn't spoken, except when it was absolutely necessary since the kiss and she found herself missing him more than she'd ever thought possible.
She knew that she had fallen in love with Alec; she just hoped that her reaction to the kiss hadn't ruined her chances forever. She applied her makeup with a shaking hand before dragging a brush through her long hair. She'd thought carefully about what to wear tonight and had finally settled on a pair of skintight black jeans and a red halter-top. If she ended up making a fool of herself, she wanted to look damn good while she did it. She made her way across the city on foot, heading towards the bar that had been finished that morning. She knew most of the residents of Terminal City would be there for the "grand opening" and was hoping to find Alec among them.
She came to a stop in front of the squat two-story building. The ground floor held the rec room that Alec had put together and the top floor was the bar, space was at a premium, with so many people and so few buildings intact, so it only made sense to house both spaces under one roof. Taking a deep breath, she made her way inside.
To say that Alec had been hurt by Max's reaction would have been a gross understatement. He'd been crushed. There had been more than one time over the last six weeks when the idea of leaving Seattle for parts unknown had held more than a little appeal but he knew he was needed here, that he had family here, and somehow, he'd never made it past the gate.
Joshua, oddly enough, had been the glue that held him together. He figured Josh knew Max better than almost anyone but O.C. and had gone to him for advice and the dog boy had insisted that Little Fella was in love with Medium Fella and that he just needed to wait for her to realize it. Josh seemed convinced that Max would come to her senses soon enough and his faith carried Alec through.
He felt a large furry hand clasp his shoulder, pulling him out of his introspection and turned to see the friend he'd just been thinking off. Joshua was grinning happily. Alec assumed that it was because the bar that they'd worked so hard on was finally complete. "It's pretty cool isn't it?" He asked.
Josh nodded excitedly. "It is cool but that's not why Joshua is smiling." The dog man replied, his grin growing to epic proportions. "Max is here." He said pointing. "Max is finally coming to Alec."
Alec turned and the sight of her was almost enough to take his breath away. She looked beautiful. Well, she was always beautiful, but tonight she was amazing. He grinned at Joshua, the smile only a little fake, and watched his friend disappear into the crowd.
Max came to a stop right in front of Alec, her eyes drinking in the sight of him. The music coming out of the old jukebox they'd found was loud and she stepped closer to him, not wanting to have to yell to be heard over it.
"I'm sorry." She said, trying not to choke on the words. She didn't make apologies often or easily. Even as sincere as she was it was hard to say. "I'm sorry I pushed you away."
He just looked at her, his face that expressionless Manticore mask that they all knew how to don so well. Obviously, he wasn't going to make this easy on her. That was aright, she hadn't expected him too, she told herself.
"I broke things off with Logan tonight." She told him hesitantly.
"Again?" Came his sardonic reply.
"For good." She told him emphatically.
"Why's that Maxie?" He asked, his tone mocking. As much as he wanted to hear that she'd done it for him, he didn't believe for a second that that was the reason. It was probably her fear of the virus killing Logan that was behind it.
"I told him that I'd fallen in love with someone else." She said calmly, although her composure was all an act. She was terrified that he'd reject her or that she'd end up as just another notch on his bedpost. "I told him that I was in love with you."
Alec felt his heart skip a beat. Was it possible that Joshua was right and that Max really did have feelings for him? He ruthlessly shoved the thought away; he wasn't going to allow himself to hope. "So I'm the excuse again? Why do you always make me the bad guy Max?"
She was shaking her head before he was even done talking. "No Alec. I told him that you didn't know how I felt and that even if you didn't feel the same or if you weren't willing to be with me, things were still over because I'm not in love with him anymore."
Alec was stunned. He opened and closed his mouth several times without making a sound before he finally pulled himself together enough to make a reply.
Watching him, Max knew that he was about to say something smart alecky; something that would undoubtedly make her mad and this whole thing would end in a fight. She did the only thing she could, she wrapped her hand gently around the back of his neck, cupping his barcode, and pulled him down towards her, forcing him to look into her eyes. "I love you Alec." She said before leaning up and kissing him.
He stiffened in shock but slowly relaxed enough to return the kiss. When he finally pulled back, needing to catch his breath, he tensed again, expecting her to lash out like she did the last time but she didn't she just snuggle against his chest and sighed happily. He began to look around exaggeratedly forcing her to ask him what he was doing.
"Just looking for the brick that hit you over the head and finally knocked some sense into you."
He couldn't help his happy grin as she swatted him upside the back of his head gently. He looked down at her with a chuckle. "Gotta live up to the name you gave me Maxie. Wouldn't want to disappoint."
He leaned down and kissed her again, this time briefly but still passionately. "I love you too." He told her, dropping all his masks and letting her see the love he felt for her shining in his eyes. He was about to kiss her again when the transgenics and transhumans in the bar broke out into applause, Mole going so far as to wolf whistle before yelling, "About damn time. Damn X-5. Always doing things the hard way!"