AUTHOR'S NOTE: So this is the companion piece to GIRL, the letter G in my Dark Angel Alphabetically story, that I mentioned I might write. If you haven't read that you might want to, helps explain Alec's motivation, otherwise he'll seem kinds of out of character. I should be updating Alphabetically sometime today. I just had to get this out of my system first. :P
DISCLAIMER: Don't own it. le sigh.
Time, planning and research, five whole days of it. Who would have thought that romancing a female could be so complicated? It was confusing as hell too, especially for Alec, who had only ever had to stand at the bar in Crash and wait for the females to come to him. It had taken some finagling on his part but eventually he'd managed to get enough time alone in the command center to do an Internet search. He'd come away with all the tools he thought he'd need to win Max over and get her away from Logan for good. For the good of Terminal City, of course.
Apparently Secret Admirers were popular among women. Something about the attention and mystery just did it for them according to one website, so he decided to start with that.
A bouquet of flowers ought to do the trick. But apparently, some bored ass fools, in the middle ages, decided that they should create a language using flowers. He didn't want to send the wrong message, so he had to pick and choose what to include very carefully, in the end he decided to send one type of flower a day along with a card explaining the meaning. That was romantic right?
He started with white violets. Funny how his contacts were all the wrong kind to help him get a hold of this sort of thing. In the end he'd had to find a florist, not an easy task in these post pulse days. But he had gotten his contacts to help him get his own computer so he wouldn't have to sneak into command if he needed more tips.
He struggled with the note, a part of him just wanted to thrust the flowers, which the florist had gather into a small bundle and tied with a white ribbon, and say "Here," and walk away, but that was a big no, no according to the research. Four hours, it had taken him four damn hours to write a freaking note, and another web search to teach him the calligraphy he used to disguise his handwriting. He gave himself a pat on the back for managing to get into Max's office without anyone noticing him. He left the flowers and note on the middle of her desk where she was sure to see them and then fled the scene of his crime.
Max noticed the smell as soon as she walked into her office. She'd walked in without looking where she was going, all her attention on the report in her hand, until she'd become aware of the scent that was perfuming the air. She looked up in confusion, eyes darting around the room hunting for the source. Spotting the small bundle of delicate white blossoms, her eyes lit up and she smiled for what felt like the first time in days. Leave it to Logan to do something so sweet for her. She sat down in her chair and grabbed the card that lay beside the flowers.
Opening it, she took a moment to enjoy the beautiful calligraphy before reading the words.
Long ago and far away a language was invented. A way to pass secret messages to the ones you loved without ever saying a word. A language of flowers, used to convey a myriad of emotions. White violets, it was decided, would mean, "Let's take a chance." I am asking you to take a chance, a chance at love.
Your Secret Admirer
She dropped the thick velum card back onto her desk. She knew that the flowers couldn't be from Logan. It wasn't his style. Who on earth could they be from? She stayed at her desk, lost in thought, until Dix came to get her two hours later for the morning meeting.
The next day dawned and she found another bundle of flowers on her desk, along with another note. She'd had a dream that they would be there and found herself rushing to get ready, wanting to get to her office early, hoping she was right, anxious to read the note that would accompany the bouquet.
This bundle looked a lot like the first, violets again, but blue this time. She lifted the card with trembling hands and smiled at the words she found.
Blue violets say, "I'll always be true." They promise that I will be faithful, forever, to you. I'll stand by your side or remain in the shadows, with a heart that might be broken or torn and in tatters. All that is mine I give to you. From the moment we met, my heart belonged to you.
Your Secret Admirer
Picking up the phone, she found herself doing what any normal girl would do. She called her best friend to talk excitedly about her secret admirer, and try and guess who it could be.
Day three and Max's excitement was growing with every step she took toward the Command Center. She was giddy, in a rare good mood and the spring in her step and the smile on her face seemed to be infectious. Even Mole found himself whistling happily around his ever-present cigar as he went about his work.
Sitting on her desk that day was a large bouquet of red tulips. It was bright and bold, the simple beauty of it making her grin even wider. The other two sets of flowers had been small and delicate, pretty in a quiet kind of way but these tulips screamed for attention.
Today the words of the flowers are as simple as can be. They ask that you trust me. They beg you to believe in me.
Your Secret Admirer
Roses, Max realized as soon as she walked into her office on the fourth day. The scent hung heavy in the air like a heady perfume. They were yellow, not a bright sunny shade, but a soft shade, like filtered sunlight. They brightened her office the way that nothing else had to date. Terminal City was their home but it was still a dreary sort of place, beauty was an unexpected but pleasant surprise when found.
Yellow roses speak of the friendship between me and you, the sort of foundation that exists in all loves most true. Short and sweet, and right to the point, I want you to know, that I need you.
Your Secret Admirer
It hadn't taken long for word to spread through the city about Max's secret admirer. It had most of the female population sighing and wishing for a romance like that in their lives. It had most of the males grumbling angrily because they knew that the women were about to start holding them to a different standard.
It took longer for the word to spread that Max's admirer wasn't Logan. Most had just assumed that it was the ordinary but those assumptions were effectively nipped in the bud by the very public fight the two had.
Logan had heard about the flowers, not from Max but from Original Cindy, who thought that he was the one doing this for Max. He had made his way into Terminal City through the tunnel that connected his new place to a warehouse just inside the gates. He'd moved quickly, exoskeleton whirring quietly with each step. He was hurt that Max hadn't told him about this herself and he was determined to find out why she hadn't said anything.
He caught her as she was exiting the Command building, a dozen yellow roses clasped in her hands, her noses buried deep in the petals obviously enjoying the scent.
"Max…" He began in that reproachful, vaguely disappointed way that always seemed to get her to agree to whatever issue he was pushing at the time.
She looked up startled, clearly she hadn't even noticed he was there. "Oh, hey you." She replied with a grin and it irked him that she looked happier than she had since she'd come back from Manticore. It grated that it wasn't him that had put that smile on her face but not nearly as much as the fact that she didn't seem to notice the tone he'd used.
"Why didn't you tell me that you were being bothered by some idiot?" He asked, letting more disapproval seep into his tone.
She looked surprised, "Bothered? What do you mean? Someone has been really sweet, leaving me flowers and notes."
He looked at her with what he was sure what just the right amount of hurt. "You're enjoying the attention, I can understand how that would appeal to you." He said sadly, making sure to sound a little tired. "I know that the virus has been keeping us apart Max but please, don't give up on us just because we've hit a bump in the road, don't get taken in by this pathetic ploy."
The way she looked at him, like he'd somehow offended her, had him confused. Why wasn't she responding the way she was supposed to.
Max was genuinely upset; every word out of Logan's mouth seemed to be a blatant attempt to make her feel guilty. Maybe he was trying to maneuver her into telling off her admirer or maybe he was trying make her feel guilty for liking the fact that someone other than the great Eyes Only was making her feel like a normal girl. After all her Secret Admirer seemed to be putting a lot of effort into revealing his feeling and into making her happy, when the best Logan could come up with was a pasta dinner and some wine.
"Why are you here?" She asked in exasperation.
"I wanted to go over your plan for the medical supply heist. Make sure that you've accounted for everything." He told her as though it should be obvious.
"It's Alec and Mole's plan and I've already gone over it and approved it." She informed him impatiently.
"Come on Max." He said and for the first time she noticed the condescension in the way he was speaking to her. "You know that Alec is a screw up. How could you possibly trust that any plan he's come up with will work?"
Max went from irritated to furious in a heartbeat. "I can trust any plan that he comes up with because of his extensive military training. Because of the way that he always has my back and because of the way he has earned my respect." She informed him coldly. "He is my second in command and you have no right to question his ability or his decisions. Go home Logan." She ordered, before spinning on her heel and storming away. Any happiness she'd felt was gone, the bitch was back. It made the general dislike and contempt that many felt for Logan grow just a bit more.
When Max came into her office the next day she found a type of flower that she'd never seen before waiting on her desk. It was red like the tulips she'd gotten but the similarities ended there. It was a long stem, with sword shaped leaves and had several irregularly spaced blooms arranged in one-sided spikes. It was an odd flower, strong and unusual. It was by far, her favorite of all the ones she'd been given so far. It actually managed to coax a smile back onto her face, which had been thunderous since her encounter with Logan.
She picked up the card, suddenly anxious to read what her admirer had written, knowing somehow that it would erase the bad mood she had sunken into.
This is a gladiola; some call it a sword lily. It speaks of strength of character, something you have in abundance. You care deeply and strive to protect and provide for all of those around you. That was one of the first things that I recognized about you and it fostered in me admiration and affection, which morphed into friendship then passion and finally love.
Your Secret Admirer
The words brought tears to her eyes. Logan's words had made her doubt herself but these words made her proud to be exactly who she was and what she was.
Max didn't make it into her office until well past noon on the sixth day. She'd been busy overseeing the medical heist that she'd argued with Logan about. It had gone off without a hitch and even though she knew it was a little petty, she found herself wanting to rub it into his face.
The single lavender rose that laid in the middle of her desk came as a pleasant surprise, she'd been too busy to think about her secret admirer but apparently he hadn't been too busy to think of her. It warmed her in a way that nothing else ever had.
In the language of flowers, lavender roses have one meaning. Enchantment. Your fire, your zest for life, you enchant me. I love seeing the passion in your eyes, whether its from anger or determination. You enchant and entrance me. My life would be gray and dull without your light to brighten my day.
Your Secret Admirer
She found herself reaching for the phone again to call O.C. Not knowing who was behind these words, which meant more to her than the flowers themselves, was driving her crazy. She hoped that he would reveal himself soon before she lost her patience and decided to find out who he was for herself.
The seventh day of Alec's mission to woo Max was one of those sun filled days that were so rare in Seattle. By now there wasn't a single resident of Terminal City that didn't know about the flowers and cards that Max was receiving. Bets were being made everywhere as to who was behind the gifts. He was a little offended that no one seemed to consider the possibility of him as the source.
He was congratulating himself on a job well done now that phase one of his plan was almost done. He'd already started getting phase two together. It was quite a bit different than showering her with flowers but he wanted to keep her on her toes.
He'd placed the flowers in Max's office earlier that morning but todays were by far his favorite. He made a point of striking up a conversation as soon as she walked into command so that he'd have an excuse to enter her office with her. He wanted to see her reaction.
No matter how hard Max hinted that Alec should go away, he didn't seem to take the hint. She was hoping to get into her office and see what, if anything, her admirer had left for her. She wanted to do it in privacy, since she didn't want him to make fun of her for being such a girl about it but it looked like there was no getting rid of him. Resigning herself she just rolled her eyes and walked into the office.
On the middle of her desk, where he'd placed all the other flowers, sat a plant in a beautiful blue glazed pot. She thought the flowers were called primrose. They smelled heavenly.
She sat down at her desk, ignoring every word that was coming out of Alec's mouth, to pick up the note and read what he had written.
A flower once picked begins to die. No matter how carefully you tend it, it will wilt and fade. A plant is different though, if you water it and make sure it gets some sunshine, it will flourish. It can't live without you and the care you give it. In the language of flowers, primroses mean: I can't live without you. You are the half of my soul that I never knew was missing until I found you. I can't imagine my life without you, it wouldn't be worth living without your smile.
Your Secret Admirer
Max collapsed back in her chair, a goofy grin firmly in place. She no longer cared if Alec saw her reaction, she felt giddy as a schoolgirl and she liked it damn it.