The fabric wasn't tight, but it felt like a perfect fit. Almost military issue cotton, just a hint of softness in the threads. Warming, but thin. Big, too. Max loved that. Every time it slipped onto her body, covering the little she'd put on underneath, she couldn't help but grin.

She'd had it all planned out from the very moment she'd realized what her heart desired. A t-shirt, but more of what the garment stood for. She even had a story mapped out to explain why she'd gone from stealing from bad guys to stealing men's clothing to wear when she was alone in her Terminal City apartment, at hours so late any disturbance would have to be of emergency status. It was a logical story, she thought, even if it was based on lies and half truths. Transgenics didn't really feel the chill, but that could be excused some nights in Seattle. So she'd been cold, Joshua was too dirty, Logan's couldn't be returned. Alec would never know. She smiled at that, one night, thinking over how he'd probably wear that t-shirt and not have a clue just how much of her skin it had touched. God, it might just kill him.

Snuggling up inside the shirt, Max smirked, wondering if he'd actually care. Hell, maybe he'd dig that kind of thing. Alec certainly had a reputation amongst the ladies. A bit of a horndog. Which was just another reason why he'd never know; even in TC, there was prey late at night.

Maybe not that night, though. The knock at the door pulled her to her feet, the three second warning rule clearly not in place as Alec entered the room, already speaking. "Someone's stealing my..." It was all he could get out before green eyes landed on her, finding his third missing t-shirt in two weeks. The idea of troublemakers and new transgenics being the culprits seemed foolish now he saw where they were going. A tiny 'uh' escaped him, causing Max to bite her lip almost shyly. The elevator eyes that followed did not help.

"Alec!" She scolded, turning dark eyes to him as he looked her up and down. He had to admit how amazing the view was. Long, tanned pins stretching out from under his own gray shirt. Curves, slim but muscular, regretfully tearing his eyes away from the obvious fact of how little she had on underneath the shirt. His shirt.

"Sorry." He blinked, looking to her eyes and smirking a little. "You found my t-shirt.. keeping it warm for me, Maxie?"

So it was time for that excuse, then. Max's eyes trailed over the floor between them, the most appropriate words for the situation forming until she met his feet, sight raising up and up and up until she saw stunning green. "I wanted it."

In that moment, Alec got incredibly confused and Max internally facepalmed. That was not the answer either of them expected to come out. But at least deep down they both wanted it to. Honesty was the best policy, apparently.

"Uh huh...?" Alec questioned with barely a real word. Where was this coming from? It was like he'd stumbled in on someone having an identity crisis. She was somebody else, hell, maybe it was schizophrenia. Max was a bit of a nutjob. He hoped not; this had promise.

"I.. I can't believe I just said that." Max shook her head, looking away from Alec in the process. She felt so vulnerable when he was looking at her like that. It was terrifying.

"It's okay." The male X5 started, scratching over his barcode with one hand, head lowering with the movement. "I mean.. you're allowed to. You can have it if you want."

"No." Max blinked at how quickly she'd responded, her mind working for an excuse that would be valid out loud. 'It smells like you', 'it makes me feel better about being alone' and 'it's good for my imagination' all came up empty. The last one would have sounded (and been) just plain inappropriate anyway. Finally, something sounded somewhat normal, a self conscious thing really. She tugged downwards on the gray material, pulling it over her legs a bit more and most definitely getting her point across. It wasn't like Alec's t-shirt was an additional layer. It was the only layer bar black underpants. She bit her lip. "I should probably wash it first."

Alec frowned, eyes following her movements before he nodded. In all honesty, he didn't care. Washing it would get rid of the scent – most of it anyway. He longed for her too much to let that happen. Playing it cool, though, took the front seat. Casually, he spoke to her, Max tilting her head a little at his suggestion. He could wash it? Now.. why didn't she trust that?

"You can?"

"I guess so, yeah." Alec shrugged, pushing his lips out a little and raising his brows.

"Do you.. want it back.. now?" Max glanced down at herself, then back at Alec. He thought it over.

"No, no.. you.. wear it for now. You can give it back in the morning or something." He waved it off with a casual Alec-smile and Max felt a little less self conscious. What a strange feeling that was, anyway. She felt a smile on her lips. Even if this was awkward as hell, when he left she'd be back to her private, primitive comfort that was his scent and the idyllic fantasy that was wearing a guy's t-shirt just hours after he'd taken it off. An alpha male's, too. Max pinned a full lower lip between her teeth, allowed herself a glance over him. Alec frowned. "Max, are you okay?"

"I changed my mind." Her eyes leaped to his face again, mouth smiling rather sweetly for the sinful thought she was having. Even if some of it was just wanting to stand closer. Be closer.

"About wha-?"

" - I want you."

A frown set deep into Alec's features, one so deep he thought he'd never stop frowning. He felt as though he might look like a cartoon character, with the emotions filling his mind and surely making it to his face; Manticore mask or not. He didn't want to make her repeat; he'd heard what she said, didn't want her to change her mind to be out of his favor. And so he said nothing, something he very soon began to doubt as a good course of action.



"Did you get all that?" Max seemed to be patronizing him a little, although it was mostly a defense. "Those three words that kinda changed a whole lot?"



He stared at her, wondering just what she wanted him to say. To do. Was there something that he was supposed to do? Some big out-in-the-real-world reaction that she'd learned but he had yet to? He bit his lip, shoved his hands into his pockets. "And.. what?"

The silence had been deafening, killing her even, but the answer was worse. This was unplanned, but she would never have expected such a reaction. Such lack of care, such innocence where it surely should not have applied. But he didn't want to jump to conclusions. Be a jerk when that wasn't what she wanted. She wasn't so clear on what that really was.

"Forget it." She pouted, sitting down and fiddling with the hem on Alec's t-shirt as it lay so close to her skin. He sat too, across from her at the rickety old table, and eyed her with highly prevalent suspicion.

"Forget what? Max.. you hadn't told me what this is even about., It would be illogical to react without more information."

"Right." She uttered, hand still at work on the hem. Alec frowned. Was she.. fiddling? That was nervous work. Not a normal occurrence. After all, they were hardly made to be nervous creatures. He leaned one elbow down on the table, getting slightly closer to her in an attempt to question her nerves. "What?"

"Max.. are you okay?"


"Are you sure?"

"I'm fine. Why?"

"You're.." He glanced down, the way she was soon to be ruining his shirt completely removed from his mind in the action. The fabric was creeping ever so much higher, even in reality so slight. He caught sight of black fabric below it and gulped. "I..."

"What?" Her mood was returning, Alec's idiotic responses making her want to smack him as per usual. "Spit it out."

"I can see your.. underwear."

She gaped, swiftly grasping the t-shirt down. A pink flushed her cheeks, something he'd not seen before, as she looked back up at him. Her glare was back in place. "Why didn't you tell me?!"

"I thought I just did!"

"Sooner, Alec!"

"I only just noticed..?!"

"Why were you looking?!"

Oh, come on. She wasn't that stupid. She was beautiful, knew it too, but was never vain; it was genetic, and something she'd simply gotten used to. Alec gave an exasperated sigh by way of reply, unable to answer her honestly without offending or annoying her. Even just telling her about the nervous gesture was sure to set off a bomb in the room. He huffed a little in the absence of speech. This was going to drive him insane – already was. Her sitting there, him sitting there. Ridiculous. Alec licked his lips and eyed her, really looking now. Trying to get passed her sudden nerves and constant attitude. "Because.." he glanced at the table, then back at her. "You want me? Seriously?"


"No mind games?"



Where could she begin? "Because..I steal your t-shirts when you're not home.. and I've actually started laughing at your lame jokes." Max shook her head, mostly at herself. This was stupid. Why did she have to go through her thoughts and find all of this pent up crap? So, she liked him. Explaining it was like explaining how water tasted. Near impossible. "I don't know what else I can say.."

Alec thought it over for a second, barely one that counted. She sounded genuine enough. Her arguments were very valid. Reminiscent of happier times and just how he was feeling about her. He said nothing.

"Why did you ask me that?" Did he really feel so damaged? In that instant, she felt like she'd seen him properly. Not just a jerk, jackass, hottie, soldier. But as a person, and a broken one at that. Her heart began to crack.

Alec shrugged at such a probing question. "Just asking." Green eyes flicked over her observant of all that he could see. She look vulnerable. "Are you sure?" The continuing questions, the uncertainty in his voice, were all stemming from the want to make sure this was not a dream. Max was getting fed up with his disbelief, though. Hated how he doubted her so and seemed to actually wonder why he was worthy. Max herself had gotten over her disbelief, why she felt so comfortable in his t-shirt being something she'd figured out subconsciously a long time ago. It was just hidden - no longer.

"Yeah, I'm sure, Alec. I get it now.. and.." How could she get him to stop? She wanted him to understand, to believe that yes, she wanted him. In fact, that was the best way to do it, she decided. A smirk touched at her full lips and her teeth nipped down on the bottom one.


"And I've been thinking about you.. and.. 'us'."


"Yeah, us." Max stood up, fingering the hem of the gray t-shirt as she stepped closer to him, moving her scantily clad body around the table and very, very slowly straddling his lap. She grinned at him, watching the way something deep down in those emerald eyes of his flickered brighter. He stared.

As obvious as her intentions were, Alec spoke, asked her an honest question. "What about us?" He watched her face, in awe of her, so close.

"About how everything should.. fit." She ground out the last word as she pushed her body close to his. Alec quirked a brow, all he could do without touching her. Saying something wrong. He always said the wrong thing with Max. There was just no way around it. And so his silence remained, deafening to their ears. It was broken only by a rush of air from Alec's mouth, a deep, long sigh filtering out between gritted teeth. "Oh, Alec.. come on."

"What?" It was then that he broke the silence, suddenly concerned that she'd move and the moment, that sweet, terrifying moment, would be lost.

"Don't you get it? I'm working my butt off here trying to make you understand."

"I understand." His words were flat, Max didn't believe them. Why didn't he do anything, if that was truly the case? Anything at all would have been fine. The staring, not so damn much.

"You should. You're smart, Alec." A smirk touched her lips at the pun in her words, but a frown brought it back to an expression of concern. Why did he keep frowning at her like that? "What?"

"You're not insulting me."

"Yeah, so?"


"Then do you get it?"

"I don't know." Green eyes stared up at her, the worry in them hidden. Still, she could see it. To convince him otherwise would be a wordy conversation. Barely dressed, she rolled her eyes with a better idea swimming around in her head. Where she was turned out just perfectly as hips met hips; hard.

Alec's jaw clenched, a tiny sound escaping him. "Max.. wha-?"

"Alec." All she needed was that one word. The action and the name, they, if anything, made it logical. But she continued on, going so far as to press her skin closer, t-shirt rising. "Please?"

Crap. She knew what she was doing, that was for sure. Had all of his buttons figured out. Saying please the way she did, with just that hint of hot, tanned flesh pressing into his abs, she had him. "Max.." he said, vulnerable and unable to stop himself. He watched the look in her eyes, noting genuine care in their chocolate depths before he broke. Pressed lips to hers and found the action reciprocated with fantastic enthusiasm. A little moan slipped from between them, her body moving on hid and just making it worse. "Max.." he uttered again, between kisses. The chair creaked below him and his eyes dropped down only lifting to hers in a signal. Move. She nodded her head and pressed herself closer to him, curling legs around his hips as much as the chair's presence would allow. She trusted him to carry her. He was X5, after all. It didn't take much effort, in fact, it seemed to be effortless when his hands gripped at her behind and he stood. Max hooked her ankles together behind his back, keeping her body on his. They walked slowly but not laboriously to her room and her bed. In the wait, Max felt compelled not to kiss him. Not to be so eager. He seemed calm, if not for his 'excitement'. She was still concerned by his demeanor. Instead, she hugged him, keeping herself latched onto his body as tightly and comfortably as she could. When they reached her mattress, however, she felt a change. In him, in the situation. He was watching her with a smile as he lowered his body, pushing her onto the bed on her back and sliding his hands from her ass to her thighs. He licked his lips, moved to hover over her. There was power in the depth of his gaze, but something she really could not pinpoint. Something she'd never seen before. Maybe it was pure happiness, but Alec was sure that was how he felt. Happy. No fake smiling, no smirking through all that pain. Alec was truly happy. He pressed his lips to hers again, kneeling over her, back arching in such catlike fashion that Max had to smile. Even from where she was, she could see the way he did that. The way he was just the same as her. Flexible, graceful. Between those passionate kisses, Max found herself biting her lip and his, pushing her hands up the shirt he was wearing. It was then that she remembered that she was still wearing his. With nary an awkward movement, she pulled it off, exposing a rather nude chest to him. She watched his eyes, noted the way his pupils dilated and his smile got wider. Cockier. More like the smartass Alec that she knew. Her smart aleck.

Alec pushed himself closer to her with much more enthusiasm. Damn. Soft breasts touched his chest and he felt the urge to pull of his own shirt. He did, soon feeling more skin on skin and feeling about ready to die from it. God, she felt amazing. Everything about her drew him in. Just.. appealed to him like nothing else. Her allure was not purely physical, and although so far that was what their fun had been.. he'd get that to stop. He'd show her how he felt, because it was now or never. Casual didn't sit right with him, no matter what her intentions truly were. He couldn't do that. No way. He had to have her for good. Alec had really fallen for this girl. As she lay beneath him, grinning like she was, almost nude and nipping his lip so seductively, he lowered himself completely onto her, knowing she'd not even feel his weight. Maybe a little soldier, though, if she hadn't already. That option seemed impossible. Slowly, he moved his hands off of the mattress and her body, getting them down as low as they'd reach with his weight still where he wanted it to be, and slid down her panties. Fantasy was becoming reality. Finally. Rough hands grazed up soft skin as he gave in to her, kissing her softly and moving almost torturously slowly. Max moaned below him and he found it within himself to smirk, but felt the expression leave almost as soon as it'd arrived. He kissed her neck, nestling his head there for a few minutes and listening to those amazing sounds she made. Pretending he wasn't getting goosebumps in such a simple action. It took a while, but eventually, X5 stamina began to run out. Not that either of them were checking. It could have been hours and they'd not have known. They moved every way that they could, precise and perfect. Fitting each other perfectly and knowing exactly what to do to the other. Alec was sure his back was marked like a fucker with scratch marks, his shoulders and lips on the verge of bleeding due to Max's perfect chompers, but he didn't care. Slowly, love was made, again and again and again. And it really was love. Max had initially seemed just hell bent on getting him to herself. All of that straddling and saying his name so. By the end of it all, though, the way she said his name was far more varied. It was loud, then soft. It was needy, but so fulfilled. It was a whisper in the night, right by his ear as he nuzzled her neck, pressed kisses to her collarbone as he lay by her side.

"Hey, Alec..?" Of course, she was wide awake. That was how she was. Alec's eyes opened a little more at the sound of her voice, not so sleepy but definitely less bitchy. He yawned, rolling closer to her.


"Do you understand now?"

"Do you?" He chuckled, hoping she'd get it. If she didn't, there had to be something wrong with her. That nutjob idea came back to him.

But Max smiled, sitting herself up before she untangled herself and threw on one of his t-shirts; she now had two to choose from. Not that she needed it anymore. She had the man himself. Why steal his t-shirt if she could have the scent right beside her? She smoothly got back into bed with him, pressing a kiss to his head as it fell against her chest. "Yeah, I do. I understand." It felt a bit hard to get out, but the truth behind it made it that much easier. She understood all right. "Love you too."