Wings

by: Blue

Summary: While Max is still being held captive at Manticore, Logan has a high-school reunion. Cindy offers to go along as an "arm-warmer" and manages to help Logan, and herself, deal with a lot of feelings about Max.

Rating: Very conservative PG-13 for talk of suicide. Nothing hard-core or overt. Just being safe, actually...

Disclaimer: I don't own them, I just enjoy getting inside of their heads.

Feedback: Pretty please? Feed me, feed me!

Wings

"Cindy, I can't find my winter bike-jacket!" Max complained loudly as she went through her closet. She dumped one article of clothing after another onto the floor in her search and soon noticed a more pressing loss. "Where's my dress?" she demanded.

"Dress?"

"The one I wore to Logan's cousin's wedding. Where is it? It's not here!" Max's voice cracked.

"It's in my closet, Boo." Cindy assured her. "Your jacket's probably there, too. Come on, we'll look." She led Max to her room and opened the closet. "See. Here's your dress."

Max reached out and laid her hand against the soft fabric. "I was afraid I'd lost it."

"I kept it safe for you, Boo." Cindy rested a hand on her shoulder. "While you were sick."

"Oh..." Max smiled at her. "Thanks."

Cindy nodded and removed the dress from the closet. "Let's put this back in your closet, okay?"

"What's this one?" Max asked, pointing to a pale-blue dress hanging next to hers. "Is it yours? I've never seen you wear it before."

"Logan got it for me." Cindy said. "When you were away."

"Oh." Max considered this. "Why?"

"I did him a favor."

Max nodded again. "What favor?" She grinned. "Dare I ask why Logan Cale felt the need to buy a formal gown for Original Cindy?"

Cindy laughed at her. "I went out with him this time."

"Out? Like... 'out on a date'?" Max's grin widened. "You?" She laughed. "Logan?"

"I was an arm-warmer. He had a class reunion or some nonsense and I offered to be an arm-warmer."

"That was sweet of you." Max smiled. "Pretty dress. Tell me about it."

"Well, it's blue. And it's silk."

Max laughed. "I mean it."

"There's not much to tell." Cindy told her. "He was lonely and I offered to keep him company. I was lonely, too. We talked."

"What about?"

Cindy shook her head. "Silly question, Boo."

"Oh." Max smiled faintly. "I'm glad you saved my dress for me. It..." She hesitated.

"Lot's of fond memories?"

Max nodded. "Yeah. Guess so."

Cindy smiled at her and squeezed her shoulder. "Let's go to the Crash. I'll buy."

"Good deal." Max grinned at her. "But you have to tell me about your date with Logan."

"Maybe another time." Cindy said vaguely.

"She won't talk about it. Must have been fun." Max grinned at her as she went to her bedroom to change. She could  not help but wonder what had gone on that made Cindy so reluctant to talk about it, though.

***

Cindy was not having a great day. She'd been late for work and Normal had expected her to make runs twice as quickly to compensate. And then on her first run, she's had a head-on with a Courier from another company and gotten herself covered with coffee. At least he wasn't a pizza-boy. Her clothes would be fine, but the coffee had dried to an itchy, sticky glaze on her skin within half an hour and she had not had time to change. And then Normal had dumped another package in her lap on the way out the door. Three blocks out of her way. No use arguing with the Man.

Exhausted, she let herself into the apartment, ready to drop into bed and let Max handle dinner. She caught herself and shook her head.

"Max isn't here anymore, Cyn." she reminded herself softly, wondering if she would ever get used to the fact. Probably not. That girl could be like a dose of sunshine on a dreary Seattle afternoon. Of course, she had her grumpy times, too, but Cindy had always considered those kind of cute. In a lethal sort of way.

Max was a strange pill, no doubt, but Cindy had grown fond of her all the same. Yes, she was incredibly hot, and that had been a factor at first, but she could never help but laugh when she remembered the first time that she had made a pass at Max.

"You do know I'm a girl?" Max had asked, honestly bewildered by Cindy's attentions.

Cindy, who had thought that any girl that Butch must have belonged to the 'girl's-only club', had been genuinely shocked and had offered a weak apology. Max had shrugged it off by offering to buy Cindy another beer. After that, they had to become friends. Max had forgotten, or pretended to forget, the pass, and they had managed to exist on a purely platonic level ever since.

But Cindy still felt empty without her around. She spent a lot of time in Max's room, but had not yet been reduced to sleeping in her bed. That was nothing but a cheap movie cliché, not to mention being just too spooky. And, of course, it was simply not her place. If anyone had a right to be mooning over Max like a boy who's puppy had just died, it was Logan. But Logan just threw himself that much more into his work and pretended not to notice that she was gone. Except that he'd show up at Jam Pony or Crash for no reason and look bewildered whenever anyone asked him what he wanted. And his eyes were always red now. No matter how much he pretended, he hurt, and Cindy, who hurt too, felt for him.

Cindy was disturbed from her reverie by a sound from Max's room. She grabbed a knife from the counter and tiptoed across the floor. Thieves pretty much avoided the neighborhood as not having anything worth taking, but there were exceptions. Like everyone living in post-Pulse America, Cindy was ready to fight to protect what was hers. Calling the police was not an option since she shared the apartment with Max illegally. The only protection that left was the ability to be the biggest, baddest bitch on the block, a position once happily filled by Max. Thieves and police alike had known that you left Max Gueverra alone if you wanted to stay in one piece. If Max could not handle a problem with force, the odds were good that Logan could handle it with diplomacy or blackmail.

She let herself into Max's room and was surprised to see Logan sitting on Max's bed, staring blankly into space. So much for cheap movie clichés. He looked up at Cindy dully, noticing her knife but not really reacting to it.

"Hi."

Cindy dropped the knife on the nightstand. "Logan. You been hanging out with my Boo too long."

He shrugged. "I knocked. No one was home. I have keys..." He began searching his pockets, passing over the pocket that obviously held the keys two or three times before he pulled them out. "See?"

Cindy shook her head. She hated to see him like this, hated to imagine what it would have done to Max to see him like this. She sat next to him on the bed. "I know you do, Sugar. It was a joke."

"Oh." He put the keys back. "I was just... I wanted to see if she still had the dress."

Cindy blinked. "Dress?"

"That she wore to my cousin's wedding. She stole it, then I bought it for her. I was just wondering if she had fenced it yet. It's not in her closet..."

Cindy rose and took his hand. "Come here." She led Logan into her bedroom and gestured for him to sit on her bed. As he complied, she opened the closet and pulled out the dress in question, laying it across his lap. "Boo loved this dress."

Logan stared down at the dress. "She was beautiful in it."

"She was always beautiful." Cindy said softly. "Do you want to take it home with you or anything?"

He shook his head. "No, no. She... she..." He sighed. "Keep it. She would have wanted you to have it."

Cindy nodded. Not that she could ever wear it. "You okay, Sugar? You need company tonight?"

He stared at her.

"That a yes?" Cindy asked, replacing the dress in her closet.

"Um... Sorry. I was... thinking."

"You've been thinking too much lately." Cindy told him. "You sure you're okay?"

"Never better." Logan lied.

"Right. Did you come over for a reason?"

Logan hesitated for a moment. "When... Right after I got shot, I would get these horrible cramps in my legs. From my ankle to about mid-way up my calf. It was a shooting pain, very sudden and only in that one area."

Cindy sat down next to him again, not entirely sure where he was going with the story. "Uh-huh?"

"They were so specific that I was sure that they had to be real, you know?"

"I think so, yeah." Cindy nodded, still not sure what he was getting at.

"Bling said they were phantom pains, that they were happening in my spine and my brain, but not in my legs." He sighed. "Sometimes I feel that way about Max."

"I don't follow."

"Well, I wonder where she is, or what she's doing, or if what she's stealing, or who she's crusading for, and then I wonder what she'd like for dinner." Logan sighed. "I caught myself making dinner for two yesterday. I was lighting candles when I realized that she wasn't coming over."

"Phantom pains, huh?"

He nodded. "Yeah. I miss her so bad  that I don't want to believe that she's gone. So I don't always. Then I remember." Logan sighed. "And it hurts."

Cindy draped an arm around his shoulder. "Of course it does, Sugar."

"It's like a reflex." Logan shook his head. "Having Max in my life got to be second nature. I don't know what to do without her..."

"The best that you can, same as the rest of us."

Logan nodded. "I don't know. Things seem... empty without her around."

"That I know about." Cindy sighed. "This is cheerful. Why don't we go to the Crash. I'll buy you a drink."

"And then I'll buy you several." Logan promised. "I plan on getting shamelessly hammered tonight."

"Max would have been proud." Cindy grinned at him.

"It's insane..." Logan muttered to Cindy as he stared at the empty glass. "I have this class reunion thing coming up. I was all set to ask her to come with me." He sighed and rose. "Want more?"

"Um, Sugar, you killed that last pitcher all by yourself. Maybe it's time to switch to ice-water." Cindy stared up at him, worried. "How many have you had, anyway?"

Logan shrugged. "Ran out of fingers a while ago." He paused to consider. "Fifteen? Eighteen? Something like that..."

"Right. Let's get you home." Cindy suggested, shaking her head.

"No, I'm fine."

"Right. Whatever." Cindy shook her head and rose, taking him by the arm. "Come on."

"So I was going to ask her to this Reunion..." Logan continued as Cindy steered him to his car. "And then I remembered. No Max."

Cindy winced, pretty sure he was about to start crying. As if on cue, Logan let out a pained wail and collapsed into her arms. Shaking her head, Cindy loaded him into the passenger seat and climbed behind the wheel.

"How's this work."

"I'll drive." Logan sniffled.

"I don't think so."

"I miss her so bad, Cindy..."

Cindy sighed. "I know you do. We all do. It's going to be okay, though."

"No, no it's not! Not ever again."

"Don't make me slap you." Cindy suggested.

"But I don't want to go alone!" Logan wailed.

Cindy shook her head. "Then I'll go with you."

"You?" Logan stared at her. "I thought you were..."

"I am. I'll still go. If you promise to stop crying."

Logan woke up with a predictably awful hangover. Getting painfully drunk was a new habit for him, and he still was  not entirely used to the consequences, but any sensation was a welcomed change from the burning numbness that filled him every time he thought about Max. And so he drank. He staggered towards the kitchen, intent on making a pot of coffee before his head exploded. He made it no farther than his living room before he collapsed on the couch with a groan.

"Ouch."

"Sugar, you look like hell." Cindy whispered, handing him a cup of coffee.

He stared at her, shocked by her presence. "I'm an idiot..." he groaned.

"Yes, yes you are." Cindy agreed, nodding.

"I think I'm going to be sick."

"Don't you dare!" Cindy snapped. "It's bad enough that I had to put you to bed last night. I am not cleaning up after you."

"What happened?"

"You got drunk. I took you home and put you to bed."

"Oh." Logan nodded weakly, gratefully, and took a sip of his coffee.

"And then I crashed in your bedroom because Max would never forgive me if I didn't take care of you now she's gone."

"Oh. That's... good."

"Well, if it had gone down any other way, I'd be the one wanting to puke right now." Cindy assured him.

Logan laughed, which hurt a lot. "Ow..."

Cindy shook her head. "Drink up. Then there's oatmeal because I don't think your stomach is going to handle much else."

"Thanks." Logan sighed. "You do this often?"

"Take care of the pitifully and disgustingly drunk boyfriends of my home-girls?" Cindy shook her head. "Not really."

"You're good at it." Logan told her. "Max would probably be yelling at me."

"And serve you right, too." Cindy told him, picking up her jacket. "I've got work."

"Thanks." Logan smiled weakly at her.

"When's this reunion thing?"

"Re..." Logan frowned. "Oh! It's on Friday. Why?"

"Because I promised to go."

He stared uncertainly. "You did?"

Cindy nodded. "I promised to go if you'd stop crying and you did. You always make that much of an ass out of yourself when you're drunk?"

Logan stared at her with wide eyes. "Um..."

"At least you didn't try to grab me." Cindy grinned at him and left.

Logan covered his face with his hands, trying to remember the night before. He was pretty sure that he had gone over to the apartment drunk and then compounded it by letting Cindy take him out. He walked to the kitchen and opened the trashcan. Two empty bottles rested underneath a container of oatmeal. Logan groaned.

"No wonder you feel like dirt." he muttered, taking his last bottle of scotch from its hiding-place behind the cookbooks. He emptied it into the sink and helped himself to a small bowl of oatmeal.

"If you're looking for Max, she hasn't been in to work for over a month." Normal informed Logan without looking up form his books.

"I know, Ray. She's been sick."

Normal looked up. "Tell her to bring a note from her doctor."

Logan nodded.

"You okay? You don't look good."

"Is Cindy around?"

"She's on a run. You can wait." Normal pointed to a table in the lounge. He stared at Logan again, frowning. "You used to be in a wheelchair." he noted.

Logan nodded. "I got over it."

"Oh. You can wait over there." Normal returned his attention to the books.

Logan nodded and walked to the lounge. He sat at the table and put his head down.

"Hey." He looked up slowly. Cindy was staring at him. "Nice nap?"

"Um..." Logan looked at his watch. "I guess so."

"Herbal suggests that drinking this will cure your hangover." She pushed a mug under his nose.

"Thanks." Logan took a cautious sip.

"How you doing?" Cindy asked, sitting down next to him.

"I wanted to apologize."

"You don't have to." Cindy assured him. "I understand how you feel. Look around. Not one person here isn't suffering because Max is gone."

Logan stared around the room. The employees did look more subdued than the last time he had seen them. "Yeah, but they don't know her like we did. They have no clue."

"I know, Sugar. But life goes on."

"Not after Max, it doesn't."

Cindy sighed and squeezed his knee. He did not feel it, of course, but he appreciated the gesture. "Then you hang on. Because hope is in short supply these days."

"I miss her."

"I know." Cindy sighed and leaned against him. "I know, Logan, but she wouldn't want you to suffer forever because she's gone."

"But it doesn't seem right to carry on like she never existed, either."

"I know. But... Logan..."

He nodded. "I know, Cindy. And I appreciate everything you've done for me."

"Maybe it's just time to accept that she's gone." Cindy muttered.

"No." Logan shook his head. "She died in my arms, but I can't help feeling like she is, in fact, out there." He sighed. "She gave me hope when I didn't think I would ever feel hope again. I can't give up on that. I can't give up on her..."

"Then don't." Cindy said. "Make the bastards who did this to her suffer. Make sure everyone knows all about them and their dirty tricks. And have hope. Always have hope."

Logan nodded. "Guess so." His pager went off and he glanced down at it, hoping, as always, that the code would be Max's. Of course it was not. It was Asha. "I have to go."

"I'll see you Friday."

"You don't have to come." Logan told her.

"I don't mind." Cindy assured him. "What should I wear? I don't have many formal gowns."

"I'll drop by early on Friday and we can go shopping."

"Thanks." Cindy grinned at him. "See you then."

"Yeah." With a weary sigh, Logan rose.

"Logan." Cindy called after him.

"Yeah?" He turned to face her.

"Hang in there."

"Yeah..." Logan nodded and left.

"Well?" Logan called into the dressing room. "Come on, Cindy. How's it look?"

"Too nice for me to afford." Cindy replied, staring into the mirror.

"Don't make me come in there." Logan called.

"You wouldn't dare."

"Wanna bet?" Logan replied, marching into Cindy's dressing room.

Cindy spun around, a look of shock on her face.

"Wow..." Logan muttered, staring at her. "You look great."

"I can't afford it."

"It's my treat. Get it."

"I can't." Cindy protested. "It's so much."

"I've spent more than that on Max." Logan pointed out. He sighed then steered the subject away from Max. "Come on, Cindy. Every woman should have one great dress."

Cindy sighed. "I don't know..."

"It's great on you?"

"Yeah, but where else will I ever wear it?"

"Wear it to the Crash." Logan suggested. He turned to the clerk who was peering cautiously into the dressing room. "We'll take it. Right, Cindy?"

"It is a lovely color on you, miss." the clerk pointed out. "And it fits you like it was made for you."

"Please." Logan added.

Cindy shrugged. If this was part of his mourning process, she was not about to complain. "I guess we'll take it."

"Great." The clerk smiled at her. "It really is lovely on you."

"She'll be wearing it." Logan told her.

"I'll just take the tag, then." The clerk cut the tag and left the dressing room.

"You act like you do this all the time." Cindy told Logan, staring at herself one more time in the mirror.

"I used to. Now only on special occasions." Logan smiled at her. "Thank God for plastic, huh?"

"Are you sure?"

"Positive." Logan smiled at her. "It's perfect on you."

Cindy smiled back. "I don't know. It seems unduly... classy for me."

Logan laughed. "It's perfect." he repeated, leaving the dressing room.

Cindy stared after him, wondering if he was not, perhaps, overcompensating for Max's loss. Shaking her head, unable to believe that she was going out with Logan on anything that even resembled a date, she followed.

"Logan, it's so good to see you again!" a chirpy woman called from the far side of the dance-floor.

Cindy winced and heard Logan groan next to her. "Susanne!" he called, waving.

"I can't believe you enjoy this kind of thing." Cindy muttered as they crossed the room.

"Neither can I." Logan replied softly. "Sue, how are you doing?"

"Oh, I can't complain." She laughed. "What about you? Is this your girlfriend? Wife?" She eyed Cindy with an unhealthy level of interest.

"Actually..." Logan began carefully.

"I'm his girlfriend's gay room-mate." Cindy said flatly.

"Oh." Susanne stared at them with wide eyes for a few moments before fleeing.

Logan stared at Cindy. "I can't believe you said that..." he whispered.

"Sorry."

"Are you kidding? It was perfect!" Logan sniggered. "I hated her. She always had her nose where it didn't belong, who was dating who and if it was an appropriate match. Biggest gossip in our class." He shook his head. "I'm amazed her head didn't explode!"

"Well, it's just as well. I'm getting to like this dress."

Logan laughed. "I get you a drink?"

"Please." Cindy grinned. "It's good to see you in a better mood."

"It's good to be in a better mood. Thanks."

"My pleasure." Cindy smiled. She noted that Susanne was in a huddle with several other women. She nudged Logan and pointed.

"Wow, eight and a half seconds. That's got to be some kind of record for self-restraint."

Cindy shook her head. "I hope you don't mind."

"No, no, no." Logan shook his head. "Why would I mind?"

Cindy shrugged. "Most guys would mind."

"I'm not most guys."

"So I noticed by Max's interest in you." Cindy said. "So, how long do we have to stay?"

"Um, that depends. Probably not more than an hour or two. If you want to go home sooner--"

"Are you kidding? I'm dying to tell more of your old class-mates that I'm your girlfriend's gay room-mate."

Logan laughed and shook his head. "You're a funny woman."

Cindy grinned. "If Max were here, I don't think Susanne would have survived so unscathed."

Logan laughed. "You could have a point there."

"I'm sure that the words 'transgenic enforcer' would have come into play at some point."

"She was not my enforcer."

"I know." Cindy smiled. "That's not the point."

"Oh."

"Hey, Logan!" a man said, walking up behind them.

"Jonathan. Hey." Logan grinned at the man.

"So, this is your girlfriend's gay room-mate? Did I get that right, miss?" He smiled at Cindy.

Logan laughed and shook his head. "That was quick."

"Yeah, Jonathan, you got it right." Cindy nodded gravely.

He stared at Cindy for a moment. "You were serious?"

"Yeah." Cindy nodded.

"Wow!" he laughed, shaking his head. "Logan, where's your wife?"

Logan stared at him. "You didn't hear? We got divorced. Years ago."

"Oh. Sorry man."

"No problem." Logan shrugged.

There was a moment's uncomfortable silence. "So, if this is your girlfriend's room-mate, where's your girlfriend?"

"Out of town." Cindy said quickly.

"Okay. Bad topic?"

"She's been sick." Logan said softly. "I don't like to talk about it."

"Sorry, man. I'll keep it quiet."

"Thanks." Logan smiled. "So, is Dave around?"

"Haven't seen him yet. Won't be much of a party without him. You still a party-animal?"

"Not really. Mostly just work."

"You?" Jonathan laughed. "No, really?"

"Really." Logan shrugged.

"What do you do?"

"I'm a journalist."

"Oh. Would I know your work?"

"You might." Logan shrugged.

"Cool." Jonathan clapped him on the shoulder and wandered off.

"I can't believe I actually hung out with these people." Logan muttered.

"I was about to say the same thing." Cindy told him.

"Don't get me wrong, Jonathan's a great guy, but he's more a drinking-buddy than a friend."

Cindy nodded. "I used to have those."

"Yeah? It occurs to me that I don't know much about your past."

"That's probably better." Cindy told him. "I was pretty messed up for a long time."

"Well, if you ever want to talk about it--"

"I don't. Dance?"

"Okay." Logan grinned and led her to the dance-floor. "Do you know if Max danced?"

"I'm not sure." Cindy stared at him uncertainly.

"Just curious."

"Oh."

"I tell myself that she's still alive. Then I tell myself that when she gets back, I am going to take her in my arms and kiss her."

"That sounds like a good plan."

"And after about a half-hour of that, I am going to ask her if she dances. And if she doesn't, I am going to teach her."

Cindy smiled. "Half an hour, huh?"

"Why not?" Logan asked, grinning. "Longer if she lets me."

"I think you've got your priorities misplaced, Sugar. I can think of much better things the two of you could spend that half-hour doing."

Logan's smiled faded momentarily.

"You okay?" Cindy asked.

"Just thinking." He glanced at his feet for a moment. "I don't know. It wasn't important."

"If you say so." Cindy shrugged. "If you want to talk about it..."

"I don't."

"Suit yourself. I'm here if you change your mind."

Logan nodded weakly. "You want that dance now?"

Cindy nodded and took his arm. She stared into his eyes as they danced across the floor. His dancing was flawless, but his heart, clearly, was not in it. After two or three dances, they found a table and sat down. Logan was uncommunicative, answering Cindy in one or two word sentences whenever she tried to get him to talk. Abruptly and without a word, he rose from the table and stalked to the stage where the band was playing old, pre-Pulse favorites. After a few brief words, the lead singer handed him the microphone.

Cindy watched in awe as he climbed onto the stage and turned to face the ballroom. The band struck up a slow and mournful tune. Logan lifted the microphone to his mouth and, without preamble, began singing.

No, I can't forget this evening

Or your face as you were leaving

But I guess that's just the way the story goes

You always smile but in your eyes your sorrow shows

Yes, it shows

No, I can't forget tomorrow

When I think of all my sorrow

When I had you there but then I let you go

And now it's only fair that I should let you know

What you should know

I can't live if living is without you

I can't live, I can't give any more

I can't live if living is without you

I can't give, I can't give any more

No, I can't forget this evening

Or your face as you were leaving

But I guess that's just the way the story goes

You always smile but in your eyes your sorrow shows

Yes, it shows

I can't live if living is without you

I can't live, I can't give anymore

I can't live if living is without you

I can't live, I can't give anymore

Cindy was amazed at the wonderful voice that spilled from his lips. She had never stopped to think of Logan as the kind of man who had hobbies. He saved the world. It was what he did. Where, in all that, did he find time to train such a singing voice? Maybe it was just that his pain added an extra dimension to the song.

Cindy shook her head as he handed the microphone back to the singer and stumbled back to the table, unaware that every eye in the room was on him.

"Logan..." she began gently.

He looked up in surprise, as though her presence were unexpected. "Ready to go?"

"I think we need to talk."

"What about?"

"What do you think?"

He shook his head. "Don't want to talk about it."

"Logan, you can't go on like this forever."

"Watch me." Logan glared at her. "You have no idea what I'm going through!"

"Why? Because I've never kissed her? You think that means I loved her any less than you did?"

Logan jumped to his feet and hurried out of the ballroom. Cindy shook her head and followed. It took her twenty minutes to find Logan, on the roof of the hotel, staring at the street below. Max had told her that Logan was afraid of high places, so Cindy could think of only one good reason for him to be up here.

"Logan..." she began softly.

He did not turn, hardly seemed to notice her. "I was just thinking."

She rested a gentle hand on his shoulder, ready to pull him back to reality if the need arose. "What about, Sugar?"

"Max."

"Logan..." Cindy repeated, tightening her grip on his shoulder.

"There was this genetics conference," Logan continued, not seeming to notice her. "and Max went because she was convinced that this Doctor could cure her seizures, or my paraplegia, or both."

Cindy had heard the story from Max. She nodded. "Go ahead."

"Terrorists took them all hostage. I was so worried about Max that I traded myself for the women. Like Max ever needed to be rescued from anything." He laughed bitterly.

"You were being a man." Cindy told him. "I can respect that."

"Thanks." Logan sighed. "I traded myself for them, only Max wanted to rescue this kid, so she went back. And when things went bad and the terrorists were ready to kill me, there she was." Logan closed his eyes. "I've always hated high places, Cindy. They scare the shit out of me, actually. And they were going to throw me off the roof."

"Ouch..." Cindy whispered.

"I've never been that scared in my life. All I could do was pray. And then there she was." He smiled faintly. "She grabbed my hand and stopped me from falling and for a spilt-second it was like flying. Fear... it evaporated. No fear, no concern, just... Max." He shook his head. "And then we went crashing through this window and landed on a bed."

"Cozy."

Logan smiled faintly. "She got up to rescue the boy, and I grabbed her by her line and pulled her close. God, I almost kissed her. I should have, but I let her go." He shook his head and stared at the street again. "I always used to let her go. Or worse, I would push her away. And once I realized that she was as interested in me as I was in her, it was too late. She was gone, Cindy." Logan's voice cracked as he spoke.

"Oh, baby..." Cindy shook her head and pulled him into her arms. "Shh..." she whispered. "It's going to be okay."

He did not pull away, but he shook his head. "No, not ever again. I let her die, and nothing's every going to be 'okay' again." Logan let out a pained wail and clutched Cindy desperately.

"Shh..." Cindy repeated, rocking him. "Let's get you home."

"No." Logan shook his head. "I want to go to the Space-Needle."

Cindy raised an eyebrow.

"Max used to go there all the time. It was her spot. She spent months trying to drag me up there, but I only went with her once. God, I should have been up there with her every night."

"But you weren't. It's too late to change that, Logan, but you can't keep punishing yourself."

Logan turned and stared at her. "Why not? You do."

Cindy recoiled from the startlingly accurate assessment. "Let's go."

Cindy could immediately see why Max had liked the top of the Needle so much. It was quiet, separate. The horrors of the world below never seemed to reach so high. The air was pure and clean, unlike the air that they breathed every day in the city. She glanced at Logan who was sitting a few yards away, rocking himself.

"I still hate high places." he admitted as she crawled over.

She smiled and wrapped an arm around him. "Me, too. I love Boo dearly, but I'd never have let her drag me up here. Not in a million years."

"Yet here we are." Logan shook his head. "Why do I miss her so much?"

Cindy stared. "You've never loved a woman before, have you?"

Logan glanced at her, afraid that she was making fun of him. When he saw that she was not, he admitted, "I've wanted to."

Cindy sighed. "But Max was your first?"

He nodded. "Is that pitiful?"

She shook her head. "Max is a good woman, the kind that it's easy to fall in love with. I don't think she'd be mad if I told you that you were her first."

"I had no idea." Logan said, amazed. "Max?"

"Yeah."

"But she's so..." he shook his head uncertainly.

"Experienced?" Cindy shrugged. "Filling a need, that's all. With you, it was different."

Logan sighed and stared at the Seattle skyline. "Max was different for me, too. I mean, I..." He hesitated. "The first time we met, Cindy, I was swept away. No one had ever done that to me before. I used to think of it as having my feet taken out from under me, until I met Max and my feet really were taken out from under me. When I couldn't walk, Max gave me the power to fly. She gave me wings." He smiled sadly. "Everything she did for me and I couldn't even save her life. Did you know that she died in my arms?"

Cindy remained silent, drawing her against him. Finally, she spoke. "You gave Max a lot. Whenever she talked about you, I saw that. I was so jealous of you. Both of you. She gave you hope, but you gave her hope, too."

Logan looked up, a little surprised. "Really?"

Cindy nodded. "Yeah. Every time she talked about you, the cynicism and fear vanished from her. I knew, even before I knew everything about Max that there was to know, that she was afraid of something, running from whatever. But you were like her safe place. You gave her hope and taught her to believe."

"I never gave her anything. Except for the occasional material object."

"You touched her. And when you touched her, you touched everyone who loved her. She changed after she met you."

"I remember." Logan grinned up at her. "You thought I was her pusher."

Cindy shrugged. "Well, I'd never known her to get in any trouble before you came along, and then suddenly she couldn't seem to stay out of it."

"Honest mistake."

"But then I got to know you then way Max did. Even before I knew what she was really all about, I knew that you gave her something unique." Cindy smiled at him. "You gave her herself. Without you, I don't think she ever would have come to terms with what she was."

"I think that's stretching it a bit." Logan said softly.

Cindy shook her head. "We all knew that she was hiding something. We just figured that she was an ex-con or something. I think she would have denied it until the day she died if it hadn't been for you."

"How do you figure?"

"You knew what she was and you still accepted her. I don't think that it had occurred to her that that could happen. She was so scared of being rejected..." Cindy shook her head. "And then you came along and taught her that things could be another way. You gave her a lot. You gave her acceptance."

Logan smiled faintly. He was aware that he was crying, but he did not mind. "What do I do without her, Cindy?"

"You carry on. Your mission is an important one. Max knew that. She wouldn't want you to quit just because she was dead."

Logan stared at the sky. "What if she's alive?"

"You said that she died in your arms." Cindy muttered, confused.

"Yeah, but if anyone could survive a bullet to the chest, it would be Max."

Cindy smiled. "Hope is an important thing..." she began.

"Please, don't finish that sentence." Logan begged.

Cindy nodded and left it at that. "Hope is an important thing." she repeated.

Logan nodded weakly. "I feel... Sometimes I feel like she's still out there somewhere."

"And the rest of the time?"

Logan refused to look at her when he spoke. "The rest of the time, the ground looks attractive from up here."

Cindy squeezed his hand. "If she is out there, you can't do that, Sugar."

"I know." Logan sighed. "But that doesn't make it any less appealing. Think of it. One instant of pain followed by an eternity without fear or doubt. I could be with her again."

"Unless she really is still alive."

Logan shook his head. "How could she be?"

Cindy smiled. "If anyone could survive a bullet to the chest, it would be Max."

Logan sighed and shook his head. "I just want the pain to stop."

Cindy reached out and took his face in her hands. "It will, Sugar, but you have to give it time. She lived, and her life was short, but she gave us so much."

"I know what she gave me," Logan said, wiggling his toes, "but what did she give you?"

Cindy smiled sadly. "Closure. Friendship. Faith. She gave me a reason to live, too."

Logan stared at her in surprise. "What reason?"

"Doesn't matter now, except that Max got me through a tough time, like she got you through a tough time, and she gave us both reason to keep living."

"Really?" Logan scoffed. "What's mine?"

Cindy sighed, aware that she was not reaching him this way. She changed tactics. "Revenge."

Logan gaped.

"If you have nothing else, you have that." Cindy stared at him and sighed. "And having something is a damned sight better than not having anything at all." She closed her eyes tightly. When she opened them, Logan was staring at her. "I've been where you are, Logan. And yes, the ground does look damned attractive from up here, but Max gave us both reasons to hang on to something else." She sighed again. "Logan, hang on to hope, or to revenge, or just to tomorrow, but hang on to something. Not for you, not for me. For Max."

Logan stared at her and nodded weakly. "I'll hang on if you will."

Cindy nodded weakly and extended her hand. "Deal."

"Deal." Logan agreed, grasping her hand. "Let's go see how the ground looks from down there."

"From down there," Cindy told him, "the sky is beautiful. You said she gave you wings? Use them."

Logan smiled, his first genuine smiled in weeks, and rose. "That's not a bad idea, actually." He extended his hand and helped Cindy to her feet. As they started back, he said, "Have I mentioned that that's a great color on you?"

***

Cindy followed Max into the Crash, feeling more than a little ridiculous walking into a bar in a gown. Max had pointed out that such pretty dresses deserved to be worn more than once, and Cindy had facetiously suggested the Crash. Max, oddly enough, had considered this a fine idea, and now, walking into the bar, turning every eye and stopping every conversation, she was grinning ear-to-ear.

Shaking her head, Cindy followed her to the bar and ordered a drink. When Cindy had her drink, Max caught her arm and pointed to a table near the back. Logan sat there, staring absently into his drink. Max gestured to Cindy to follow. Grinning, Cindy made her way through the staring crowds, following Max.

"Hey, you." Max said as she approached Logan's table.

Without looking up, Logan responded instinctively. "Hey yourself." He grinned up at her, then his jaw dropped. He placed one hand over his mouth, then the other over his chest as he saw Cindy behind Max. "Um..." His shocked expression dissolved into a grin. "Hi."

Max winked at him and leaned on the table, grinning broadly. "Well? What do you think?"

"I think that I am beholding two of the most beautiful women on God's green earth." Logan replied seriously. "Of course, I could just be dreaming..."

"You aren't." Max assured him. "We just figured that it was a shame to let such pretty dresses languish in our closets. You like?"

Logan grinned at her and nodded. "I like very much. You ladies both look beautiful."

Cindy grinned. "Thanks, Sugar."

He smiled back. "Hey, it's true. By the way, I don't think I ever thanked you."

"Not a problem." Cindy told him, sitting down opposite him. "I did it as much for me as for you."

Logan shook his head and smiled. "Well, it's very nice of you to say."

Cindy ignored him.

Max was staring at him. "What exactly happened on this 'date' of yours?"

"A lot of talking." Logan told her, grinning. "Hey, do you dance?"

Max frowned and shook her head. "No, I never learned."

"Remind me to teach you some day."

Max grinned at him and nodded, not sure why Cindy was grinning. "Did you know he sings?" she asked Max, causing Logan to wince.

"Really?" Max asked, staring at Logan. "Is that true?"

Logan sighed and nodded.

"Sing something for me." Max asked.

Logan smiled and shook his head. "No, I don't think so, Max. Not tonight. Ow!" he added as Cindy nudged his ribs painfully.

"Sing the woman a song." Cindy ordered.

Logan smiled and shook his head again. "Come on. My voice sucks."

"You have a fine voice." Cindy told him. "Now, sing!"

"No!" Logan protested, laughing. "Not fair, Cindy."

"Logan!" Max laughed. "Sing. Come on." She batted her eyelashes. "Pretty-please?"

Logan sighed and bowed his head. "Requests?"

"Something about Max." Cindy said.

Logan glanced up at her, remembering the last song he had sung with Max in mind. Something happier was called for this time. As he searched his mind for an appropriate song, a comment of his to Cindy gave him an idea. When I couldn't walk, Max gave me the power to fly. She gave me wings.

He winked at Max and opened his mouth. Ignoring the overly-loud music on the bar's speaker's he launched into song. Every head in the bar turned.

Did you ever know that you're my hero?

You're everything I wish I could be.

I could fly higher than an eagle,

For you are the wind beneath my wings.

It must have been cold there in my shadow,

To never have sunlight on your face.

You were content to let me shine, that's your way.

You always walked a step behind.

So I was the one with all the glory,

While you were the one with all the strain.

A beautiful face without a name for so long.

A beautiful smile to hide the pain.

Did you ever know that you're my hero,

And everything I would like to be?

I can fly higher than an eagle,

For you are the wind beneath my wings.

It might have appeared to go unnoticed,

But I've got it all here in my heart.

I want you to know I know the truth, of course I know it.

I would be nothing without you.

Did you ever know that you're my hero?

You're everything I wish I could be.

I could fly higher than an eagle,

For you are the wind beneath my wings.

"Wow..." Max whispered as Logan finished singing. She was aware that he had turned every head in the bar, but she was more aware of her own response. "That was..." She trailed off, shaking her head.

"You approve?" Logan asked.

Max smiled lovingly at him and nodded. "It was beautiful, Logan." A wicked grin spread across her face. "Cindy, could you give Logan something for me?"

Cindy smiled innocently. "What's that, Boo?"

"Just a little something." Max said with a grin. "Please?"

"Okay." Cindy nodded and shrugged. "Why not. What would you like me to give him?"

"Just this." Max leaned over and planted a kiss on Cindy's cheek.

Cindy's smile widened. "I think I can deliver the message." she informed Max, rising.

Logan looked a little like he wanted to run away as Cindy sat down next to him. "Logan." she said.

"Yes?" He glanced nervously from her to Max.

"I've got a message for you. From Max."

"Oh, really?" He grinned nervously.

"Yeah." Cindy nodded and leaned towards him. "It went something like this." She planted a tender kiss on his cheek.

Logan smiled. "Thanks for passing the message along."

Cindy smiled back and nodded. "Not a problem, Sugar. Although... I'm thinking that that message might have been a little garbled."

"Oh, really?" Logan asked uncertainly.

"Yeah." Cindy winked at Max. "I think it was supposed to go more like this." She grabbed Logan by the shirt and pulled him close, kissing him passionately, much to Max's delight.

Logan sat, stunned. "Max, was that your message?" he asked finally, weakly.

"Thanks, Cindy. You delivered it perfectly." Max winked at Logan. She caught his eye for a split-second, then blushed. She jumped to her feet. "So, who needs another drink?" she asked, heading towards the bar.

Logan stared after Max, ignoring Cindy's quiet laughter. No matter who had delivered the kiss in actuality, it had really come from Max. Their third kiss. He closed his eyes and enjoyed the sensation that filled his body. Max really had given him the ability to fly. She had given him wings.