No Half-Assed Hero
by pari106

Disclaimer: Alec and Max aren't mine…but I have a couple of Alec clones to console me. So save your
tears. Just don't try to sue me. I have no money to give…and you aren't getting my clones, so it's useless
to try.

Rating: PG-13

Summary: Post-"Proof of Purchase" Just some Alec thoughts.

A/N: I don't know if I got where I wanted to with this. It's short and kind of muddled. But I don't
know…I'm posting it anyhow. Let me know what you think.

No Half-Assed Hero
by pari106

"If you want to be the hero, you can't be half-assed about it."

I had no idea what you were talking about. Big surprise there. I never know what you're talking about.

Like when you showed up with that goober – X6 yadda yadda yadda – after he got himself shot. "I'd kick
your ass," you said. "But we don't have time for that right now." I just thought: "What did I do?"

So there we were…we'd just let lizard boy go free, for some unfathomable reason. There were NSA agents
with itchy trigger fingers all over the place. And then you suggested we stick around and crash White's
"light show".

I would have suggested you were crazy.

That's when you said it.

"If you want to be the hero…"

Hero? I wasn't trying to be anybody's hero. I was just bored. And I have a little pride, you know. I
couldn't let you and your ragtag band of 'Core rejects give Xs a bad name by getting yourselves killed.
You're soldiers, for crying out loud. Give your enemies a little challenge. But anyway…

"If you want to be the hero…"

I'm no hero, sweetheart.

The only one who really matters to me, is me.

But, for some reason…I stayed. You went after that transmitter, and I stayed by your side. Hell, *I* was
the one who hit the guard. *I* helped reprogram the signal. *I* shot the damned thing.


It's not about playing the hero. I never believed in heroes or the Easter Bunny. Call me practical. So why
did I stay?

Why did I help you get out of Manticore in the first place?

That wasn't just boredom. It wasn't just to get a new breeding partner. To tell you the truth, I'd much
rather kick it with a woman who has a mind of her own. Like you…but less uptight. Yeah, I called you
uptight. I know that whole breeding partner business wasn't what either of us preferred. But do you have
to hold it against me? It was just my job. Anyhow…I want a woman with a personality. And a brain. Not
one of those "yes, sir!"/"no,sir!" super soldiers Manticore likes so much. That crack about catching
something was just to piss you off.

So why'd I get you out?

I'll admit…the chance to kick some X7 ass was just too good to pass up. But that wasn't all it was.

It's not cause you're beautiful. Beauty is kind of irrelevant, isn't it? We're all beautiful. We were made
that way.

I don't know what it is about you that keeps me coming back for more.

Maybe that's the point. *I don't know*.

I never know what's going on in that cute, twisted little head of yours. I can't figure out why you do the
things you do. I don't know why you chose the life you've chosen. I mean…you're good. I've seen you
kick ass…you're not half bad. And you're smart enough, when you don't let all that sentimental crap get
you mixed up. But you *choose* to put yourself in positions beneath you. You're a soldier, and a damned
good one. As our idiot friend "Bullet" would say: "millions of dollars of R and D…" And I hear you work
as a bike messenger.

What the hell is that about?

I just don't know.

That's why I can't stop thinking about you. I *want* to know.

That's the real shit of it. I don't care much for mysteries. Generally, if I can't eat it, shoot with it, or sleep
with it… "it" doesn't interest me. But you…interest me.

Yeah, yeah, whatever. But it's true, okay?

The truth is, I'm a sucker for those little things that take the monotony out of life. And, baby, you're
anything but monotonous.

The one thing you are…is heroic.

You're the hero here, honey. I'm just a guy covering his own ass. No hero – half-assed, or otherwise.
That never bothered me before, but it bothers me now.

Because somewhere along the way I guess I started to listen to you. I guess I started wanting to be a hero.
For you. I wanted to play one of the good guys. That's why I stayed in Washington, even after you got
Eyes Only to hook me up with those bogus papers. That's why I'm still here now. Even though you hate

"If you want to be the hero…"

You thought I was trying to be a hero? I sure proved you wrong, didn't I, sweetheart? The thing is…now I
want to prove you right. It may be too late. And I don't understand it anymore than I understand anything
about you, Max, but I want to prove you right. I want to make it up to you; I want to tell you I'm sorry
again and know you believe it. I want you to know I never meat for things to get so fucked up…that I
really didn't want to hurt you…

I want to be a hero. That's why I'm still in Seattle now; the same city, haunting the same joints. Even
though you hate me now. Even though Joshua undoubtfully wants to kill me. Even though I know about a
hundred NSA agents are hanging around here, too, waiting to beat him to the job…

I'm here to play like one of the good guys. Maybe even to lose like one. Maybe I'm here hoping White'll
catch me again, so I can get a chance to repent for my sins. So I can get a chance to make the choice I
made before…only this time I can make the right one.

And that's what I'll do…given that chance, I'll choose right. I'll choose loyalty over my own survival. I'll
choose your way. I'll play the hero. And I won't be half-assed about it. I only hope I get the chance. I
only hope you'll still care if I do.