AN: Ok, this story's been bouncing in my mind for a while now, so here it is. It was written in a few hours, and I wanted to post it by Pulse Day, so I didn't have time to have my awesome beta go over it. Any and all snafu's are mine and mine alone. Will explain further at the end, hopefully this will make sense.

The Village Idiot.

"Now look what you've done..."

Sketchy took her eyes away from the flag and towards the speaker. It was that Logan dude that had come by Jam Pony and Crash a few times, the one Original Cindy called Max's sugar daddy...

He had heard that Max was kicking it with Alec now, which made sense; his pal was awesome!

But there she was, holding hands with Logan...well, he figured they were friends or something, Max had known Logan for, like, two years. He had known Max for almost four years, and she'd never held his hand, though. Sketchy didn't know what exactly, but something was bugging him about the whole thing.

He'd ask Original Cindy, she would know.

***************************************

As the massed transgenics started going downstairs Sketchy hurried to catch up with Cindy. He found her talking with a blonde chick in one corner...Damn this transgenics were hot! Not as hot as max, but still.

"Hey Cindy!"

His friend looked at him and then rolled her eyes in a resigned gesture he knew well. She leaned to whisper something on the other woman's ear, and got a smile and some bedroom-eyes from the blonde before walking over to him.

"What is it fool? Can't you see Original Cindy was busy?"

"Uhm, yeah but..."

"Come on wigga, spit it out!"

"Well, I was wondering...I thought Max was with Alec? But just now on the roof she was holding hands with Logan, like, all girly."

Whatever he was going to say next was lost as Cindy pushed him against a wall and pressed a gloved hand over his mouth.

"Look fool, you betta' hope sister girl don't hear you talkin' like that about her. Better yet, don't ever talk about her if you know what's good fo' you. If you thought Max was in a bad mood before...trust Original Cindy when she tells you, you ain't seen nuthin' yet. Just keep those filthy thoughts to yourself."

He was about to protest when a hand rested heavily on his shoulder.

"Come on Cindy, give the poor guy a break. It's not his fault he doesn't understand all the drama between those two. Hell, I'm in the middle and still can't believe it."

Sketchy breathed in relief. Alec was here, he'd help him!

"Alec, man, am I glad to see you! I was just asking..."

"Well buddy, Cindy is right on this one, you better stop asking questions before you get your answers the hard way, if you know what I mean." Alec patted his shoulder companionably, the familiar smirk on his face.

"Yeah, but I just wanted to know what's Max's dealio..."

"What's my 'dealio' with what,exactly?" asked a familiar voice in a tone he had learned to fear.

"Uh oh...Sorry buddy, you're on your own on this one."

When Sketchy looked at Alec he found that his friend was already gone. He turned to Original Cindy, who gave him her 'poor bastard' look before going away, leaving him alone with a very pissed-off Max. He tried to run away too.

Tried.

Before he knew what was going on he was slammed against the wall and found himself facing Max.

'Wow, Alec is right, she's really pretty when she's angry...'

"Well, Calvin? I asked you a question."

"Uh, well, I was wondering, you know..."

"No, Calvin. I don't know. Why don't you explain it to me?" She punctuated each question with a none-too-gentle slam against the wall.

"OK, OK! I was asking Original Cindy, why you were holding hands with that Logan dude when you're with Alec...I mean, I get he's rich and all, but that's not fair to my buddy..." By now he was expecting to be strung out or thrown from a rooftop; Max was not known for holding her temper....

So he was surprised when Max let him down and turned away, shoulders slumped.

"It's...it's complicated, aaigh'? Just drop it."

"Hey, I just wanted to know. You're my friends after all. If I can help..."

Max snorted, amused.

"Yeah, right. I was just planing on spillin' my troubles to the biggest gossip in Seattle. Just let it go, Sketchy. It's complicated."

"Chill, OK? I just wanted to know. If it's complicated just explain it to me, I'm not that stupid, you know..."

"Yes Max. Why don't you explain it to us. Maybe then we can all understand what's going on exactly."

At that moment Sketchy saw something he never expected, something he never woulda' thought possible.

Max flinched.

He looked at the speaker, and it turned to be Logan. There was something strange about him, something familiar yet bizarre, out of place. Well, besides the fact the guy was walking. There was something about his eyes, his whole posture. It reminded him of Normal, only if Normal had ever looked at him like that he woulda' done anything he told him to.

Weird.

He was spared then as Logan focused on Max, who was avoiding his stare, looking anywhere else but at him.

That surprised him again. Max never backed off.

Then Logan walked toward her and tried to touch her face. In a blink Max was across the room, looking seriously pissed.

"Are you out of your mind? Do you really want to die that much?"

Logan's only answer was to hold up his hands, that were covered with white surgical gloves. Sketchy waited a few more moments, but it was as he didn't exist. Those two didn't seem to notice him at all.

Strange.

***************************************

As the day went Sketchy found himself even more curious about the whole thing. He started to watch all his friends.

Logan stared hungrily at max when she wasn't looking.

Max did the same to him.

Original Cindy watched them both with sad eyes.

Alec watched all three with an annoyed expression, and rolled his eyes every time he caught them at it.

In the end, he got his answers from the last person he'd expected.

"Man, this makes no sense..." he muttered. He didn't really expect someone to hear him, so when the deep voice came from behind him he almost fainted.

"Max and Logan sad. Virus bitch not down yet."

Sketchy turned and found himself staring at someone's wide chest. Looking up didn't help his nerves at all. It was the dog man from Jam Pony, Jesus or something like that.

"Uh...what"

"Don't worry. Virus bitch going down. Max and Logan getting busy, that's the plan!"

"Oh. What?" he tried again.

"Damn, wigga, Original Cindy tol' you to mind your own business! You got off easy today, you really want to give Max something to hit? 'Cos right now sister girl needs to vent at something."

"OK, Cindy, I got it. Only..."

"What's a Virus Bitch?"

***************************************

After fifteen minutes of explanations Sketchy was even more confused.

"OK, let me see if I get it: Max has a virus that will kill Logan if she touches him, right?"

"Yeah."

"And there's no cure."

"That's what I tol' you three times already."

"But...if it's deadly, why don't she get sick?"

"'Cos she's immune to the virus! All the transgenics are, that's why Logan survived the time he touched her on Crash. He got a blood transfusion from Dogboy here."

Sketchy looked back at Joshua, who smiled widely at him. Shuddering, he turned back to Original Cindy.

"Yeah, but then...I don't get why she don't cure the virus with Joshua's blood. I mean, I might not have listened too much in school, but his blood cured Logan, so that means that his antibodies killed the virus on Logan's body, so it should also kill the virus on Max's...it makes no sense."

"What did you say?"

Sketchy looked up to see Max, Logan and Alec staring intently at him with the same disbelieving expression.

'Uh oh, I'm in trouble again...'

"I mean, if Max's body don't kill the virus it must mean that it's been made so her antibodies don't see it as a virus, but Joshua's antibodies do, that's why it cured Logan. So it shoulda' killed the virus in Max, too..." He was starting to babble now, desperate to get out of this one with his hide intact.

Logan, Max and Alec looked at one another a few more moments.

Suddenly Max took off at an incredible speed, saying something about looking for tubes on the ambulance.

Original Cindy just said 'Dayum!' and sat down besides Logan, who looked just as stunned as her.

Logan muttered something about babies and mouths, whatever that meant.

Joshua just smiled and repeated his 'virus bitch' line over and over.

And Alec just rolled his eyes.

'Well, at least I got off with all my parts attached...'

He was about to ask Alec what had happened when he saw a stunning brunette walk by.

"Whoa, man! Did you see that chick? Think you could introduce me to her?"

Alec stared at him for a moment, like he was kidding...then he laughed out loud, and put his arm over his shoulder.

"Well buddy, I'm getting you laid tonight if it's the last thing I do. Did I tell you about Lola?"

'Oh yeah, life was good, all things considered...'

Finis.

OK, in case you're wondering, it worked: Joshua transfused Max, his antibodies killed the virus, Max and Logan expressed their undying love for each other (quite noisily in Alec's opinion) and Sketchy got laid, as promised.

Now to the science: It was stated that the virus was a variant of one that the X-series were immune to, so the only way it could survive in Max's system was by being engineered to be ignored by her own antibodies. But Joshua's antibodies didn't just cure Logan's symptoms, it cleared the virus from his blood.

Now, why didn't they think about it? Well, neither was thinking clearly, and it is a very simple answer. Most simple solutions are ignored when the problem is big enough. Hence the KISS principle.

As for the techs...The second tech, the one that gave them the temporary cure wasn't a Manticore tech, so he didn't really know what was possible and what wasn't.

The first one, though...he wasn't interested in giving them an easy, free cure! And he didn't tell them anything afterwards because...well, he wasn't exactly a good guy...

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