Okay... after listening to Alison Krauss' album "Forget About It" for hours upon hours, the inspiration just struck me for this thingy, and I felt like sharing. So there you go, my take on "Hello, Goodbye" and what happens after.
Hope someone will enjoy. :)
It feels like she's watching a movie. He moves his hand to grasp her arm and she knows it's to late, knows that there's nothing she can do.
She knows that even she can't move fast enough to avoid killing him.
His fingers close around her arm and she jerks away; she thinks she should be screaming, but she doesn't make a sound, just looks up at his handsome face and starts shaking.
Logan looks at his hand and then his eyes meet hers. She's surprised that he doesn't even look frightened.
''This is not your fault'', he says before his legs give out and after that everything around her is a blur, everyone's on the move but her, frozen in time and unable to look away from his prone form on the ground.
Paramedics arrive and she briefly wonders where is Rafer, but then they take Logan away and she doesn't know what else to do but follow.
She's pretty sure she's never gone this fast on her Ninja before.
The hospital is oddly quiet, as if all the sounds are muffled with her fear that this is it, that there is no more miracles left for him, for them. She can't help thinking that this is not how it should end. They're not done yet, they haven't even begun.
She calls Alec for help but he's not coming and that means Joshua is her only hope.
When she enters Sandeman's house and he's not home she just crumples to the floor, tears streaming down her face, sobs wrecking her body, making her desperately fight for every breath. It's Logan that's dying, but she's the one who's looking death in the eye.
When her cellphone rings and she answers, her hands are shaking worse than when they used to when she had seizures, and Beverly's voice in her ear is like a bad omen.
''Max? Where are you? You need to come back NOW.''
''Joshua isn't home'', she says, her voice shaking as badly as her hands.
Beverly is silent for a moment, and her next words force Max to get a grip of herself and go back to the hospital.
''I'm sorry. It won't be long now, if you want to say goodbye.''
She knows that it's all her fault, knows that she killed him, but she can't deny herself one last look at his face, before he's forever gone.
She's still shaking when she walks into his room, her arms wrapped tightly around her, as if she's trying to keep herself from falling apart, unraveling from the inside.
Logan's breathing is shallow and the sound coming from the heart monitor is erratic, making her think about Manticore and brothers who give up their lives for their sisters and how unfair her life is.
She steps closer and whispers his name. No other word ever spoken felt more like a prayer.
When his eyes open, she realizes that, despite everything, she's still hoping for a miracle. She leans down close, their faces barely inches apart.
The look he gives her tells her that this is the end.
''Max'', he rasps, and she smiles softly, mesmerized with the green in his eyes. Her eyes water again at the thought that this is the last time she'll ever see them.
''You'll be fine'', she says, lying to him like she never did before.
''Max'', he reprimands her and it's amazing how he can speak volumes with a single word; her name.
''I love you'', she tells him because she can't stand the fact that he never heard it from her before, that his heart is out in the open for so long now, while hers is still locked away.
What happens next is too sudden and unexpected for her to avoid; his hand goes into her hair and he brings her lips down against his, one last time. On some subconscious level she knows that she should pull away, even if it's already too late, but when their lips meet, she feels how desperate and scared he is, and she can't deny him anything, much less her kiss.
He kisses her with his last breath, and she kisses him long after that.
Original Cindy is trying to convince her to let go of him but Max doesn't really hear the words she's saying. She's spooned against Logan on the narrow hospital bed, her head on his shoulder, his long fingers entwined safely with hers. It's been so long since she could touch him and she intends to make every second memorable.
The fact that he is cold and that his chest is silent is like an afterthought because he's still Logan. He still smells like Logan and he still feels like Logan; he's still the only man she ever loved.
So she pretends that nothing's wrong.
Original Cindy is silently crying and running her fingers through Max's hair and Max doesn't think that there is anything left in this world that could make her move.
She's never leaving him again.
It's strange, but she's never been to a funeral before, so she's not sure what to think about the ceremony or the lies about a better place that the priest tells in a low, compassionate voice. They make her think about Ben and she glances at Alec, standing with his back straight and eyes straight ahead.
If it wasn't for him being in jail, she thinks she'd still be in hospital next to Logan, instead of standing at this cemetery and watching them lower his casket into the ground. She's never hated anyone more than she hates Alec, for a thousand different reasons.
Wait, she did. She does. It's her.
She'll never forgive herself, and she embraces the pain, the gaping wound inside her right where it should be.
Still, she's the only female here who isn't crying. She simply can't. It's like she's not even on the same planet as the rest of these people, and all she wants is for everything just to be over.
Third day after the funeral she packs her stuff and moves to Logan's apartment. It's the first time in a long time she doesn't pick a lock, and it's the first time ever she uses his keys. She drops her bags inside the door and just stands there for a while, her eyes closed, memories assaulting her. With an enhanced mind as hers, she remembers everything. It's a mixed blessing, but she knows she'd rather remember everything than not remember at all.
She can still hear his voice inside her head, and she hopes it'll never fade away.
When she opens her eyes, he's sitting in his wheelchair and looking up at her, his head tilted to the side speculatively. She gasps, takes a step forward, halts. She's afraid to breathe, to blink, to move, so she just stares at him wide-eyed.
He disappears all at once, and it feels like a knife in her gut.
Original Cindy tells her that it's not healthy what she's doing, living in his apartment alone, but Max doesn't want to hear it.
Joshua tries to comfort her in his own odd way but it only makes her mad, then she's sorry for snapping at him and making him upset and everything is a mess.
Alec can't stop apologizing to her even though he got arrested for something Ben did, but Max isn't really interested in anything he's got to say.
Sketchy avoids her like the plague.
Normal is incredibly polite when he gives her packages to deliver, and she hates it.
There never used to be that many Azteks in Seattle. She knows this for a fact because she always kept an eye while making her deliveries; seeing his car somehow always made her feel closer to him. It wasn't rational, but love never is.
When she sees an Aztek now, there's a brief split-second before her brain registers that it's not his, that it can't be his and that he's not around anymore, and in that split-second she feels good again. She feels whole.
The seconds after that first one, well, they're pure agony.
His apartment isn't empty like everyone thinks. Logan is there all the time, and sometimes, she even sees him.
She walks into the kitchen and he's standing at the sink washing the dishes, turning around and smiling at her over his shoulder before he's gone.
She sits on the couch and he rolls in, stopping across the table from her and looking at her with worry. She blinks in surprise and he's always gone.
She goes to sleep in his bed every night, and he lays his head on the pillow next to her, and if she concentrates hard enough, she can hear him breathe. She closes her eyes and falls asleep despite the fact that she doesn't need it, and in the morning she's all alone again.
She sees him when she comes in from work, rounding a corner toward his office, sitting on the couch in the living room, staring out the window, looking up at her surrounded in light.
He never says anything, and it's the only thing that assures her that she hasn't gone crazy.
She stops paying attention to the news of the transgenics. One rainy tuesday night she breaks into the tattoo parlor and gets rid of her barcode, intending to keep it away with a laser every week. The day after that she cuts her hair off and dies it dark-blonde. Her motorcycle is parked in the garage next to Logan's car and she doesn't ride it anymore.
Everybody tells her that Logan wouldn't approve, but she smiles to herself and doesn't even bother to tell them that they have no idea about what Logan thinks, 'cause they're not the ones who see him every day.
It's easier this way. Letting go of all that she is isn't as hard as it looks, and all she has to worry about is just how to deliver Normal's packages and keep everyone at a distance.
Exactly six weeks after Logan dies a package with her name on it waits for her when she comes to work. Normal tells her to go home and open it in private, and it takes a single look for her to recognize Logan's neat handwriting. Her world spins just a little and she stands there, feeling like she's just witnessing a miracle. She embraces the package to her chest and walks out from Jam Pony, unable to stop smiling, even if her heart is breaking again with all the love Logan keeps showing her.
She gets home in a daze and doesn't know what to do with the package. It's heavy in her hands 'cause she carried it across two sectors, but she doesn't want to let it go. Something's rattling inside, a few somethings, actually, and she never loved Logan more than she does now.
She never missed him more, too.
Finally, she carries the package in the bedroom and places it on the bed in front of her. Logan sits against the headboard and she smiles at him before carefully removing the wrapping and setting it gently aside.
The first thing she sees is a sealed envelope with her name written on it. It's thick and it's a promise of Logan's last words after his last words. She sets it aside for now, realizing that he's no longer sitting on the bed with her.
He'll be back, she knows.
There are three more packages inside the big one, marked ''Logan'', ''Max'' and ''us''. The last word makes her shiver with lost opportunities and she wishes for the thousandth time that she wasn't so stubborn and that he wasn't so reckless.
She takes the ''Logan'' marked one out, closing her eyes for a moment before opening the package. Inside is his life aside from her, but as she takes out the vial with bullet fragments extracted from his spine and stares at it, she knows that their lives are hopelessly entwined together. She carefully reads his college diploma, stares at his graduation day picture until her eyes water, skims the articles that he wrote before Eyes Only and as she places his wedding band on her forefinger, she realizes that this is his way of saying goodbye. Her heart starts to race and she jumps from the bed and races though the apartment, from room to room, in desperate search for him.
''Logan!'', she's breathless and he's nowhere to be found. The gaping wound inside her expands.
Losing him once was unbearable, but twice, she's not sure she can survive. She moon-walks back to the bedroom and opens the ''Max'' box, doing it only to keep from falling apart completely.
Inside is a picture of her from Bennet's wedding, her corsage, and his mother's locket in a delicate red box. She frowns and glances at the envelope with his letter but doesn't reach for it yet. There is also a tiny, beautifully made statue of Bast in her package, and she fingers the cool stone, sadly smiling at the thought that he always saw her that way; an Egyptian goddess falling into his apartment and his life from the sky.
She looks at the items strewn around her and she understands why he sent them to her now. He always knew exactly what she needed when she was hurting.
The last package is what they are together; another photo from the wedding, the two of them smiling at each other, their heads close together at the dinner table; Logan's toast they once spoke in perfect unison, his voice echoing in her head as she reads it again; sector passes from their trip to Cape Haven; a copy of the poem she took from his poetry book, a poem he wrote about her…
Her hand is shaking as she reaches for the envelope and for a moment she contemplates not opening it, but then she's tearing at the paper and reading slowly and carefully, because every word matters.
I love you, Max… I hope you're okay… I don't regret a single moment we spend together… It's not your fault… You're the best thing that's ever happened to me… You're the truest soul I know… Don't forget me…
I know you don't believe in a higher place, but if there is one and I end up there, I'll wait for you. Take your time, though.
I want you to take my mother's locket… Don't ever change, Max… I'm always with you, even when you can't see me…
The sentences blur together as the tears fall and she keeps the pages away from the moisture, reading on and on until there's nothing left and his first and last words repeat in her head, time and time again.
I love you, Max.
''I love you too'', she whispers and clasps his mother's locket around her neck. It's somehow warm against her skin and she wipes away the tears, taking a deep breath and raising her eyes from the letter just to see him leaning against the doorway.
He smiles, raises his eyebrows in greeting (or is it farewell?) and she stares at him, knowing that this is it; one moment more to memorize his face before he goes away for good. When he pushes from the doorway and leaves, Max doesn't follow.
She knows she'll never see him again, but the gaping wound inside her seems to be closing nevertheless.