Second Chances – Chapter 2

Disclaimer: I own nothing, I'm just borrowing the characters of Dark Angel to have some fun with them.

Max was staring at the huge doors behind which the doctors had vanished with Alec. It seemed like an eternity since they had fallen closed with a heavy thud. She looked up when she heard quick footsteps approaching. Her heart jumped when she saw it was Logan; she couldn't stand a minute longer of just waiting, all alone with nothing but her thoughts to keep her company.

Standing up, she stepped into his arms without a word; his warm embrace was a comfort she was thankful for. Logan stroked her hair out of her face and met her eyes. "What happened?" he asked.

Max took his hand and pulled him down on the chair beside hers. "We were just heading home when we were shot at by some random guy. He basically came out of nowhere. Clemente called and told me they have him in custody right now."

Her brown eyes held worry and anger at the same time. She shook her head and averted her gaze. "We should have never been out like that, I can't believe how stupid I was! There are so many transgenic haters still around, we should have been more careful. How could I let this happen?" Her expression was desperate when she faced him. "I'm their leader, I'm supposed to take care of them, all of them, but I never even thought about it! We were just walking, bickering, you know how Alec can get on my nerves…" She stopped and blinked.

"Logan, I…" Unshed tears glistened in her eyes and he took her hand, gently stroking her fingers. "I never thought I'd say this, but I can't lose him. I've lost too many already, I just can't."

"He'll be alright," he said softly. "It's Alec, Max. He'll be alright."

But she looked doubtful. "The doctor said he has internal bleeding. They're just operating on him."

"How long have they been gone?" His blue eyes travelled over to the door that said 'Do not enter, hospital staff only'.

"Fifteen minutes maybe, I'm not sure."

"Well, there's one thing I'm sure of. Our favourite pain-in-the-ass is not going to leave like this. He'll make it."

Max gave him a weak smile. "This reassuring thing isn't really working, but I'm grateful you're trying."

"That's what I'm here for," he replied, giving her a smile in return. Their hands clasped together, they waited in silence for the news, good or bad, that were inevitably to come.

Max had no idea how long they had waited when the doctor came back. The only thing she knew was that she was standing all of a sudden, gripping Logan's hand so tightly he winced. "How is he?"

"He will be fine once he's recovered from the severe blood loss. Thanks to you he survived it, a moment later and it could have been too late. Luckily none of the major organs were damaged by the bullet, so we were able to stop the internal bleeding without too many problems. We transferred him to the recovery room; if you want you can wait there for him to wake up. It may take a while though."

The doctor looked expectantly at her. Max had the impression that an invisible hand had just stopped from crushing her chest; it was easier to breathe. But now that she knew he was going to be alright, another matter came to her attention.

"Is it ok if I make a call first?" she asked. "It's important." The doctor's brow creased into a frown, but he nodded curtly. Max pulled out Alec's cell as Logan gave her a curious glance. "What is it, Max?"

"I need to call Clemente, ask him if they got anything out of that bastard who shot at us." She flipped the phone open and cursed. "Damn, the battery died. Can I use yours?"

"Sure." He patted his pockets for a moment before saying: "I left it in the car. I'll go get it and make the call. You just go on and check on Alec, I'll join you in a few minutes."

Max gave him a brilliant smile. "Thanks." She pressed a quick kiss on his lips before vanishing after the doctor.

The doctor left her standing in front of Alec's room and she stood there for a moment, looking at his still form on the bed. He looked small and out of place in the white, sterile room. Somehow she always attributed colour to Alec.

Now that the first shock was over, she suddenly felt strange about going inside. Alec and she had never been that close, well they were close in a somehow not-close way if that made any sense, so that she was unfamiliar with feeling this worried about him.

No matter how often she had bailed his ass out of a dilemma he had gotten himself into, deep down she had always known he could take care of himself. It had been different with Joshua whom she had always felt she needed to protect, but not Alec. He was the guy on the side with the insightful comments she never wanted to hear. The guy who was a pain in her ass she strangely didn't want to miss.

Max sighed and quietly opened the door; she hated hospitals. The last time she had been in one, someone had tried to kill her. Not a good memory. Pulling a chair to Alec's bedside, she sat down. "Hey," she whispered, feeling stupid talking to him. She was not used to one-sided conversations with Alec, usually it was he who did the talking. What was she supposed to say? She didn't know and so she just studied his face.

He had regained some of his colour, but there were still dark shadows under his eyes. He resembled Ben so much at that moment, she had to push the image of his dead body to the back of her mind.

She stared at Alec and the longer she did, the more she got the feeling that she had never really looked at him before. Had never bothered to look.

But now…how could two people look so alike and yet at the same time look so different? She was sure that if she were to see them both together, she would spot the difference from a mile away.

An image of Alec smiling at her flashed before her eyes. It was just something in his expression that took Ben's features and changed them into something more…bright. Maybe that was the word.

Perhaps it was his love for life that shone through everything he did. Ben had never had that.

Max leaned back in her chair and realized with a pang that maybe that was it, one of the reasons why Alec was able to annoy her to no end.

The fact that he could handle everything; even when something brought him down, he got to his feet again. She had seen it happen herself more than once. Whereas Ben hadn't had the strength to cope with the world and it had dragged him down. It was why he had to die.

Max pulled a face. Was she really such a bitch that she begrudged Alec something his brother hadn't had? After all it wasn't Alec's fault Ben hadn't been able to deal.

Another reason of course was that Alec just loved to bug and tease her mercilessly to the point where she just snapped. She knew it entertained him.

A fond smile crossed her features. "You better wake up, Alec, so that I can kick your ass for scaring me like this," she murmured.

Logan stepped out into the car park beneath the hospital. For a moment he stood in complete darkness before the automatic lights switched on. Looking around, he spotted his car in the distance and sighed as he started heading towards it.

He was glad Alec was alright. Despite of all the things that had happened in the past, he was quite fond of the guy. It was nice to see Max show some concern for him, he deserved to be treated with something other than the indifference she normally showed him.

He smiled. Sometimes Alec reminded him of the way Max had been when he first met her. The both of them really weren't that different. Once he had felt threatened by that, but not anymore.

Fumbling in his pockets for the car keys, he stopped dead in his tracks when a cold voice penetrated the air. "Don't move."

He did so nonetheless and turned around to stare right at a gun pointed at him. It was held by a shabby guy, tall but skinny, with an unshaven face. His black eyes blazed with undisguised hatred. "You're the guy who helped them, I saw you on tv."

"Take it easy there with the gun. I have no idea what you're talking about."

"I'm talking about the transgenics," he spat. "Those fucking mutants walking around! It's disgusting to see a human in league with these freaks! I followed you here, you know. My partner shot one of your little friends."

Logan swallowed hard at this. This guy was more dangerous than he had thought, he had to be careful.

"Did he die sweetly, the bastard, did the life slowly and painfully run out of him?" His grin showed black and rotten teeth.

"Yes, he's dead. He died on the operating table half an hour ago." He couldn't put him on Alec's trail again. Looking around out of the corner of his eye, he saw that nobody was in sight anywhere. A silent curse slipped from his lips. He needed to distract the guy somehow to make a move. "Listen, you got what you wanted, he's dead, finished, so why don't you just leave and we go our separate ways?"

"Because I can't let you go, you're working with them." He cocked his head to the side and the ugly grin appeared again. "I guess I have to kill you."

Logan's eyes widened. "I'm not a transgenic."

"I don't care at all." In that instant, Logan saw something in the man's eyes and he knew it was now or never. He either attacked or he'd be dead. Jumping forward as fast as he could, he tried to grab the man's arm, but it was too late. A shot rang out and Logan slumped to the ground.

The man didn't hesitate for a second and started running toward the exit, never looking back.

Left was only Logan, a bullet hole in his forehead, blood spreading around him on the cold concrete floor, his unseeing eyes wide open.

Max looked at her watch impatiently. Where the hell was Logan? He had already been gone for half an hour, since when did it take him so long to make a simple phone call? Her gaze wandered over to Alec, who was still fast asleep and didn't seem as if he was about to wake up anytime soon, and she pushed her chair back with determination. "I'll be back soon."

She hurried down the corridor and took the steps down to the car park two at a time. A horrible feeling told her something was wrong, and most of the time, her instinct was spot on. She just hoped that this was not one of those times.

Max pushed open the door to the parking lot and looked frantically around, her enhanced eyesight taking in every detail. Then she saw him lying on the ground at the other end of the building. "Logan!" she called, her voice trembling, as she ran towards him, her feet barely touching the ground.

One step away from him she stopped abruptly, frozen in motion. She distantly registered the pool of blood, the bullet hole, but all her attention was on his eyes. The beautiful blue eyes that brightened her every day, that were the sight she loved most in the world; all the life had gone out of them. They stared at her, glassy and lifeless.

A tremor ran through her body, but she still couldn't move. Then all of a sudden, she dropped to her knees and gripped his shoulder. "Logan," she whispered and with shaking fingers touched his cheek. He felt so cold. "Don't do this to me." Her heart felt as if it had just been ripped to shreds. "You can't leave me."

She spent the next hour in a daze; the cops came, the mortician took Logan away, they asked her questions, but it all felt far, far away. As if she wasn't even really there.

When they were gone, Max went back to Alec's room and sat down on the bed. He still looked so peaceful, she thought. As if nothing in the world could ever disturb him. Her eyes prickled and her chest tightened, making it hard for her to breathe. She grabbed Alec's hand and pressed it with everything she had, but still…it was no use.

The tears were coming and once they had spilled over, she wasn't able to stop.

A.N.: So, Alec getting shot wasn't the tragedy after all. I hope I was able to shock you people. :) I have to admit, killing off Logan was harder than I imagined, but it had to be done. As with all my fanfictions, I like to keep real to the series and the characters (and I hope I manage to) and as I see it, there was no way Max would ever consider Alec in any romantic way if Logan was still there, as in alive, so he had to go. I don't like Logan bashing because it doesn't feel real to me, Max and his' love is pretty strong, even if it never interested me that much, so in my opinion this was the only way out.

As always, reviews are greatly appreciated. I hope you liked the chapter.