A/N: Hi guys, I know it's been awhile. Originally, I just need to edit one scene and when I tried to do that, I edited another scene and then another.. And before I know it, I'm rewriting the said scene and then I just had to add in another scene.

And I want to thank each and everyone of you who had read and/or review this fic, especially to the ones I can't reply personally: supernana494, 4ever Max & Alec, Punkie, JG, Amy and the others. I just want you to know that your review means the world to me and I can only say thank you and I love you all :)

Enjoy this new chapter and have a great day folks!

Beta: To the ever fabulous Alexis, thank you sweetie!! +hugs+


Chapter 5: Obscure Salvation and Coming War


Kris made her way out of a diner, frowning as she noticed the darkening sky. She glanced at her wrist, noting that she still had time for a leisurely stroll, a long walk that'll give her the chance to clear her head. Yes, a long walk, that was definitely what she needed, even if it looked like it was about to pour soon. After meeting the old fortuneteller, she was restless. She didn't know what to think about everything that she had been told. Saving the world? She's no superhero and she didn't know if she was ready for the responsibility. And for the first time she knew what Elsa meant when she tried to talk her out of her routine weekly dose of fortune telling.

Elsa, Kris sighed remorsefully, if she shared this with Elsa, she was sure her friend would scoff it off. Unlike her, her friend had science flowing in her veins. She on the other hand, wasn't so uptight about her beliefs. Kris liked to think that she had the best of both worlds, but as of right now, she didn't know what to make of the other one.

'Hey,' someone tapped her shoulder and she turned, a second passed by before she realized that she had a glinting knife pointed in her face.

'Wha...'

'Give us everything you have.' Even in the dim lighting, the man's shaved head glinted and the flash ignited her terror.

'I don't have anything,' she replied, her face turning white. Her gray eyes were frozen against the cold eyes of her assailant, her fingers gripping the strap of her handbag as she took one terrified step back.

He grabbed her bag and she shrieked when another man appeared, her fear escalated when she could feel the sharp tip of his knife on her back.

'Thanks for this, Miss.' The man with the shaved head leered and she cowered backwards.

'Don't hurt me. Take it and just go.'

'Hey, give the girl her stuff back.'

Kris didn't dare to turn but from the corner of her eyes, she could see a young man standing at the end of the alley. A black leather jacket draped his tall wiry frame. He was squinting, one hand shading his eyes from the late afternoon sun.

'This is not your business. Scat, boy.'

He ignored the dismissal and moved closer towards them. 'I can't walk away and pretend you're not harassing this lady.'

'Get lost, freak.' One of them flashed his knife but when he didn't move, the robber rushed in, knife in front of him. The man spun to avoid the knife, his elbow lashing out towards the robber's face. He yelled, holding his nose, blood spurting from between his fingers. His knife cluttered on the sidewalk, forgotten in the face of the fiery pain. His bald partner ran towards them, his own blade in hand.

The young man ducked but he was grabbed from behind and they rolled on the ground. He grunted as he disentangled himself and after a punch and a kick, the two robbers scattered. 'You okay?' He bent to retrieve her bag and held it out to her.

'Yeah, thanks.'

Suddenly he flinched, clutching the side of his abs. 'Oh man, I hate it when that happens.'

'Are you okay?' She rummaged through her bag, drew out her handkerchief and handed it to him.

He pressed it to his side for a while and she moved closer. 'Let me see.' She peered closely as she dabbed at the cut. 'It's a very shallow cut, just a scratch. He must've nicked you in the tussle. Don't worry, I don't think you'll sport any permanent damage.'

'Good to hear,' he laughed.

She fumbled through her bag again before she drew out a band-aid. 'A good thing I listened to my mom, huh?' She lifted the side of his shirt before smoothing the plaster over his cut. 'Never go out without adequate first aid kit.'

'Thanks and you know what they say... moms are always right.'

'I'm Kris,' she held out her hand and his hazel eyes were amused as she gripped his hand.

But before he could say anything, a small bundle of coat and a messy mop of hair rushed in. 'Hey Dean, you okay? What's going on?'

They turned as a boy ran towards them. 'My little brother, Sam.' Dean rolled his eyes, the universal gesture of an annoyed older sibling.

'Hey, I'm fourteen, not four,' the younger brother, Sam, scowled. 'There's no need to be so condescending. I heard shouting, what happened?'

'Nothing I couldn't handle. Do you need us to drop you somewhere, Kris?'

'No, no. I'm good.' Kris shook her head. 'My car is just over there.'

'Okay then. Be careful,' he nodded at her and Sam waved. 'Let's go, squirt.'

After they disappeared, Kris stared at the bloody handkerchief, still clutched tightly in her hand. She shuddered before she crammed it into her bag and rushed towards her car.


~*~


The door closed with a loud click and Max winced at the resounding sound. She didn't have to turn to know that both brothers didn't look too pleased. Like that was her fault. In front of her, Alec walked soundlessly ahead, showing no sign that she just totally kicked his ass earlier.

'Take a seat, I know this'll take a while.' Dean's dry voice bounded over their backs and they turned to face him.

'Look, we're not sent from the future to kill you. I must've said that like a million times by now. Will you just chill and let it go already?'

'Yeah, then it'll be totally T-1000 of you.'

'What?' Max's perplexed face met the brothers' blank ones. 'Is that a model of an oven or something? What does that have to do with anything?'

'Terminator, it's a movie. Didn't they have reruns of that movie? Sequels, prequels, remake of the movie or whatever?' the younger brother suddenly perked up. 'Or a tv series. I heard they're doing a series.'

'Sorry,' Alec shrugged, 'We were too busy fighting for our lives to go catch a movie.'

'Okay,' Sam took a deep breath, they had been distracted long enough. 'Max... Alec... What...uh, who are you?' Sam decided to butt in and get the party started. His brother was leaning against the door broodingly, as if baring anyone from leaving before he was satisfied with everything. Sam knew that hooded gaze well and for once he was glad it wasn't aimed at him.

Max and Alec were silent for a few seconds before Max asked. 'You're not Manticore?' The way she said it made it sound more like a statement than a question.

'And what is Manticore?' Sam replied, his hip against the counter, hands crossed over his chest. Across the room, his brother was in the same pose. 'Let's start with that first.'

Max turned to Alec and from his face she could see he was struggling with himself on whether to share knowledge or not with the opposing party. 'We have to. We need their help, remember?'

He nodded tautly but he didn't look like he was happy with it, 'Okay.'

'We were bio-engineered in a secret government lab, created by Manticore to be the perfect soldier.'

'Huh,' Dean's lips twitched. 'I didn't see that one coming, not in a million years.'

'It's real, believe it. There's a mini us running drills somewhere even as we stand here arguing about it.' Alec's sardonic voice silenced the two brothers for a few seconds before Sam spoke up. Max nodded to herself. Yup, he was the thinker of the two.

'There's a secret facility somewhere that created super soldiers? Like Superman, super soldiers?'

'Now that you put it like that, it kinda sounds crazy but yeah, there is.'

'Oh-kay. So that means you're not human.' Sam's eyes turned to slits.

'We're human...with a lil tweaking.' Alec rebuffed Sam's accusation with a tilt of his head.

'He prefers genetically empowered though,' Max chirped.

'And what makes you think we're one of your Manticore alumni?'

'They cloned us, so most of us have twins. And when we saw Dean, we just assumed you were one of us,' she shrugged.

'Dude, this is weird.' Sam turned to Dean but his brother didn't say a word, his eyes were fixed on the super-soldiers from the future. He felt Sam's gaze on him and when he turned away, Sam could see a flicker of something sputter out in his brother's eyes. 'And what did Manticore have to do with the Wrath of Ares?'

'Nothing, not that we know of. Manticore has been gone for over a year now, we torched it to the ground ourselves. After that, we found out that Manticore was founded by a former member of the cult. It's a long complicated story,' Max shrugged again. 'They want to wipe us and everyone else off the face of the earth and apparently the only thing that can stop them is this Wrath of Ares thing, whatever that is.'

'And you can't get that from your own time?'

'Who knows? The old guy did say the cruel current has wiped it from existence.'

'The cruel current has wiped it from existence? Wait, do you think the Pulse had anything to do with that?' Alec suddenly interrupted.

'It's possible. He did send us before the Pulse happens.' Max said slowly as she started to see everything in a new angle.

'And I thought he was just some crazy old guy.'

Dean opened his mouth to say something when his phone rang. He frowned at the caller ID before he took the call. 'Bobby? What's up, man?'

'Where are you?'

'Cashmere. We just got here.'

'Good. Can you swing by right now? I need a couple of extra hands.'

Dean's frown deepened at Bobby's harassed tone. 'Are you okay?'

'I will be.'

'We're on our way.' He turned to three expectant faces. 'Let's go, we need to move. Bobby needs us.'


~*~


The sun was a shining ball of light in the clear sky but as they got out of the car, Max drew her jacket closer around her. It was a little hard getting used to the fact that it was summer one day and suddenly you're tossed into late winter the next. She scanned her surroundings silently, noticing the lack of people. She could see a number of cars, quite a few actually, parked haphazardly around the warehouse but beyond that, the place was deserted.

'Where's your friend? I don't see anybody around.'

'He must be around back. You guys stay here first, I'll go find him.' Dean's hand made distracted circles in the air before he turned and Sam followed him without a word. 'What do I tell Bobby?' he muttered vaguely and gulped when he saw the older man's car.

'The truth dude, what else?'

Bobby's head was deep inside his trunk, it was obvious that he was looking for something. He heard their footsteps and straightened. 'Good, you're here. We're dealing with...'

'Wait, man,' Dean inhaled deeply. 'I need to talk to you.'

'Later, we...'

'No, listen. Whatever happens next, just remember this. He's no shifter and they're not demonic in any way.'

'Is he making sense to you?' Bobby turned to Sam but the latter just shrugged.

'If I had no idea what he meant, then no.'

'Just keep that in mind, Bobby,' Dean was frowning. 'Not a shifter and nothing supernatural about them, okay?' Then he turned and yelled. 'Hey guys, over here!'

Bobby's eyes widened when he saw Alec walking towards them. Instinctively, his fingers moved towards his gun but Dean gripped the older man's hand. 'They're cool, Bobby. We went through the silver gun and holy water routine already. They passed.'

'But...'

'They're from the future.'

'Future? You mean he's your...'

'Yup, they're both from the future,' Dean interrupted hurriedly, flicking a wary look at the newcomers. 'Hey, you're here! Max, Alec, meet Bobby. Bobby... Max and Alec.'

Bobby offered a hand but his eyes were on Alec. 'You hunters?' His eyes ran a quick glance over the girl but they flitted back to the eerily familiar young man.

'Nope, sorry. But we're good at beating up people and ass kicking.'

'Hm...' Bobby stared for a few seconds more before he turned back to his trunk and tossed each of them a weapon. 'I called you because I can't do this alone. There's too many of them.'

'What are we up against?'

'The flesh eaters.'

'Zombies?'

'They're not dead, yet. Arophis is an ancient spirit and those he possessed will be consumed with deep hunger and end up tearing out chunks of flesh to ease the pain of the hunger. Other people's flesh or their own...they're not picky.'

'Rougarous? I thought we'd taken care of that.'

'This is different. They have no problem stripping their own flesh off if they run out of victims. And it doesn't have to run in the family.'

'The night of the living dead. This sounds like it comes straight out of a horror flick.' Alec remarked, studying the machete he was holding.

'Where do you think Hollywood got the idea for a zombie movie? From their imagination?' Bobby huffed. 'They wouldn't know creativity if it was dancing with a pineapple head in front of them. They took a real situation and turned it into a movie.'

'Interesting.' Alec shrugged when he felt their eyes on him. 'Sorry, do continue.'

'The spirit can only be contained in the skull of his first kill and some stupid high school kids busted the skull out of a museum and released the spirit.'

'Kids,' Dean snorted. 'So what do we do?'

'This spirit can possess multiple bodies at the same time. From what I can gather, anyone who touches the skull will be infected.'

'By infected, you mean what?'

'They'll eventually turn into a flesh eater. The first few hours after the initial touch, there are no visible physical changes. But they'll experience paranoia, pure rage and all the other messed up emotions, and anything and everything will set them off. There's a huge Arophis inspired bar brawl happening even as we speak.'

'They'll get crazy and start beating each other up?'

'Yeah. I can't get into an Arophis fueled fight and expect to do the cleansing ceremony undisturbed.'

'So how do we fix this?'

'There's a spell to trap the spirit back into the skull but it's time consuming. We need time to prepare the skull and avoid getting bashed up in the process.'

'So we'll keep them out of your hair and you do whatever you need to do. And why did you give me this again?' Alec heaved his machete up.

'If it gets out of hand, you have something to defend yourself with,' Bobby looked as if the people from the future had lost their senses.

'But we just need to knock them out?' Max turned to the hunters. 'There's no need to shed any blood?'

'Yeah, if they didn't shed any of yours first. After we trap the Arophis, they'll go back to normal.'

'Then we won't be needing this,' Alec threw his weapon down and Max's long knife cluttered to the ground as well.

'If you're sure,' Dean stared at them with a frown. 'Sam, you stick with Bobby. I'll give these two a hand.'

'Nope, there's no need. Alec and I will take care of the screaming masses. You go and do whatever you have to do.'

'Awesome, let's do this.'


~*~


He was always the SIC. It seemed like X5-301 had been born into the role, even back when such roles hadn't been delegated yet. He was the one everyone came to; the younger ones for comfort and the older ones for advice. When his unit was shuffled and ranks handed out, being Second was practically tailor-made for him.

His CO in his first unit was a typical soldier, with his snap fire decisions and even quicker temper. He was a fifty year old General trapped in a ten year old transgenic body, which was what 301 had always thought. His easy personality was the perfect compliment to his CO's more explosive traits. Diplomacy was something he practiced from a very young age. But that was already ancient history and he never brooded on past tidings.

'Hey, Blondie!'

Fox sighed and turned to face the owner of the voice. He'll need every ounce of diplomacy while dealing with him. 'What?'

'Did you get him?'

'Yeah Mole. I did.'

'So he's on it?'

Fox studied the lines of Mole's face, carefully smoothed out of any expression. Years of watching people and he knew there was a lot the Lizard Man had kept to himself. His worry for others for starters. 'Definitely. He does care for her, you know.' He chose his words deliberately, watching Mole's expression closely.

Mole huffed, his cigar dangling precariously from his lips. 'You X-Series give in too much into your human emotions. We wouldn't lose our CO and our Second if they kept the angst fest to a minimum.'

'What are you saying?'

'I don't like how things are turning out.'

'You think you're the only one?'

'What are you gonna do about it?' Mole countered and the harsh lines of his profile hardened.

'I should have gone with them.'

'It's not too late, Blondie. They need you to not kill each other and we need you to get their ass here in one piece. Think you can handle that?'

'Is that a challenge?'

'Take it any way you want to. I just want them back...alive.'

'You got it, Mole.'


~*~


It was utter chaos when they entered the warehouse. People were screaming and snarling as they jumped on each other, fists and legs flying all over the place. Suddenly, the noise level in the warehouse dropped for a second before it hitched right back up. The kids just realized they had company.

'Here goes,' one of the hunters muttered but Max and Alec were already ahead, leaving a trail of groaning and unconscious bodies in their path.

'What are you waiting for? Go!' Max yelled out and they scrambled to the end of the warehouse.

They both ducked and punched their way towards the skull with Max and Alec clearing a way for the hunters to move. Amidst the confusion, the three of them crouched around the skull. It was left unattended in a corner of the warehouse. Bobby was already pulling a worn book out of his jacket before he thrust a piece of paper to Sam. 'Draw this.'

Sam quickly went to work, frowning as he scrutinized the complicated diagram before he copied it on the floor. Dean reached out for the skull but his hand stilled in surprise when Bobby spoke suddenly.

'Careful!' he snapped, 'Don't touch it with your hand, that's how the infection starts. Didn't you hear anything I told you earlier?'

'Relax,' his hand slipped into a bag by his side and he snapped on a pair of gloves. 'I come prepared. Aren't we working on a time frame?'

'They have less than an hour before the second phase starts.'

'Second phase?'

'They start changing physically.'

'Ew,' Dean shuddered, 'Draw faster, Sammy.'

'I'm doing it.' Sam didn't even lift his head. 'Stop breathing down my neck.'

'So what now?' Max plopped beside them. On the floor, Alec punched the last snarling boy in the face and walked towards them. The boy twitched for a few seconds before he was still.

For some reason, Dean was annoyed that they didn't even seem out of breath. It was like punching the lights out of fifty plus enraged and possessed high school kids was a breeze. Bobby blinked at the suddenly quiet warehouse. 'That was fast. Very fast.'

'That's us. Fast workers,' Max shrugged as Alec crouched beside her. They both peered over Sam's shoulder. 'I thought this was a major catastrophe but there's still time for doodling?'

'We need to complete the diagram before we can start the spell.'

'Why don't we just find a doctor?' Max frowned. 'Or a technician...or a scientist to figure this out?'

'This is a supernatural problem and can only be solved by supernatural means.'

'I mean, does it even work? You know...drawing and chanting.' Her frown deepened.

'Of course it'll work. We're the best there is.'

'Yeah, but you know...It's...' Max flailed around, trying to put her confusion into words.

'What she's trying to ask is how a piece of chalk and a Latin song can do anything for those people sprawled over there?'

'You need an open mind for this.'

'Oh, we have a pretty open mind. Remember the bio-engineered, genetically spliced part?'

'Genetically what?' Bobby interrupted.

'Long story, we'll fill you in later.'

'I'm done,' Sam announced, rubbing his stiff neck.

Dean gingerly placed the skull in the middle of the diagram and Bobby started on the spell. Max shrugged her shoulders at Alec and they hung back, watching the ceremony silently. As Bobby spoke, the two transgenics realized that there was a subtle change in the air. Like someone had draped a cloth over them, cutting off the light around them.

Then, from the fallen kids, they saw a sliver of shadow floating over the bodies before it surged upwards and merged into a black cloud. Bobby's voice grew louder as Dean and Sam joined in.

Max felt her breath stuck around a large knot in her throat as the dense cloud hovered before it raced towards the skull. Alec could hear a high pitch shriek when the cloud passed over his head. Without thinking, he pushed Max to the ground, covering her with his body. The shriek continued as the skull seemed to suck in the black matter. When the cloud was gone, the skull seemed to glow for a second, illuminating their pale faces with its ghastly light. Then everything turned dark.

'That was...exciting,' Alec said, cringing when Max suddenly punched him in the arm.

'God, what's with you and pushing me to the ground? Jeez, Alec.'

Dean noticed Bobby's look. 'Everything, later.'

'How did that happens?'

'What?'

'The cloud thing! The skull...and then the cloud! The cloud and skull...together.'

Alec thought the way Max was sputtering out her thoughts was a little...endearing. She usually always had the answers so it was nice to see her lost for words for once.

'How did you blur in and out of my vision?' Sam countered.

'There's a perfectly logical and scientific explanation for that. Gene splicing is one of them. But this?' Max replied irritably.

'Can we argue later? We still have to deal with the skull.' Dean elbowed his brother in the ribs. Sam was clenching his jaw and looking like he was about to burst. 'Let it go, dude.'

'Okay, fine. What do we do now?' Sam blew out an irritated gust of air and purposely turned away from the frowning girl.

'We send it back to the museum. After this, they'll tighten the security for sure so we don't have anything to worry about. I guess they snuck it out on a dare. Kids,' Bobby shook his head, his bearded face grim with anger.

'They store a potentially dangerous supernatural object at a museum?' Alec asked as Bobby put the skull into a glass box.

'Arophis can only be trapped within this skull.'

'His first victim,' Sam nodded.

'Yeah and this one has been around for thousands of years. The hunter who trapped this one knew that the way to keep it out of the public's hands is to hide it in plain view. He got a scientist to vouch that this is a prehistoric skull or something and the museum immediately put it under lock and alarm.'

'Clever,' Max agreed but then she gestured at the still unconscious kids. 'But what about them, what are we gonna do with them?'

'They'll come around.'

'No noticeable side effects?'

'They'll get a major hangover but they've partied hard before so there's nothing out of the ordinary,' Bobby kicked an empty bottle to one side. 'Come on, let's get going.'

Max reached over to grab an unopened can of beer and Alec's eyes narrowed as he spotted something that he could've swore wasn't there ten minutes ago. He grabbed her hand and Max almost jumped.

'What?'

He didn't say a word as his left hand pushed the collar of her jacket apart. Her hand would've done some serious damage to his body parts but he grabbed her knuckles and held on fast. His finger moved lightly over the area just below her collar bone. The light touch ignited something within her and she could feel her blood racing under her heated skin.

'Alec...'

'Is this a new one?'

She realized he had been talking to her. 'Huh?'

'This rune,' he ran his finger over her skin again and she swallowed. Hard. 'I've never seen this one before.'

He pushed a spoon towards the general area of her chest and she forced herself to tear her eyes from him. With the help of the shiny surface she could spot a hint of black ink, peeping just under his finger and when he lifted his hand, the warmth dissipated with it. The disappointment was a rush of hot spiky sensation that clawed painfully over her. She shuddered but didn't have time to wallow in it when Bobby's voice yanked her back to reality.

'Interesting. I didn't know Minoan was the language of choice for tattoos in the future.'

Her present discomfort disappeared like a wisp of air when she turned to the older man. His cap concealed half of his face, his eyes on the dark mark on her skin.

'Don't tell me you have Minoan for Dummies stashed on you somewhere?'

'Can I see it?' he sidetracked her question as he looked up at her.

After a beat, she complied, shrugging out of her jacket. Bobby peered closely, a frown digging deep into his forehead. 'Why did you choose this particular character?' he took a step back, his puckered brow still firmly in place. 'Any reasons for that?'

Max's eyes skittered to Alec, the tightening around her lips obvious. She found what she needed in him because she turned back to Bobby. 'I didn't choose anything. It kinda comes out by itself.'

'Come again?' Dean stood beside Bobby. He still can't see why they're frowning at a chick's tattoo but the older man's anxiety was starting to rub off to him.

'Nothing weird about that,' she glowered, their expression is putting her on edge. 'Stop looking like I've grown an extra head or something. So I have messages coded into my DNA, hitched into some invisible timer. So what?

'Oh yeah. If you tossed aside that and the masochistic leather, she's pretty normal.' Alec interrupted as he snapped the ring off another can. He yelped when she slapped the back of his hand, took his can and tossed her unopened can at him.

'So you had nothing to do with this?'

'Apart from them appearing on my skin, no.' She ignored his freezing glare and took a sip from the can.

'Them? There's more?' Bobby barked suddenly, looking like he couldn't believe what he was hearing.

'They kinda come and go. I think the last one should still be there.' She pulled back her hair, exposing the back of her neck.

'That doesn't look Minoan.' Sam was the first one to spoke and the other hunters hummed in agreement, their eyes still glued on her back as they tried to make sense of the straight black lines.

'What?' Max craned her neck for better access but Alec took a step closer and laughed. 'That's her barcode. Oh man, you guys crack me up. You should be looking at that.' He pushed the strap of her tank top a bit and they could see her rune perfectly.

With so many male eyes fixed on her, it was starting to get uncomfortable but that couldn't top the slow stir deep in her gut when she felt his hands moving over her skin.

Bobby studied the mark silently and with each passing second, the level of restlessness grew until the Winchesters couldn't take it anymore.

'What's so interesting about that? Come on, we still need...'

'I'm not certain but I think this means dying... uh dead innocents... no, maybe not dead. Murdered? Tossed from one world to the other. Dead to uh…living,' his eyes narrowed in concentration. 'For vengeance... revenge... against their will.'

'Forced to rise?' Sam spoke so softly, no one would've heard him if they didn't stood so closely. 'The Raising of the Witnesses?'

'Maybe.' Bobby lifted his cap before he ran his fingers trough his hair. 'That's the impression that I have.'

'That is...'

'Isn't that one of the seals? That Lilith broke?' Dean uttered at the same time.

'That's what I thought too but I still need to double check with my books first. My Minoan is a bit rusty after all these years.' Bobby straightened but his gaze was calculating, thoughtful. 'The other one says something about murdered children. Innocent lives wiped out in a day by a single hand, 66 lives to be exact.'

'Is that a seal?' Dean snapped, shock lining his face.

'I have to check first.'

'I didn't hear anything about 66 kids being murdered,' Sam said softly. 'Does it mean it didn't happen yet?'

'What's that supposed to mean?' Alec broke his silence finally, stepping forward as if shielding her from the hunters' line of sight. He didn't like that the three of them had a similar glint in their eyes. Revelation, for lack of a word to describe it. With a layer of salvation. 'What seal? Who is Lilith?'

But the three men didn't seem to hear him. 'Is that possible? Could someone have foretold which seal she's breaking?'

'I don't know but we need her back at my place. Let's go.'

'No.' Alec's voice was a mixture of steel and determination. 'She's not going anywhere until one of you tells me what the hell is going on!'

'Hey, stop treating me like a kid,' Max pushed hard against his stiff shoulder and Alec turned his scowl on her. 'I can still talk for myself.'

'Oh yeah? Like how you let Logan talk you into pretty much everything?' His fear for her was shoved aside when anger leaked out and bubbled to the surface. 'It's Logan's fault, and yours, that we're stranded here.'

He knew it wasn't entirely true and he didn't actually believe it but he was feeling vindictive. Accusing her and her so-called boyfriend eased the pain somewhat. It was childish but it was all about petty revenge right now.

He hadn't pointed an accusing finger but the iciness in his tone was like a slap in her face. 'So everything is my fault now.' Her whole figure was twisted in anger. And guilt. 'Is it my fault that I want our people to have a life? For us to walk down the street without looking over our shoulders?' Past feelings rushed in and for a few seconds they forgot that they were not alone.

'Hey guys, calm down. You're not gonna start beating him up again, right?' Dean interrupted, warily taking a step towards them but both of them ignored him.

Alec took a strangled breath, his features stiff, the gold flecks in his eyes darkening with an unknown emotion. He blinked and took another deep breath. Why was it so hard for him to keep his composure whenever he was around her? The smallest things get blown out of proportion, a simple misunderstanding blazed into a full confrontation. His apology was frozen on the tip of his tongue when she opened her mouth.

'I wish I'd let that bomb blow your head off,' she snapped but when she realized what she had said, it was too late to take it back. She bit her lips, hard, as if to stop anything else from passing through them but the damage had already been done. A second earlier Alec was on fire, literally hopping in fury but now he was still. His face was suddenly so blank, so stiff, she was tempted to shake him into action, just to see that he hadn't turned into a mannequin. If she wasn't too afraid to lay a finger on him.

'Yeah, I wish that too sometimes.' His voice was soft but Max cringed at the empty gaze. 'One more thing, you made the right choice in marrying Logan. You two are made for each other.'

Max felt something in her die and shrivel up at the flat tone of his voice. 'Is that what you think? That I should marry Logan?'

'What I think doesn't matter to you. It never does.' He said dismissively as he walked away.

Max tried very hard to breath through the spiky knot in her chest, her glassy eyes glued to his retreating back. A small part of her wanted to pull him back and demanded an explanation, after gruffly apologizing or something. But a bigger part of her was too stubborn to do anything. After the door swung close, Max blinked, belatedly realizing that she had three sets of benevolent eyes on her. She mumbled something and took the opposite way of where he had marched off. Her surprise had flaked off a little and the anger and fear had started to throb, burning her with its intensity. She pushed the door and continued walking, didn't care that she didn't know where to go.

The three men turned to look at each other, somewhat taken aback at the fiery outburst.

'That's not good,' Dean suddenly said, his eyes on the doorway the two people from the future had burst through.

'So you noticed,' Bobby huffed. 'We need her, here. Not traipsing all over with a broken heart.'

'Yeah…yeah. The future of mankind depends on one hot tempered brunette, I get that. I'll make sure she's not off drowning her sorrow somewhere. Sam, you go and find Alec.'

'I'll go and make sure the skull is no longer a problem, in case any of you have forgotten about that.'

'Good call,' the boys nodded. 'We'll regroup at the motel.'


~*~


Max plunked down by the road, too angry and too tired to go further. She could see the Winchesters' car in the distance and for a second, she was tempted to take it and just leave.

You made the right choice in marrying Logan. You two are made for each other.

Her hand wrapped itself around her knees, her hair blowing softly around her face. So he thought she should marry Logan, huh? Ands what did he mean she and Logan deserved each other? Suddenly she lifted her chin from her knee. How did he know about Logan's proposal? She didn't breathe a word about that to anyone and since it didn't come from her... Her lips thinned as a thought crossed her mind.

Did Alec say something to Logan, and that made her not-like-that boyfriend suddenly pop the question? That was it. That must be it. Oh wait till she gets her hands on Alec. He'll regret the day he talked to Logan behind her back.

Max pushed the hair from her eyes, the brown orbs distant as she stared unseeingly ahead. She hated this, hated being at odds with Alec. Yeah, so he screwed up constantly and she rolled her eyes at that but Alec…he was dependable. And because of him, she had learned to depend on someone other than herself for once in nearly ten years.

'Hey there.'

She turned to that familiar voice and for one long second her heart stopped beating before it jump started in disappointment. Alec was not the one standing in front of her.

Dean had stopped hesitantly, staring at her with wariness in his eyes. She tore her eyes from his, not able to spend another second looking into those similar eyes. 'Hey.'

'You okay?'

'Fine. I'm about to burst into a song any second now because I'm so freakin' happy,' she drawled, tossing a pebble towards the deserted road in front of her.

He plopped beside her and heaved a heavy sigh. 'What's going on with you two?'

'Nothing,' she shrugged, feigning disinterest. 'That's our default setting. We claw each other's eyes out on a daily basis.' She threw another rock, with a bit more force this time.

'It's hard keeping secrets from those we love. I get that.'

'Oh no, you don't get anything.'

'Just because you're from the future, it doesn't mean you know everything,' he pushed her with his shoulder and a hint of a smile flitted across her lips.

Whoever he is, he does sound a bit like Alec. Sometimes.

'Don't worry, it'll turn out okay.'

'You think?' Her voice was soft, her eyes were wide with hope.

'Yeah,' he smiled.

'Sometimes it's just too much, you know? I don't know if I can take it sometimes.'

'Here,' he patted his shoulder invitingly. 'I was told that I'm reliable like that. You can borrow this nice looking shoulder to lean on, free of charge.'

'Nah, no thanks.' She pushed the shoulder he was offering but he just laughed.

'No, I'm serious,' his arm went around her small form and he physically dragged her closer to him. 'Come here. You need to unwind a little.'

'No, I don't!' Max slapped at his finger but there was no response from him.

'Yes, you do. You need to stop kicking Alec's ass and ask him to do something nice with you,' he winked suggestively.

'We are not talking about him,' her voice was rock hard but her body started to soften against his. From the side, he looked and sounded just like A.. uh, he who she was not tlking about and bit by bit, her resistance crumbled. If she closed her eyes, she could pretend nothing had happened and it was him sitting beside her.

'I'm sorry, Alec,' she muttered as she laid her head on Dean's shoulder. 'I'm sorry for everything.'

Her voice was no more than a soft sigh and the words fluttered away on the easy breeze.


~*~


He was frozen, standing still in the silhouette of swaying trees, the gold-green eyes were fixed on one spot and he couldn't seem to identify the feeling that was coursing through him when he saw her with him. No, not him. Dean.

Dean was the one with Max, getting more than cozy from the looks of it. His hands clenched into fists as he forced himself to breath through the hot knot lodged in his throat. As she moved closer to Dean, Alec forced himself to turn and walk away.


~*~


'You're early,' Elsa remarked as she held a test tube under the fluorescent light, peering into its murky depths.

'When I left you this afternoon, you were playing with those tubes and look at you now.'

'They want the DNA sequence by morning.' Her brown eyes behind her glasses narrowed in concentration.

'All of them?'

'Yup,' Elsa nodded, 'and this is the last one.'

'Why didn't you tell me? I could have come back earlier.'

'It's your day off,' she waved Kris's worry aside, 'and I have everything under control, so there was no need to haul yourself back. How was your day?'

Kris tossed her bag on a table and dropped into the nearest chair. 'Not bad, apart from the part where I nearly got mugged.'

'What?!' she turned so fast Kris almost cringed when the end of Elsa's light hair slapped the side of her face. Her eyes were wide and they grew wider when the momentum pulled the test tube out of her grasp. She watched hopelessly, her mouth opened in a silent shout as it hit the floor and with a resounding crack, it smashed into pieces.

'Oh,' she gasped, unable to move, her empty hand still frozen in midair.

Kris took a hesitant step towards the messy crime scene but Elsa had snapped out of her shock.

'Oh god... oh god... Man, I...I'm dead!' she suddenly wailed, staring at the mess with huge eyes. 'That...that... Oh Kris, they're gonna kill me! And then they're gonna fire me!'

'No,' she grabbed her friend's flailing arm. 'Calm down.'

'How can I?' she moaned and dropped into the nearest chair, deflated like a burst balloon. 'That was a sample of a scientifically enhanced DNA, ready for splicing. I can't just swap that with just anything.'

'Take a deep breath, Elsa. You know there's a possibility that a new sample will withstand the splicing.'

'Minimum but yeah,' Elsa nodded but her eyes were still hesitant. 'I mean not all the samples will turn out successful but where do I get a new sample? We're in a high security military camp for god sake! And I can't use our DNA, they have our profile in their database!' she stood so suddenly that Kris took a step back. 'Kris, what do I do?'

'You always think too much. And stop freaking out.' She drew out her hand from her bag slowly, frowning at the bloody splotches as she contemplated something.

'Whose blood is that? Is that yours? But our DNA is on the database and…'

'No, it's not mine.'

'Oh god, Kris. Are you doing what I'm thinking you're doing?' Elsa gulped. 'But… but they're gonna use the DNA for...'

'So?'

'I don't like this. You know what they're working on, right?'

'Yeah and that's why we need all the good samples we can get. Don't worry, no one will ever find out about this. I'm not gonna talk... will you?'

'No.' Elsa shook her head quickly.

'You're not talking, I'm not talking. Who's gonna find out about this?'

Elsa still looked unconvinced but after a long pause she let out a sigh. 'I don't see any other way. Okay, maybe we'll live to see another day.'

'That's my girl.' She snipped a piece of the bloody handkerchief into another vial and then filled the tube with a clear liquid. It instantly turned red when the blood dissolved into the mixture. 'Don't ask me where I got this blood sample and we'll pretend that this never happened.'

Elsa looks on worriedly but she nodded. 'Okay, now that it never happened, put that vial down carefully and tell me about your mugging. Every single thing. We'll do the DNA sequence after this.'

Kris pushed some of the papers aside. The word Confidential: Top Secret peeked out from under a disheveled stack of files. Elsa pushed the pile, making more room for her and one of the files dropped to the floor. The two girls ignored the sound as they were already in deep discussion. The file flipped open and the title was clear.

Manticore Project - Series 5.


To be continued..


A/N2: Oh, just to let you know, the M/D scene is totally CherryWolf713's fault. Actually I wanted to put it later in the story but after reading Melissa's review I just had to push it in this chapter. So yeah, blame her :P

And again, thanks for reading and reviewing! ;)