Summary: Everyone thought she took Alec for granted but there are a lot of things she noticed about him.
A/N: For Shay, cuz she needs some cheering up :) And because everyone needs a little fluffy MA once in a while.
Beta: Thank you Alexis! You're the best hon *hugs*
Disclaimer: Dark Angel, Max and Alec are not mine. I'm just borrowing them for my own amusement.
Alec was wearing a gray shirt when he burst into her life.
'No, I thought you were someone I know.' Her eyes followed him as he walked closer to her. Yeah, this was no Ben. Her brother never held himself like this stranger and he never ever cocked his head like that and smirked.
'Oh, you mean 493, the traitor.'
'He was not a traitor.' She stood in her brother's defense, her hand clenched at her side. 'He was my brother,' she whispered, the pain pulling her down, like it always did.
'What? Are you telling me we're related?' His face scrunched up in distaste, the familiar green eyes narrowed to a slit.
'Hell, no!' His revulsion snatched the sting away and she glowered at him. 'He was like a brother and I'll kill myself if I'm even remotely related to you. Why are you here again?'
494 kept his eyes on the furious 09er, a speculative gleam as she plunked one hand on her hip, glaring him down. 'That's good,' he smiled, one second before his hand snaked around her waist. In one smooth gesture he pulled her to him, her body flushed against his, his lips on hers.
Max swallowed the gasp of surprise when she felt his fingers under her standard issued gray shirt, his lips a demanding force against hers. She lifted the heel of her boots and brought it hard on his foot. He gasped in pain and she twisted from his embrace, enjoying his gasp as she elbowed him in the ribs.
She spun and kicked him squarely in the chest, watching in satisfaction as he hit the door of her cell.
'What the hell is that for? I'm just following orders!'
'Whatever you say, Dick.' She flipped her hair back.
'We've been paired off. I'm your breeding partner.'
'Well then, that is the only physical contact you're gonna get from me.'
Alec had a yellow hat on when he was making fun of her.
'The uniform looks mighty good on you guys,' the manager said after he gave them a cursory glance.
Alec and Max looked down at the yellow ensemble and he made a face at her.
'You owe me big time for this,' he whispered before he grimaced at the shorts and the knee-length socks he was forced to put on. 'This is degrading.'
'We need a way to get in,' she whispered back as she tied her hair back with a yellow ribbon. 'This is the only way.'
'What did the owner of a fast food joint ever do to the community? Are we going after the guy who raised everyone's cholesterol's level this time? The mass coronary serial murderer?'
She aimed a glare at him as they shuffled towards the kitchen.
'Are you the new chicks?'
Both of them turned to the impossibly cheerful voice and saw a petite Asian girl with a big smile. Like them, she was wearing the mandatory uniform but bare knees look way better on a girl, Alec thought with a grimace.
'That's what we call the newbies.' She chucked yellow hats at them and they stared at the things in horror.
'This looks like half of a chicken's head, I'm not wearing this,' Alec stared back in defiance and Max elbowed him in the ribs.
'Don't worry, you'll look fine.' Max plastered a fake smile on her face. 'Put it on, now!'
'Yeah, I'm sure when your girlfriend sees you she'll drool like crazy. Totally.'
'Oh no, she's going to be... oh god, what is that thing? What have you gotten yourself into this time?' He put one hand on his hip and mocked a scowl. 'You know yellow is not your colour, you're so hopeless. I have to do everything for you. Nag nag nag blah blah blah woof woof whine whine whine. I'm so gonna kick your ass.'
The girl doubled up in laughter as Max stared in horror. 'I do not whine! And I don't sound like that.' It took her another minute before something sank in. 'And I'm not your girlfriend,' she growled under her breath but he just smirked as he placed that yellow hat on his head.
Alec was wearing a striped shirt when he lost his best friend.
'Good thing we got one of them, huh?' the man grinned, showing them his stained teeth as he nodded towards the strung out transgenic. 'The world will be a better place, just remember that.'
Alec took one look at the pale lifeless body of Biggs and growled. Max heard the feral fury pulsating from him and she did what she could, she grabbed his arm and tried to hold him back. 'Calm down, don't do anything stupid.'
He struggled to break free, his face a frozen mask of rage. 'Let me go, Max.'
'You're going to get yourself killed.'
'I don't care. Now, let me go!'
She had to physically drag him away before she turned to face him. 'We'll make them pay, but not right now.' Her fingers grabbed hold of his striped shirt and held on fast. 'Not like this.'
He crumbled in front of her and she put her arms around him as they collapsed on the sidewalk. 'He was in my unit, Max. He was my friend.'
Max ran her hand over his back. 'I know.' Then she laid her cheek on the crook of his neck. 'I'm sorry, Alec.'
Alec was wearing green sneakers when he made her laugh.
Max turned her head when she heard the door open. 'Cindy?'
'Nope. It's your other best friend.'
She snorted and pulled her legs up, settling herself comfortably on the couch. Her eyes went back to the moving screen of the television.
'I met her at Crash earlier and since she got a new honey dangling from one limb, I assume she won't be back tonight.' He plopped down beside her and plunked his feet onto her coffee table. Max promptly kicked his feet and they slipped from the table with a thud. 'Ow, that hurt.'
'Keep those green monstrosities off my table.' She gave his sneakers a glance, frowning at the neon coloring and the dangling orange tassel. 'Where do you get those anyway?'
'I won them.' He shook one of his feet her way and she rolled her eyes at him. Then she placed a well aimed kick at the green shoes.
'Are you sure? Maybe you got it for free cuz they're so damn ugly.'
'I won them, fair and square. Along with this.' He dropped a bucket in her lap.
Max slid a finger under the lid as beside her, Alec grabbed the remote and started flicking through the channels.
She slapped his hand away and took the remote back. 'I was watching that. Fried chicken? I haven't had any in ages!'
'I know,' he winked and she laughed.
'Which old lady did you sweet talk out of her chickens and uh... shoes?'
'We had a little bet at HQ today. If I wear these shoes for a day, I get the chicken and he needs to do something for me.'
'Who was stupid enough to bet against you?' she asked as she passed him a chicken wing.
'You'll see who in the morning. He'll be wearing a spandex vest.'
'Spandex?' Max chuckled.
'Orange spandex vest with pink hearts all over it.'
Max chocked on her chicken before she roared with laughter.
'I only managed to get him to wear that thing for an hour so make sure you're in bright and early tomorrow.'
She was still laughing even after they cleaned up the entire bucket of fried chicken.
Alec was wearing gray boots when he wiped her tears away.
'You know what I'm thinking?' he walked into her office, the excitement in his voice wafting across the room like a flash of fire and she cringed from the bright slap of joy. 'Let's skip work altogether and find a place to crash. Your pick, and guess what? I got these to sweeten the deal.' He hefted one hand up and the clang of cans told her they were probably beers. 'Max?' Alec frowned as he peered into the semi darkness.
She stifled a sob and turned further into the dark. A second later, instead of the sound of him leaving, she heard the loud crash of clanging cans as the beers hit the floor before he was beside her.
She lifted her red eyes to him, thankful that he couldn't see the tears in them. 'He left. He said the virus was the breaking point in our relationship and he can't do it anymore.'
'He's giving up on you?' The fury in his voice made her curl herself up again.
'No, he said he's letting me go. He wants me to find someone who can make me happy. He... he wants me to be happy.'
Alec wrapped his arms around her cold body and she shivered when she felt his warm breath on her tear stained cheeks. 'I'm so sorry, Maxie.'
'I don't know what to do, Alec.'
'I know... I know.' He scooped her closer and she buried her face into his chest, her fingers fisted around his shirt. 'We'll get through this.'
'I have never cried over a man before. Never,' she mumbled, her cheeks pressed against the steady thud of his heart. 'He gave me that sad smile and walked away. And it hurts so bad.' Tears trickled down her face and Alec's fingers were so gentle on her skin.
'I know. We'll get you through this.'
She sighed when she felt the warm kiss on her temple and they stayed like that all through the night.
Alec was wearing a brown jacket when he gave her the cure.
Max spun, relief washing over her pale face. 'Where have you been?' She took in his tired eyes, his dirty jacket and the weary air that clung to him. 'No one knew where you were.' She grabbed his hand and pulled him towards her office, pushing him into her chair before she slammed the door closed. 'I've been worried sick!' Her hands hovered over him, checking for wounds, cuts, anything. Finding none, she started pacing in front of him. 'Do you have any idea what I've been through?'
Max knew she was this close to losing her sanity when he disappeared a week ago. After Logan left, she only had Alec and Joshua left. If Alec was also taken from her, she shuddered and pushed the thoughts away. No, he was okay. He's right here.
'Max, relax.' He clutched her hand and pulled her towards him. 'Come here. I've got something for you.'
'I'm not done being mad at you,' she scowled but he just laughed at her expression.
'Here.' He patted the edge of the table and she sat, still disgruntled. 'I didn't run away,' he rolled his eyes at the word run. 'I had to get something.'
'You could've told me,' she wrapped her arms around her chest and pretended to look away.
'I wanted it to be a surprise.' He pried one hand away from her body, pressing something into it before he closed her stiff fingers over a cold vial.
'What is this?' She saw the bluish liquid slosh against the glass from between her fingers and she lifted her dark eyes at him. 'Alec, what is this?'
'It's the cure, Max. I got hold of one of Manticore's technicians and he gave me this.' He quickly added when he saw her stunned face, 'It's the real deal. I already got it tested so go ahead, Max.'
'Why did you this?'
'I want you to be happy.' He leaned back in his chair and smiled. That soft quirk of his lips somehow managed to slash at her already bleeding heart. 'I've called Logan. He's on his way.'
'Go and get ready, your Prince Charming is coming. You'll get the Disney ending that you always wanted.' He leaned forward and kissed her cheek before he walked out of her office.
Max watched him leave without a word, the glass vial still in her stiff hand.
Alec was holding a black bag when he said he was leaving.
'What? Hell, no!' she frowned, shaking her head in denial. 'No Alec, you're not going away.'
'Yes Max, I am.' He didn't turn as he continued to fill his bag with his clothes.
'Like hell you are.' She grabbed the cloth he was holding and tossed it back into his closet.
'Max, be sensible.' He rolled his eyes as he went to retrieve it. 'And that better not be my towel. It's hard enough begging Gem to do my laundry yesterday, I don't want to go over there again today.'
'I am being sensible, dammit.' She scooped everything from his bag and dumped it beside his unmade bed. 'You are not going anywhere.'
'I have to leave the nest one of these days. Why not today?'
'Why not never?' She threw his bag across the room and Alec sighed as it landed on the floor. 'It's not safe out there. Why are you being so stubborn over this?'
'Look, it's just something I have to do, okay?'
'What? Are you having a midlife crisis now?' she gritted her teeth at him in anger. 'You know what, let's go out and steal a Porsche or something for you.'
Alec laughed, watching her as she studied him. 'I thought we're not supposed to steal.'
'I don't care what I said earlier,' she sank onto his bed. 'I'm not going to let you leave and that's it.'
'Max, listen. I can't stay here anymore.' The decisiveness in his voice pierced her.
'Why?' She thought she could be happy now. Logan was back and although they were still taking it slow, Max didn't care. She had everything she wanted. 'I thought you wanted me to be happy.'
'More than anything but I have to make myself happy too.'
'Am I that horrible to you?' she growled, her fists clenched tightly.
'No but Max, you never notice me. You look at me and you didn't see me. Not in the real sense. And I can't do this anymore. Watching you when you're with Logan, hanging back and doing nothing. I thought I could, I thought after I got the cure everything would go back to normal, but I was wrong. I can't do this anymore. Sorry Max, I really have to go.' He threw the black sweater into his bag and crouched to gather his other clothes.
Alec was wearing a big smile when she told him she was coming with him.
'I love you,' she said suddenly and Alec turned slowly to her, his face as white as hers.
'What? No Max, don't do this.' He shook his head, taking a step back. His eyes were blazing in his ashen face.
'Do what? Tell you how I feel?'
'Really? I'm leaving today and you suddenly realized you have feelings for me? Excuse me for being paranoid.'
'I've been around what? A year.. almost two?' He interrupted, his grin somber with just a hint of a smile in his eyes. He'll laugh his way out of this even if it kills him. 'They have a name for this you know, Separation Anxiety, but don't worry, I'll still come back and visit.'
'Dammit, this is not funny.' Max repressed the urge to tear her hair out.
'Of course it is. Listen to yourself, Max.' He turned back to his packing. 'You're telling me you love me. A month ago you were crying your eyes out about Logan. Forgive me for this urge to laugh.'
'Don't bring Logan into this. This is about you and me,' she ran one shaking hand through her hair as she started to pace in front of him. 'I didn't expect this love.. this you and me thing to happen either.'
'So what you're saying is you don't want it to happen?'
'Shut up, Alec. I... I love you.' The wonder was apparent in her voice as her eyes started to lit. 'God... it's you.'
She walked to him, her hands sweaty, her legs numb and heavy. Suddenly everything became so clear. 'It has never been Logan, it's you. You're my Disney ending.'
His fingers clenched around his bundle of shirts and jeans as he stared down at her. There was this strange light in his eyes, of subdued hope and budding need.
'And if you still want to leave, I'm coming with you.'
His clothes tumbled to the floor when he lunged and took her into his arms.
'You're wrong about something else too. I noticed a lot of things about you, I only realized it just now.' She smiled up at him, her hand around his neck, fingers in his hair and something deep within her hummed in agreement when his lips closed hungrily over hers.
Alec was wearing his black turtleneck when he became a father.
'Here you go.'
His breath wedged painfully in his ribcage when they placed the small warm bundle in his arms. His eyes went to her for reassurance and she smiled at him from the bed. Alec looked down at the sleeping baby, noticing the small delicate features, the shock of black hair, the dusting of freckles across the nose, the tiny fingers and a warm feeling streaked through his body. His son was perfect.
He stroked the little fingers reverently, smiling when the baby started to stir. The baby's face scrunched as he blinked and yawned, his nose crinkling, before he took his first look at the world. Alec's heart swelled in his throat when his son latched on his finger with his small hand. He sat on the edge of the bed and Max snuggled into his side as they stared into the inquisitive green eyes of their newborn.
'We have a baby,' he whispered as Max trailed a finger down their son's soft cheek.
'Yes, we have a baby.' She laid her head on his shoulder, watching the way her son's tiny hand flail the air when her fluttering hair grabbed his attention.
Alec turned his bright eyes her way and she smiled at the wonder in them. She curled her hand over his jaw and the gentle kiss told him the volume of her love. And her smile told everyone else she's a woman who now had everything she ever wanted in life.
Thanks for reading, I hope you all like it :)