Disclaimer: I wish Jensen Ackles were mine, but, alas, he is not. I have borrowed these characters.

A is for Art

When Max thought art, she thought Joshua. The big guy's paintings and, of course, the flag that flew proudly over Terminal City always managed to bring a smile to her face. To her, art meant sketches and sculptures, photographs and poetry that could be found in a museum and fenced for a few grand because some old rich dude thought it was fancy enough to hang on to. She herself never truly appreciated the value of an original like Logan seemed to. If she liked a painting enough to hang it on her wall, she was much more interested in the subject matter and the colors than the original brush strokes. In fact, it wasn't until she caught a glimpse of Alec teaching Judo to a class of X8s that she truly appreciated the value of an original.

Shirtless and glistening with sweat, he moved smoothly, muscles rippling in a way that made the feline side of her purr admiringly. She watched from a distance, standing back in the shadows on a passing catwalk as he demonstrated each move and corrected the kids, not with the harsh rigidity of a Manticore trainer, but with the patience of a father. Even from a distance she could see the respect in every pair of eight to ten year old eyes; they wanted to make him proud. Of course, he was their alpha and to an extent she understood that their devotion was instinctual, but it ran deeper than that; Alec was one of their fearless leaders, an authority figure and their protector, the closest thing any of them would ever have to a father.

Max felt her heart swell with affection as she leaned forward against the railing, making herself visible to the class, to him. He knew she was there, had known all along, but she noticed as the X8s stood up a little straighter in her presence; they would have pushed themselves even further if it were at all possible, but since Alec was teaching the class, she understood that every one of them was already giving two hundred percent. Ten minutes later the lesson ended and the kids, worn out from sparing, headed towards the refurbished locker rooms to shower. She was watching them go, laughing together in a way that Manticore would never have allowed its youngest killing machine to laugh when she felt the baby kick for the first time.

Her gasp had him rushing up the metal stairs towards her, shirt forgotten beside the practice mat. The broad smile on her face quickly soothed the worry in his hazel eyes.

"The baby kicked." She explained, smiling even wider than she thought possible as his eyes lit up with excitement. He moved in and enveloped her in a big sweaty hug that under any other circumstances she would have wrinkled her nose at. Pressing his lips gently to hers, his smile grew to match hers.

"I love you." He whispered, nuzzling Max's ear and resting one large hang on the ever-expanding bump that was their son or daughter.

"I love you, too." She replied as he dropped to his knees, oblivious to the uncomfortable metal digging into his skin.

"Hey in there, how about another kick for your daddy?" She loved when he talked to the baby, a habit he had started as they lay in bed one night and he noticed that her scent was different, that something had changed.

Alec, she decided as he knelt in front of her, lips pressed to her swollen stomach, was a work of art. Carefully constructed, tremendously beautiful and absolutely unique, she would never accept a copy.

A/N: Please review. It's the only way I know whether or not you like my writing. Also, please let me know if you are interested in seeing any of these tidbits expanded upon; perhaps you will get your wish.