Disclaimer: I do not own Dark Angel (or Alec, unfortunately). This is written purely for entertainment purposes.

A/N: Whoo boy. I'm bad. Very, very bad. I should be writing an essay right now. Oh well. A tiny, tiny break?

I intend to make this a short trilogy. Well, maybe. It depends on how I like this first part. And how much work I have.

Set: shortly after the Berrisford Agenda.

A soft knock sounded at the door. Max padded over, clad in oversized sweatpants and a small red tank top. She idly wondered who would be coming over so late at night. If Logan had wanted her for an Eyes Only gig, he would have just called. Original Cindy was out for the night with the girl from the floor upstairs. And if it was White… well, she highly doubted he'd knock first. More like come in with all guns blazing, ranting about how transgenics were the scum of the earth.

She unlocked the door and was surprised to see Alec standing there. His hair was mussed up on one side, and his eyes were bloodshot. He stood there awkwardly, hands in pockets, feet shifting as if he wasn't sure whether he wanted to stay or go.

He looked horrible.

"Alec?" she murmured softly. "Are you –" She bit her lip. What a stupid question. It was obvious he wasn't okay. Ever since Rachel died, he pretended to be back to his normal, cocky self, but there were occasional moments when his pain slipped through the façade, there for all who were perceptive enough to see.

She held the door open wider. "You wanna come in?"

He paused, deliberating, and then stepped inside. It scared her how he still hadn't said a word. Alec and silence just didn't go together in her mind.

"You asked me," he said, his voice a little raspy. He cleared his throat and tried again. "You asked me if I ever wanted to talk."

Max nodded. She pulled him over to the couch and they sat down. He wanted to talk. Okay. She could do that. She had no idea how exactly, but she hadn't exactly been thinking of that when she had made the offer. She figured she could just listen and let him get out whatever he needed to say.

They sat uncomfortably for a few minutes, neither of them saying anything. This was new territory for them. Transgenics didn't talk about their feelings; they suppressed them and moved on. Feelings were a liability. Feelings were frowned upon. That was what Manticore had taught them, and it didn't matter that they were no longer in there – they still didn't talk about them.

Unable to take any more of the silence, Max feebly gestured her hand towards him, prompting him to start. But he just continued to sit there.

Finally, he said, "I don't really want to talk. I just… I…"

She was momentarily confused as to why he had come to her. If he didn't want to talk, then what exactly was she supposed to do? Suddenly, understanding filled her as he stared at her pitifully, and she moved closer to him on the couch. She reached out an arm, hesitated for a moment, and then brought his head down to rest on her chest, her hand raking through his hair in an effort to comfort him. His body was rigid at first, unaccustomed to the closeness between them, and then finally he relaxed, burying his face in her neck. For the first couple of minutes he was silent, but then his body started to tremble as he began to cry.

Max felt the tears wet her skin and her shirt, but she continued to rub circles on his back, making what she hoped sounded like soothing sounds. It broke her heart to see him like this; she had never imagined that one day she would see Alec's tears, and she feverishly wished that it had never come. Alec was usually lighthearted and so full of life, and this broken version screamed wrong to her. He wasn't supposed to be like this. He was supposed to be funny, and confident, and so goddamn annoying that she would want to throw him off a building. But not this.

She realized her error in foolishly believing the front he had always put up around everyone. That he was always alright and that nothing could touch him, physically or emotionally. She should have recognized what he was doing. After all, it wasn't so long ago that she had put up the same barriers in order to keep everyone out. She still did. But everyone had their breaking point. Even X5s. And it seemed that Alec had finally reached his.

She shifted so that they were now lying down on the couch, which wasn't easy considering how little room there was. But they managed, and she wrapped one arm around his muscular torso, the other one fiddling with his hair again. Somewhere in the back of her mind, she realized how close her body was to his, how good it felt to be this close to anyone in a long time. She wasn't completely oblivious to the fact that Alec was a very attractive man, and that he was currently spooned against her.

But tonight wasn't about that. It wasn't about love, or sex, or friendship. It wasn't about saving face and maintaining façades. It wasn't even about two broken people who had found each other in this equally broken world.

It was about need.

A/N: This is really different from what I usually write, but I think I like it. Let me know your thoughts?