Disclaimer: Alec is mine. Really, he is. He's feeding me peanut butter cups and fanning me right now. And he's NAKED! That's right girls- give me your envy, because he's here. (I'm not crazy...Really, I'm not!)

I guess Cameron/Eglee can keep the rest of the cast though. They just mess up my `Alone with Alec' time.

A/N: Okay, so far I've gotten a pretty decent response from you guys! I wasn't sure how many M/A shippers might be out there, but it looks like we are getting a good base of people!

Special thanks to the girls at the DA Fans board on Delphi. They are going to keep me going on this, and give me some wonderful `SML' ideas, I'm sure.

Also, special note to Pari106 who had the first M/A fan fic out there with `A Moment of Madness', followed up by its sequel `Building on Chemistry'. If you haven't read those stories, you should make it a point to do so.

They are awesome!

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Back to Good

`The High Road'

Prologue (pt 2)

"Damn it", Max sighed. She couldn't believe Alec had put her in this situation. Because of him, she and Logan were still in this mess, and God knows if they would ever be able to find an anecdote for the virus now. She had wanted it so bad she could practically taste it. This was hell on her. And it was all Alec's fault.

Max walked to the edge of the Needle and sat, bringing her legs up to her chest and resting her chin on her knees. She gave a loud, stressful sigh before attempting to relax. She was determined to relish the feel of the cool Seattle wind in her hair, the gust stinging her cheeks with force from being at such a high altitude. As she looked down, she couldn't help but thing for the umpteenth time about how beautiful the city was up this high. There was a point about a month ago where she wasn't sure if she would ever be able to experience the serenity of being up here again. And now, no matter how messed up her life was, she was going to make sure that she realized how lucky she was. She was alive, and she was free. Max could figure out the rest along the way.

Of course, she would have had things figured out with Logan by now if Alec hadn't come along and fucked things up. Again.

Damn him!

`But he was going to die' an inner voice piped up in his defense. She briefly scowled at the traitorous logic.

"Well, that was his stupid ass fault, not mine." Max answered herself, not realizing she was talking aloud until she heard her words cut through the crisp Seattle breeze. Uh-huh. There was no way that she was going to feel even a tiny bit sorry for him. He got his self into this, and she bailed him out. Of course, if he had saved her from White, it was the least he can do. He had almost let Logan from this damn virus. The way she saw it, he had owed her. Cocky, egotistical jerk.

Max sighed again and absently brushed her hair away from her eyes. She should've named him Dick when she had the chance.

The unwanted voice in her head came back, once again betraying her with its presence.

`Yeah, he almost let Logan die, but that was his mission. He was following orders. In his eyes, you were the rogue soldier, the Judas. He doesn't know any better.'

Max didn't like where her thoughts were going. Not only had he ruined things for her and Logan, he'd almost killed her tonight.

So why the hell was her subconscious defending him?

Of course, when push came to shove, he couldn't go through with murdering her. Even though he'd known that he would die, he had spared her life. For the first time since the incident this evening, Max really thought about that fact. It confused her just as much as everything else about him had since day one.

A scene flashed in Max's head. She was operating on Bullet, and Alec was helping her keep him calm. He was actually supportive-almost tender- while talking Bullet through the quick amateur surgery.

"Hang on, hang on. It's almost over. Okay, it's done. Hey, hey, you're gonna be okay. All right?" His words rang in her mind as she sat transfixed on the small lights of the big city. For that one brief moment, she had actually respected Alec. Hell, maybe even liked him a little. Maybe he wasn't such a bad guy after all...

Then, he'd gone and opened his mouth again and ruined that idea.

Yep. He was still a jerk. Granted, Alec could have his moments of humanity, but Max figured that even Hitler was a charming guy every once in a while. It was really too bad. Alec was a decent enough looking man...okay, he was perfect in every physical way possible. If he wanted, he could really make something of himself now that he was out of Manticore. He was certainly smart enough; they all were. If he'd just make an attitude adjustment - hell, who was she kidding, he need a whole new personality. Where did he get his total and complete self -centered ways? One thing they had taught them at Manticore was that they were a team. So what was his problem?

And why the hell was he taking her thoughts up like this? Max didn't understand it, and she was starting to get annoyed. She needed to get up the courage to go back to Logan and tell him what happened tonight. He'd probably upset, and even a little angry with her. She couldn't blame him. Part of her was angry with herself, even though she really didn't have a choice but to help Alec out.

Whether she liked it or not, she did feel responsible for him. It was her fault that he was out of Manticore and in this crazy city alone. But that didn't matter now. After tonight, she didn't think Alec -no matter how foolish he was - would have the nerve to show his face to her again. For that she was thankful. He was one less complication she needed in her overly complex life right now.

Max took one last deep breath of the cold and frosty air before she stood up, grateful at being able to get a moment to herself before heading to Logan's.

If for some insane reason she felt a little disappointed with the notion of not seeing Alec again, she pushed it right out of her head. She had no room for that kind of crazy thinking. None whatsoever.

She'd forget him soon enough. He was out of her life. Forever.