My little input in honor of the Pulse, happening about NOW in DA world, as I'm posting... :D This is a Designate This AU, so no virus of any kind involved. Hope you enjoy.
Upon her forced return to Manticore, they stick her in PsyOps for a month, and maybe she'd gone soft outside, but every day is worse than Hell.
The only thing that keeps her going is, of course, Logan. It's Logan's eyes, Logan's voice, Logan's smile, Logan's passion for saving the downtrodden. It's the hope to see him again someday, kiss those lips and never let him go again.
She's supposed to have shark DNA or something and therefore doesn't need to sleep, but as soon as the door od her cell slams shut, she rolls into a fetal position and is off to dreamland.
Every single dream is Logan. Most of them are about domesticity; he cooks her dinner, they play chess, they talk, he kisses her, they make love in his bed and she wakes up with deep, aching pain in Zack's heart, cruel hands dragging her back to the torture chamber.
When her evaluation is finally over, she sleeps for two days and dreams that Logan is watching over her. The part of her that knows it's just a dream doesn't want to ever wake up. The part that doesn't feels loved, whole, perfect.
The feeling of loss when she wakes up is almost unbearable.
Once they start feeding her properly and letting her out of her cell for training, she can't fall asleep anymore, no matter how tired she gets. She tries so hard, but the sleep eludes her, and Logan is growing more distant by the day.
She realizes that although she's got memorized every single conversation she and Logan ever had, she's starting to forget bits and pieces about him. She's in the middle of a sparring session with an X6 when she realizes she can't conjure up the way his skin smells anymore. She's so distracted that she ends up sprawled on the mat and there are more things bruised apart from her pride.
The second thing to go is the sound of his voice, and she can't believe what's happening. She tries to think about: ''this has been a streaming freedom video bulletin'', but she hears her own voice repeating those words and it feels like a blasphemy, so she stops. She must've heard and seen his cable hacks a million times, but she can't recall the timber of his voice anymore and it's tearing her up inside.
She lays in her bunk and thinks about his eyes, his smile, his hands and hair, praying to whomever may be listening that she doesn't start losing those images as well.
Logan Cale is a man possessed. The prospect of bringing Manticore down for good is the only thing that keeps him going, but most of the time, he doesn't even feel alive.
The nights are even worse than daylight, because every time he sleeps, Max is dying in his arms again. She looks up at him and always manages to tell him that she loves him, and it breaks his heart. He wakes with a start and her name on his lips and thinks that she must really be gone. He doesn't want to believe it, but he can't help himself. It's the reason he barely sleeps, doing everything to keep himself awake for as long as possible.
He avoids looking in the mirrors and checking if he looks as drained and haunted as he feels.
The less he sleeps, the more he thinks about Max, and although it's driving him half-crazy, it's also comforting.
She's been gone for more than a month and he's still got her memorized; every word, every breath, every line on her face is etched into his memory, and he promises himself that he'll never forget anything.
He knows that he'll keep that promise.
She spends her days focusing on everything she still remembers about Logan, but memories keep slipping through her fingers like sand, and she's never felt more alone.
When it gets to a point that the only thing she remembers is that blue-green color in his eyes, she realizes that she needs to get out of there before she loses him completely. They must've done something to her back in PsyOps because Logan is the most important person in her life, and she shouldn't have forgotten him so easily.
Max imagines how it would be to see him again and remember, and goes back to work on the bricks under her bed.
When she finally manages to escape, she heads straight to Fogle Towers, sector Nine, penthouse apartment. She knows that's it's very important to get there, but she's not certain exactly why.
She thinks that someone is waiting for her there, someone who means a lot to her, if she could only remember why.
She breaks into the apartment and there's a strong sense of deja-vu taking over her, something stirring in her memories. She walks slowly through the apartment, turning left and ending up in the living room, and that's when she sees him. His back is turned to her, but suddenly, she knows everything.
He's Logan, and she loves him.
He turns around and their eyes lock, blue-green on brown, light and dark, soul on soul.
She realizes that she could stay like this forever, frozen in this one moment, just looking at him and knowing that she can touch him if she makes just a few steps.
He closes the distance between them and her fingertips are tingling even before he gathers her in his arms, before she actually touches him.
Their kiss is not of this world, and when she closes her eyes she knows that she's never been closer to anyone else.
She's gonna spend the rest of her life making sure she never forgets it again.
Seeing Max alive, standing in his living room is like another miracle in his life, and after he kisses her, he hesitates only briefly before he guides her toward his bedroom. They'd been waiting for far too long for this, and he knows that they can't wait any longer.
She came back to him, and he's never gonna let her go again.
She pulls him down on the bed next to her and he doesn't think about anything else but Max, his hands running over her body the way they never did before. She whispers something about remembrance but he's too spell-bound by the feel of her skin under his fingers to try to make any sense of it.
Max is here, and nothing else matters.
Max can't believe that she was back at Manticore just a day ago. She can't believe she couldn't remember Logan just a few hours ago, 'cause now she knows him better than she ever did before.
There's a half smile on her face when she realizes that he fell asleep with his face against her shoulder, his arms still wrapped around her waist. She's buzzing all over, but for the first time ever, she doesn't feel the need to leave the bed and go take a ride to clear her head. This is the kind of memory she'd been looking for all her life; how peaceful she feels, how perfectly their bodies fit, how beautiful he is in the afterglow.
Many things were lost since they met, but most of them were found again, and even those that weren't are memorized and left resting in peace; her fallen brother and sister, his dreams of walking on his own.
Max smiles wistfully, presses a kiss against his forehead and snuggles closer, feeling his arms tightening around her even in his sleep, offering protection, warmth and yet another perfect memory.