Z, chapter 26, the end is finally here! Thanks especially to those who been with me from the start – 11 months, didn't expect that – in this, my first real fanfic (or series of ficlets, whatever). Y'all know who you are.
My aim with these drabbles was to explore a whole selection of facets to the potential Max/Alec relationships, and I hope I've managed that.
p.s. because this is the last one, I'm going for total, melodramatic, cliché, unashamed, gratuitous, PlotWhatPlot, angst-fluff-not quite smut. No tricks (ok, maybe one trick), no deflections, no original characters, no Logan or Logan angst, and I promise you absolutely NO naked Logan! Just pure, shameless Max and Alec with the zipper prompt revolving around one moment within the piece. Why the hell not, right?
Z is for
They were drunk. Somehow they had drank enough pre-pulse whiskey (twelve bottles at their last count) to be drunk. Which was the only reason Alec could think of that Max would be lying next to him on the floor of his, pretty much empty, TC apartment, listening to bad rap music and trying to eat a sixteen inch pizza.
A worse for wear couch, old TV and surprisingly new stereo were the only items in the boxy room. It was one of three rooms, inter-joined and with matching peeling wallpaper, that Alec had claimed. It was only a block away from command central, so Alec thought it offered at least a little privacy.
They both knew that the pizza, combined with their transgenic metabolism, meant that they would probably be sober again in a half hour. They'd run out of whisky too. So, as Max had pointed out with only a small slur, there'd be no more topping up.
Alec stopped air drumming to the electronic beat and let his head flop to the side. Max looked over at the sound and grinned at him. He pushed himself up onto his side, cushioning his head on his arm.
"You know," he started, pleased with himself that at least he didn't slur after a few… make that several, drinks, "I don't think I've seen you smile at me like that in… well, maybe ever."
"Don't talk," she said, pressing a hand over his mouth, smile still firmly on her own, "you'll spoil the nice atmosphere we've made here." He poked his tongue against her palm and she crinkled her nose. She pulled her hand away, looked at it briefly, then wiped it on his cheek.
"Better uses for my mouth, right?" he retorted. She laughed.
"Perv," she tried to make it sound chastising, but the sound that came out was closer to a giggle. Alec drummed his fingers on the floor beside him. He grinned at Max again, with a gleam in his eye that she didn't quite trust even in her inebriated state. He reached over his head and grabbed one of the empty whisky bottles. He placed it in the space between them.
"Come on," he announced, "live crazy for a minute mama mutant. Play spin the bottle with me?" Max laughed again. She had told him about the game she had played once in high school a few weeks before, and he had been pestering her about it ever since. Daily.
"Maybe I need to re-explain that game," she said, pushing up on her elbows so she could lean towards him, "it doesn't work with only two people. Kinda defeats the point because really, that's just making out." Alec sat up and waggled his eyebrows suggestively. She swatted his arm and he grabbed her hand. "I'm not making out with you Alec." She said, and rolled her eyes. He placed her hand over the bottle.
"Nope," he agreed, "you're just playing a game." She tried to pull her hand away but he tightened his grip. "Maxie. This is a rare opportunity for both of us. We actually have alcohol as an excuse for doing something stupid and childish. Are you really going to pass that up?" Max sighed theatrically, but nodded.
"You're right," she said softly. Alec grinned and removed his hand, "it is childish." She swatted him around the head, earning a flinch and mock-hurt, puppy eyes.
"Why would you tell me about it and then refuse to play?" he whined, "That's like torment to your poor buddy Alec." He scratched the back of his head where she had hit it, then turned back to her. "Go on, live a little. 50/50 chance it won't even land on me." He narrowed his eyes. "I dare you." Max rolled her eyes, but he knew he'd scored a point there, because she reached for the bottle.
"If it lands anywhere else, I've earned my freedom, okay?" He grinned and nodded.
"Of course," he conceded, "that's only fair. But in that case, no tricky Manticore stuff, like figuring out where it will land beforehand. At least try for pure luck." She nodded again.
"Only fair," she parroted. Max gripped the bottle, forcing herself not to think about angles and speeds and drag impact. She flicked her wrist and let go, and the bottle spun on the threadbare, blue carpet. Without meaning to, or noticing the other doing it, they both found themselves holding their breath. The glass glinted as the bottle slowed, gradually coasting in ever decreasing circles until it came to a stop… pointing back at Max. She shrugged. "Guess luck was on my side tonight," she quipped. Alec eyed her suspiciously.
"Right," he muttered. He scowled at the bottle for a moment, and his eyes lit up. He grabbed and spun it before Max could protest. "My turn now," he stated. He watched Max's face as the bottle started to slow, and couldn't help notice the way she was lightly biting her lower lip. He knew she was trying to calculate the outcome of the spin before it came, and felt a little insulted.
She looked up and caught him staring, and he was suddenly aware of the tension that had settled between them. He panicked, albeit briefly, hating himself for screwing with the calm of the evening. For making things so suddenly awkward between them. So he did something he didn't fully want to do. He grabbed the bottle before it landed on Max. And she did something he didn't expect her to do. She grinned at him. A positively wicked expression, preceding a positively evil movement. Those full lips mouthed one word at him.
Suddenly sober, and irked, he glared at her. He tossed the bottle behind him and heard it bounce twice before slamming into the wall. He dropped onto his front and lay back down, letting his body lie flush alongside Max's. He pressed his face into the carpet and growled. He felt the soft thud as she dropped down on her back beside him.
"You're so annoying," he informed Max/the carpet. Which he realised didn't smell so great. The carpet, that is.
"I learned from the best," her voice was sing-song. Eerily bright and close to his ear. He turned his head and, with a start, found they were nose to nose. He wondered just how drunk she still was. "Don't worry," she whispered, "I'm sure you'll find a girl who is just about dumb enough to fall for that trick… one day." She paused and closed her eyes. "Until then, I hope you can settle for this." She angled her head slightly, and didn't even notice Alec's shocked expression as she gave him a quick, chaste kiss on the lips. She dropped her head back so they were nose to nose again.
He pulled his arm from between them and slung it over her waist with a smirk.
"I'm totally telling Cindy you made a move on me," he said with a chuckle. She didn't even lift her hand to hit him this time, just flicked it against his thigh.
"Whatever Romeo, like she'd believe that."
"Yeah, I wouldn't even believe that," he murmured. He ran his hand up her other arm, and tangled his fingers in the ends of her hair. She closed her eyes, and he brought his hand up to her cheek, pushing the hair there off her face. In that second, looking at the soft, - hopefully not completely alcohol induced - calm expression on her face, he made a decision. He cupped her cheek in his palm. "This is much more believable."
He traced her lip with his thumb as he pushed his hand further back, under the hair by her ear. Her eyes flickered open and he crossed the short distance between them. He braced himself for the slap he felt was sure to come as he pressed his lips against hers.
But it never came.
Alec's muscles slowly un-tensed when he felt Max's mouth open slightly against his. He pushed himself up with his other arm and scooted over so his head was directly over hers, forcing her to lift her head if she wanted to maintain the kiss. He felt almost smug when she did.
Her tongue ran over his top lip and he lowered his head, pushing hers back to the floor. He noticed all of a sudden that her eyes were closed, and the smug feeling mixed with another one in his chest. One he wasn't familiar with or entirely sure that he liked.
He lifted one leg and used his foot to nudge her legs apart. Releasing his hold on her face, (but not on her mouth) he braced his arms either side of her head and moved his body to settle between her thighs. He rested his chest against her lightly as he eased her mouth open with his tongue. Her breath was hot on his lips and her cheeks were flushed. One small, warm hand grasped his waist, the other wrapped around the back of his shoulder and pulled him closer, tighter against her. Slim fingers slipped under the hem of his t-shirt, tracing forward on his stomach. Blunt fingernails scraped at his abs. A soft moan escaped his throat before he realised what he doing
Max turned her head away, the carpet rough on her burning cheek. Alec shut his eyes and forced himself to take a slow breath.
"Max?" his voice was huskier and shakier than either of them would have liked, though for entirely different reasons.
"Mmm?" the noise was made without even turning to face him.
"I thought you said you weren't going to make out with me," she faced him finally. A small smile tugged at her lips at the levity he forced into the otherwise tense moment. "Because," he continued, "if Cindy asks, that totally counts." She squeezed his waist. Hard. He flinched.
"Idiot," she muttered. The small smile on her lips spread into an indecipherable smirk. With transgenic grace and speed, she flipped them. Alec now lay under her, denim clad legs straddling his thighs. "Thought you were meant to be a tomcat? You think that was making out?" Alec grinned as she lowered her face back to his. She tugged at his lower lip with her teeth and he groaned low in his throat. Then she was kissing him, really kissing, not just passively accepting his kiss. She tasted like whisky and Alec knew he did too, but he didn't care. The entire world dissolved around him, devolved into the firm body above him and the taste of second hand whisky.
He gripped her face as that sneaky little hand crept up, under the hem of his t-shirt again, fingers splaying on hyper sensitized skin. More transgenic fluidity, and she pulled herself from his grasp and his t-shirt over his head, flinging it aside. Her mouth descended on his neck and the tendon there was a steel cord. All levity was gone, the air around them felt thick as she ran her nails across his pecs. When teeth scraped his Adam's apple, he grabbed her waist and rolled them. He pinned her beneath him as he planted slow, tortuous kisses down her throat
He released one of her arms to reach for the zipper of her hoodie. She grabbed his hand and interlaced their fingers. Of everything, that almost made Alec pause. It had nothing to do with drunken want, nothing to do with cheeky flirting or childish games. He felt absurd as he realised the gesture seemed too intimate. He squeezed her hand briefly. Detaching their fingers carefully, he planted a soft kiss on her partially exposed collarbone, and reached for the zipper once more.
She put her hand over his again and stilled him.
"Alec," it was closer to a breath than a whisper. He looked up at her, along the column of her throat, and locked eyes. Her expression was unreadable and he frowned.
"We don't have to do this if you don't want to," he moved to push himself up but she grabbed his shoulder.
"No," she whispered, "it's not that. I want to. It's… I need… Tell me that you love me, Alec. Even if you don't mean it. I need to hear you say the words." Max saw him swallow, hard. Then he pushed himself up and crawled over her so they were face to face once more.
"I love you," his voice was gentle but his eyes were hard, "I will until the day I die. You can trust me when I promise you that." he smiled now, a hesitant, soft expression that Max had never seen before. "I'm pretty sure I was made for you… and not just in the Manticore sense." She inhaled sharply and he cupped her face with one hand. "Is that clear enough for you, Maxie? Are those the words you wanted to hear?" She closed her eyes and he ran his thumb over her cheek. He brought his mouth down beside her ear. "I love you," he breathed, "and I'm in love with you. And I have been for a while." She tore her head out of his grasp and stared at him, pulse fluttering at break-neck speed in her throat. "But I think you knew that already." He finished, eyes locked on hers.
There was a moment. A silent, tense moment where both just stared at the other, neither backing down, neither giving an inch. Finally Max whispered. She didn't smile, didn't break eye contact, but her voice was warm.
"Thank you, Alec." At the sound of his name from those trembling lips, Alec's reserve broke. His control had been under a precarious grasp at best, and the sound of his name in that throaty whisper sent him tumbling over the edge. He tugged the zipper on her hoodie down. He placed a hand under her back and lifted her up so she was straddling his lap. As he pushed the offending article off her shoulders, his mouth found hers, and it was as if someone flipped a switch in them both. They became a blurring frenzy of want and need, undressing each other amongst panting breaths and flesh searing on flesh. He tugged her back on top of him after she kicked off her jeans and underwear, her breasts flush against his chest. Each could feel the others laboured breathing as their bodies rose and fell in unison against each other.
The light film of sweat on Alec's torso made Max's soft skin dewy in the muted light. She mouthed unformed words against his cheek as he held her tightly, hands splayed on her back and thumbs tracing her shoulder-blades. He burrowed his face in her shoulder as they slowed together, and she ran a hand over his neck to tangle her fingers in his hair.
Her other hand gripped his thigh hard enough to bruise. He didn't care. More than anything, he was happy for the pain, happy for the markings. Because it was proof of this, and as much as he just wanted to appreciate it, to enjoy feeling Max around him, he needed proof of it. She hadn't said those words back to him, but this was Max, and he knew better than to expect that from her. Well… Not yet at least. The markings on his thigh were his substitution, his version of her words.
So yeah, they'd be gone in a day, but for now he was glad.
Wow, the last one. On behalf of this being the end, and the first long piece I've completed here, I have a couple things to say. Skip it if you can't be bothered.
Firstly, thank you nickeldime17 for the prompts, I've really enjoyed playing with them! Secondly, if you ever go back through this, spot the sneaky Supernatural and movie references ;)
Next, thanks a whole lot to everyone who has read this, double thanks to those who have story alert/favourited it, and triple thanks to those who have reviewed (especially those who have kept coming back chapter after chapter). You are all AWESOME. So up until I posted this chapter (23rd January 2010), I can particularly mention:
0o0-The-Melodious-Nocturne-0o0, 1201O, 2angelwings, 4ever Max & Alec, AKA DD, AmberSparks, angeLKharenne, angelofdarkness78, ashleykitten, Beige Flicka, bob0045, booksmartblonde333, C.S. Constance, Cariwyn, coolkitty154, c00kieMonster, chaos1023, CherryWolf713, Chica De Los Ojos Cafe, chipmunk87, cookiekay, corbsxx, darkaznangel452, Deliriums Darkling, dizzy25, Dracos-Slytherin-Goddess, Elric2007, GodivaOnTheRocks, grayceg, Icebox724, In Love With Alec McDowell, JA14, jenwin23, JHNNangel13, Kare38, krispy99, lalafromlalaland, latinapotterfan, LatinGrrrl, LilLadyMe, LimeDaquiri, Liv80, LupinLycanLover, Mahine, maron771121, mathienink, Midnight Parallax, MindyDeMontarville, Miriam, Nehasupnfan, Neurotic-16, not-so-average-07, OneBadCat, oo-KaIrI-oo, p3karen, Pai2, Pghj2005, Pink cookies and fairyfloss, pixiejazz, Punkie, quirkys, radnessISbadness, Secrets of the Night, smartyangelis, Stratagem, tactless n' lovin it, Teresa B, TheGig, throwerpro, Trinity Day, Urth, 494, Willow-98, written in dreams, X5 450, xdelusionedx, xxangelgrl92, yossarian89 and of course nickeldime17.
So sorry if I've forgotten anyone!
Plus, thanks Midnight Parallax for adding this story to the 'Alphabet Soup' C2.
Finally, all the positive responses to these little ficlets have encouraged me, so those who have requested it might be pleased to know I will definitely be doing some extensions/sequels/whatever to a few of them (eventually). Quarantine is a cert. If you're interested in that keep checking back, or alternatively (if you're a. signed up with FNet and/or b. lazy and forgetful like me) add me to your author alerts.
Thanks for reading, and please review, whether it is this last chapter or the series as a whole.
I'm off, to write something new!