Consequences, Choices, and Confessions
by pari106
pari106@hotmail.com
http://www.geocities.com/pari106/damain.html


Disclaimer: Dark Angel belongs to Cameron, Eglee, and Fox.
Rating: PG-13
Code: M/Z

Summary: The consequences of one choice leads to another that may bring Max and Zack together, if a
mistunderstanding doesn't tear them apart.

A/N: I know aspects of this story have been done to death. But I've combined them, and hopefully, have
made them seem new again.


A/A/N: Some of you are probably wondering why the hell I have so many unfinished works floating
around here. Well, when an idea comes to my head I just have to get it down. Unfortunately, I'm better at
thinking ideas up than following them through. Don't worry, I will hopefully finish them all eventually.
But until then I will continue posting them here. Please have patience with me. And review lots! That
gives me the motivation I need to continue!


Yet Another Author's Note: This is another of those stories I couldn't name well. You know the drill - if you have better idea for the name of this, let me know.

One more note...: To those who saw the premiere already: what did you think? I have only one thing to say: "Earth 2". It was a science fiction show; thought it was great the first season. Don't remember it? That's my point. I love Dark Angel! But I forsee an "Earth 2"ish fate lurking in the distance...


Chapter 1


The time had come.

Even though Max had resolved herself to this course of action…even though she'd
prepared herself for it… Preparing and performing were two very separate things.

Max stared at the pack sitting beside her bed. That, her bike, and the clothes on her back
were the only things she would be taking with her when she left Seattle.

She couldn't believe it.

After all this time, she couldn't believe she was just walking away. She'd fought so hard
for the right to remain in Washington, her home. She'd fought Lydecker. Hell, she'd
fought Zack. And now she was just walking away. It was the right thing to do. But that
didn't mean it hurt any less to do it.

Max threw her pack over her shoulder, taking a shaky breath and trying to curb the flow
of tears that were already beginning to fall. It was no use. The silent tears slipped down
her cheek anyhow as Max quietly rolled her bike out of the apartment. She didn't wake
Original Cindy. She didn't dare. She'd told her weeks ago that she was going to do this.
They'd fought ever since. Cindy couldn't believe she would walk away, either. She
didn't think it was worth it.

Max thought she was wrong.

So there wasn't really any reason to wake her. She didn't need to say goodbye. In a way,
she'd been saying her goodbyes for weeks now. Soaking up every last minute she could
spend with her boo. And with Logan. With Bling and Herbal and Sketchy. Even
Normal.

Max cast one last, heartbroken glance in the direction of Cindy's room. Weeping softly
as she left behind the best, and only human girlfriend she had ever had.



**** ****



Max debated whether she should just leave without stopping by Foggle Towers, as well.
But she couldn't quite bring herself to do it.

If Original had been Max's best boo, Logan had been her kindred spirit. He was her
friend, too. Leaving him was going to be the biggest bitch…

But leaving without seeing him just once more was impossible.

Max came into Logan's penthouse the way she'd come into his life – through the
skylight.

And she found him waiting for her.

Logan was just sitting there in front of a window in the main room; candlelight
illuminating his solemn profile – there had been another blackout tonight. Max was still
crying. Logan didn't even turn in her direction when he heard her enter.

"You're really going, then?" he asked quietly.

Max just stood there, uncertain. She couldn't answer, but she didn't have to. Her silence
was the only answer Logan needed. He closed his eyes.

Max knew this was hard on him. She knew he didn't want her to leave. She knew he
wanted a lot more from her than she was willing to give. And a part of him was still
angry at her for that inability. A part of him resented her for it.

So they just stayed as they were, as Max continued to weep.

"Logan…"

She didn't want this. She didn't want his anger or his resentment. She needed his
understanding. She didn't want to hurt him, but there was no other way. She'd made her
decision, and she knew in her heart that it was the right one. The only she could have
made.

Finally, Logan opened his eyes.

He sat there a moment more, in silence. But when he turned to Max, a single tear had
fallen from the corner of his eye, as well.

He turned to her and said nothing. He just opened his arms.

And Max was in his embrace in a second, clinging to him as her sobs finally burst free in
noisy abandon. She laid her head in his lap and sobbed until she had no tears left to
express her regret and her sorrow. And Logan simply stroked her hair the entire time,
trying unsuccessfully to curb his own emotional reaction.

After some time, when the tears had left her, and all that remained was numb exhaustion
and a shaky hope for the future, Max rose, wiping her red eyes. She drew a halting
breath, and shifted the pack on her shoulder. She and Logan had talked about this
moment for a long time. They'd known it was coming. There was no need to
procrastinate any longer.

"I guess I'd better go," Max said. She spoke so softly Logan could barely here her.

He knew her mind was made up, but he couldn't help but try, just one last time.

"Max, you know you don't have to do this…" He reached out and grabbed her hand
between both of his. Max's lips quivered as emotion threatened to overtake her yet
again. She looked away from her friend.

Logan sighed, squeezing her hand. Max felt that what she was doing was right. But
Logan felt that it was wrong. The worst mistake she could possibly make, for any of
them. He had a horrible feeling that if she left now, nothing good could possibly come of
it.

"I'm here for you, Max," he reminded her. His voice and eyes pleading. He stretched in
his chair until he could reach up and grab her chin, making her look at him. He suddenly
felt very tired and every bit of the twelve years older he was than Max. But he forced a
firmness into his voice that contradicted the helplessness he felt in this situation. "My
offer still stands," he told her. Then, softer: "It will always stand. Remember that."

Max just stood there a moment. Then she nodded.

"I know," she managed to respond. "I know." She drew a deep breath. Knowing what
he was offering her, and appreciating what it had taken for him to do so. Few men would
have been able to do the same. Max considered herself lucky to have known two men
who both possessed that sort of nobility. But she was unlucky in that she couldn't keep
one without losing the other.

"But I can't do that, Logan," she told him. "Not if there isn't the other way."

There wasn't anything more to say to that.

So Max simply took one last look at Logan. At the man she loved as a friend. Who'd
she'd once believe could have been so much more. Who still hoped to have so much
more, though Max now knew friendship was as far as their relationship could go. She
stared at him as if trying to memorize his every feature. He stared back. Then she turned
and left.

And after she was gone, Logan wheeled himself into the computer room. He had a very
special Eyes Only broadcast to make tonight. A broadcast he'd agreed to make, as a
promise to Max.

He put on his headphones and set up his equipment with shaking hands. Then turned the
system on, hoping the hatred he felt burning in his eyes would not show itself through the
tv screen.

"…this is an Eyes Only broadcast. This cable hack will last exactly sixty seconds. It
cannot be traced, and it cannot be stopped. This message is for X5 599…"




**** ****



…Bump….Bump…Bump…

Zack shifted in his seat, trying to ignore the irritating sound.

…Bump…

But it was no use. He sent a glare in his brother's direction.

"Do you have to do that?"

Zane was lying on his back on the floor, throwing a tennis ball into the air. It would soar
neatly upward, hit the ceiling, then fall back down into his hands while his dog watched
eagerly. He would throw it every five times, and on the sixth time it fell, the canine,
Fluffy, would take his turn, using its nose to send the ball upward again. Then the
process would repeat. Zane and Fluffy were playing. Zack had never really seen the
purpose in playing.

"Why, does it make you nervous?" his brother asked with a grin.

…Bump…

With inhuman reflexes, Zack reached out and grabbed the ball in midair, then dropped it
on Zane's chest.

"Yes," he said simply.

Zane raised a brow.

"Good. You're making me nervous."

"Me?"

"Yes, you. Or you going or not?"

Zack shifted again. Then he sighed.

"Yeah, I'm going."

Zane laughed. "Don't sound so thrilled, bro."

Zack glared at him. It wasn't that he wasn't happy he'd be seeing Max again – Zane
knew that. Zack was just worried about how "happy" Max might be about it. He'd
evaded Manticore for far too long to die now, at the hands of his sister.

Then Zack's glare turned inward as he realized he might very well deserve that fate.
Damn but he'd messed up. Everything had just gotten so confusing…

Zane got up and threw his ball across the room. Taking this as a cue that playtime was
over, Fluffy chased it into the corner and settled down to chew it to shreds. Then Zane
fell into the chair next to Zack's.

"Hey, it'll be okay," he said, his expression uncharacteristically serious. This situation
was very serious to him. He'd known what it was like to be in love, and it seemed sad to
him that none of his other brothers and sisters ever seemed to grasp the concept. If Zack
and Max had a chance…any chance at all…to find love and happiness with each other…
Well, there wasn't anything Zane wanted more seriously than that.

Zack nodded, but he wasn't sure he believed it. He'd stayed away too long. He'd taken
too long to try to figure things out. He should have chased Max down the morning she'd
left him and figured things out with her then. What if she hated him now? Or if she was
disgusted by him, by what they'd done? He couldn't live with himself if that were true.
He'd been born and trained to be cold and unemotional; to deal with loss indifferently.
But even he had his weaknesses. And Max was the largest one.

Zack didn't say anything more before suddenly the screen on Zane's television went
blurry. He'd had it tuned to some god-awful music channel. But now static cut through
the screen, and a familiar pair of blue eyes popped up between the "streaming freedom"
feeds that were Eyes Only's trademark.

Zane and Zack looked at the television as one.

"Looks like Logan's at it again," Zane commented. He'd never met the man, but Zack
had told him about him. And there'd been that time Logan had helped the X5s when
Zack had been captured by Manticore, and their covers had been blown. That was one of
the only times Zane had ever seen Eyes Only transmit across the county. That he was
doing so again now signified that something important was happening.

Meanwhile, Zack just clenched his jaw. Eyes Only. Logan Cale. The last man he
needed to see right now, while he was planning to work things out with Max. But then he
heard Eyes Only's words, and the rest of him tensed as well, concern snapping into his
blue eyes.

"…this message is for X5 599…"

Zane looked at him. That was Zack's designation.

"…there is a … situation with 452. This message will repeat every hour, on the hour,
until you've made contact." Then the message was over, and Eyes Only disappeared.

"…452…" Max.

Zack and Zane both paled.



**** ****



Logan sat in his penthouse, right where he had been for two hours now, playing that cable
hack. His expression was grim. He didn't like refering to Zack or Max, specifically, on
the t.v. That would no doubt capture Manticore's attention, and it was always a good
idea not to get them riled up. But Logan hadn't known any way to contact Zack but this.
And Max had wanted this to be on her timetable. If she just waited around for Zack,
there was no telling when he'd return.

'If he returned,' Logan thought to himself crossly.

He himself had little faith in the younger man's dependability. Sure, if there was trouble,
Zack would be there. He would always be there. He was a loyal and dedicated leader.
But he didn't seem to be much of anything else. If he didn't have a reason to show up, a
reason that pertained to the X5s and his "mission", then he just didn't show up. Plain and
simple. If all you needed from him was a helping hand when things got tough…well,
fine. Zack's your guy. But if you were Max…

Logan sighed.

He didn't know how it happened, but somehow Max had let herself get fooled into
wanting more. And though he had objections to the plan, he hoped to hell that Zack
didn't fuck this up. If he hurt Max…

Then the phone rang.



**** ****



Zack came back into the main room with a frown.

"How's Logan?" Zane asked.

"He's an asshole."

Despite the situation, Zane smiled. "Oh, come on."

But Zack's expression didn't lighten. "I have to got to Washington," he said. Which is
what he'd been planning to do all this time. But something in the way he said it now
caused Zane to worry.

"Is it Max?" he asked quietly. Please, God, don't let something have happened to Max.

Zack hesitated a moment then shook his head. "I don't know. Logan didn't say much.
He just told me where to show up."

He looked his brother straight in the eyes.

"Stay by the phone," is all he said. Then he left.

Zane nodded. He wasn't going to move within an inch from it until he heard from Zack
again.