The Blackest White
Disclaimer: I lay no claim to Dark Angel or its characters. I do this only for fun.
Summary: The best way to destroy an enemy is to strike at his heart. Sequel to "The Friggin' Cure."
A/N: Yes! At long last! It is the sequel to "The Friggin' Cure!" (And you thought it would never happen.)
While this story is indeed a sequel, it is technically 4th in the series. The other stories in what I guess I will now refer to as "The Cure" series are, in chronological order, "The Book of Max," "The Friggin' Cure," and "Boys Will Be Boys." It would make sense to read "The Friggin' Cure" before you begin this story, obviously. Reading the other two stories is not necessary (though it is very much appreciated); however, a few characters and concepts that were introduced in the other stories will be referenced.
This story will contain language, violence, mild adult situations, angst, and extreme whumpage of various characters. Consider yourself warned.
It was snowing.
Alec sat on the ledge of the roof--Max's high place--in the same spot where Max always sat. His legs hung over the edge, bent so that his booted feet pressed flat against the side of the building. He sat there, unmoving, with his head bowed and his back hunched, as if the weight of the snow frosting his hair and shoulders was too much for him.
For once, Terminal City was beautiful. The soft coating of white hid the city's imperfections, transforming its toxic, rundown facade to something pure and innocent. For once, it truly looked like a home instead of a prison.
The snow floated down from the sky in large, fluffy flakes, the rarity of the snowfall making it all the more beautiful. But he didn't see it, didn't feel it. He didn't care.
His red-rimmed eyes refused to focus on the gathering below. He knew who would be there--Joshua, Mole, Dalton, Zev… pretty much the entire transgenic nation, standing alongside Original Cindy, Sketchy, some other friends from their Jam Pony days. Maybe even Normal. All of them, come together for one purpose.
They'd wanted him down there with them, begged him to be there, but he couldn't. He didn't want to be there. More than that, he didn't need to be there. He'd said his peace, and now he was done with it. With them.
He concentrated on the soft hush of the falling snow, but words kept floating up from below, unbidden.
… best friend a girl could have…
He could have childishly plugged his ears and hummed a little tune to block out the sound, but that wouldn't have stopped what he knew was happening down there. Instead, he let his eyes come into focus, shifting his gaze until he stared down at his own, tightly closed fist.
He slowly opened his hand, cold tendons that had remained too long in one position resisting the motion. The ache in his chest flared into a sharp, stabbing pain as he looked down at what rest in the palm of his hand.
Rings. Two of them.
The small, smooth circlets somehow still managed to shine in the washed-out light, white gold picking up tiny reflections of falling snowflakes.
He'd bought the rings during his trip to DC--one for him, one for Max. It hadn't been an impulse; he'd been thinking about it for a while. And he hadn't stolen them. That seemed wrong, somehow. He'd spent two hours in a jewelry store, obsessively pouring over his choices and scaring the hell out of the store's owner, what with his military escort and all. When he'd finally found exactly what he'd wanted, he'd plunked down a wad of cash that quickly had the owner changing his tune. He'd left the store three hours after he'd entered it, with a velvet pouch in his pocket and a crushing case of anxiety.
... really cared about us… all of us, no matter what we looked like…
Max was it for him. His forever.
He'd known it for a long time, now. Probably since the first time he had kissed her. He'd wanted her to know it, too, so he'd bought the rings. Something that would stand as a symbol for everything he felt. Something physical to hold on to, even when they were apart.
… more than anyone, she saw what we could be, together …
He didn't need a ceremony or some piece of paper. He didn't need a government stamp of approval to recognize the union between them. All he needed was her, and this one, simple symbol.
The sound of a child's sob broke through his feeble wall of resistance. Even though he didn't want to, he found his bloodshot eyes shifting, focusing on the scene below.
The wood was stacked waist high, easily scavenged from some of TC's more dilapidated buildings. He caught a whiff of the gasoline that had been used to soak it. They had to be sure that the fire burned long and hot, so that there would be nothing left of the body that had been placed on the bier, lovingly wrapped in a shroud hand-painted by Joshua.
They always burned their dead. That way, no one could ever dig them up and pick their bones clean in the name of science.
… Goodbye, Max. You will be missed…
An inhuman howl erupted from Joshua's throat as Mole flicked a match into the soaked wood, turning the pile into a column of fire.
Alec closed his eyes tight, hand clenching into a fist over two white-gold rings.
A/N: How's that for a cliffhanger?