PAIN

Author.- Black_4ngel

Rating.- PG-13 I think

Disclaimer.- The characters don't... argh, to hell with it. You sue and I'll kill myself, come back and hunt you down

Summary.- Sometimes horrible things happen to good people

A/N.- *PLEASE READ* The story is sad, sad, sad. Or at least I hope it is so if you're not in the mood for a depressing fic I suggest you go and read my other story Cabin Fever ;) Oh and people, I have nothing against the USA government ok?

MISSING. LOSING. HURT. JUST. CRY

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Logan sat on top of the space needle. He was holding a bottle of pre pulse Champaign in one hand and a fancy black box on the other

He was halfway through the bottle and he had only been up there for what seemed like minutes but in reality it had been hours. The sun was going to rise soon but Logan had lost track of time. Maybe it was because he drank an awful lot of alcohol before going up there or maybe it was because he no longer cared.

Logan took one last look at the glass bottle and threw it against the needle. It shattered into a million pieces that tumbled down the steep surface into nothing. In the darkness of the night Logan wished he could watch the small glittering pieces fall, along with the broken pieces of his hearth

He covered his eyes with his hands and cried for what seemed like the hundredth time that day. He knew he shouldn't blame himself but he couldn't help it. All he could think about was how he could have prevented it from happening.

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

(Four days earlier)

"Aw c'm on Logan! Everyone breaks the law sometime!" Max leaned back against the couch's armrest and took a sip of her wine

"Well, they shouldn't!" Logan, who was in the exact same position on the opposite side of the couch, plopped a strawberry into his mouth

"They? Who are you? Mr. perfect?" Max smiled

"Rules are there for a reason"

"Yeah, to be broken!" Max argued

"Oh Max, just imagine what the world would be like if everyone lived by the law! The streets would be safe..."

"We would've never met, there would be no Eyes Only, I probably wouldn't even be alive!" Max interrupted

"Shit, you got me there" Logan poured some more wine into her glass

"Besides, you are breaking the law right now! serving alcohol to a minor"

"Max you're not a minor"

"Yeah well I'm technically not old enough to drink yet"

"Ok! Ok point taken!" Logan raised his arms in surrender

"How can I compete with Manticore wit anyway" he said under his breath. Max threw a cushion at him. At that moment the candle that they were using for illumination burned out

"Don't get up, I'll look for another one" Max stood up

"Or we can just leave the lights out" Logan said 'Man, what are you doing? Watch your tongue before she gets freaked and runs out on you'

But Max only laughed "My, aren't you a naughty boy"

"There are some more candles in my room" Logan informed her. Max was already halfway there

"I know" She said seductively. Logan swallowed

'Girl, you're playing with fire and you're gonna get burned' She scolded herself. By then she had reached his room and was rummaging around his drawers for some candles when her hands came across his silky boxers. She smiled and opened another drawer. She took one of his shirts out and inhaled the scent that was pure Logan

'Stop it! You can't think about this now! You can't tie yourself down until you know for sure that Manticore is gone' She put the shirt back, found some vanilla scented candles and returned to the living room.

Logan was now sitting comfortably with his bare feet resting on the coffee table in front of him

"Hum, where are the matches?" Max asked

"I honestly have no idea"

"Well, since I have no desire to look for them in the dark we're just gonna have to sit here and wait for the electricity to return"

Max returned to Logan's side and sat down even though they both knew that with her night vision finding the matches wasn't really a problem

Max leaned against the couch and let out a little groan

"You ok?" Logan immediately asked

"My shoulders are a little sore, the guys I took out tonight put up a bit of a fight" Max admitted and rolled her neck from side to side

"Here, let me help" Logan scooted closer to her and took her shoulders, motioning for her to turn sideways so that he could reach her back easily

He massaged the knots away from her shoulders and back. the room was completely silent except for an occasional moan from Max but it was a comfortable silence

While Logan continued his massage he moved closer to her inch by inch 'I'm just getting closer to her so that I can reach her back better' He told himself

Max was also 'unconsciously' moving towards him but the truth was she craved more contact with Logan's body. Suddenly 'just friends' wasn't enough for her

"All done" Logan whispered in her ear. He was so close his breath tickled her neck

"Thanks" Max whispered back but instead of moving away she leaned back against his strong chest

Max heard Logan's sharp intake of breath and smiled. He wrapped an arm around her waist and brushed her hair away from her neck with the other

Max shivered under his touch and turned her head around slowly

Logan took her shiver as a sign and leaned down slowly, his lips practically begged for contact with her own. His hand moved under her blouse to caress the naked flesh of her stomach

Max closed her eyes and waited for Logan's mouth to make contact with her own

He moved closer and closer. Max held her breath. Her hearth raced in anticipation

At that moment the electricity returned and the room became way too illuminated

Max opened her eyes only to discover that Logan hadn't moved away and all of a sudden the light didn't bother her. She was too wrapped around Logan to notice that the romantic scenario was gone

She closed her eyes again and raised a hand to touch Logan's scruffy beard

RING

They ignored the constant ringing of the phone. Max turned around to face Logan and he moved his lips to hers again

"You've reached the number you dialed"

"Logan, are you there?" Sebastian's electronic voice broke the silence in the apartment

"Logan please answer the phone this is important"

Logan groaned and reached for the phone, sending an apologetic look in Max's direction

"I'm here... you what? Ok, I understand... No it's ok... I'll be there as soon as I can"

Logan hung up the phone and turned to Max, a troubled look on his face

"What?" Max asked

"I don't know, he said something about coming across some important information. He wouldn't say much over the phone but he wants us there ASAP. It seemed urgent"

Max was already grabbing her jacket

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

They reached Sebastian's place in record time. He was waiting for them at the door

"Sebastian what is it?" Max asked as soon as they had walked through the door

Sebastian wasted no time "A group of men that call themselves the League of Justice has stolen a biochemical weapon from the research labs in New Mexico. The government has received threats. The terrorists demand to be given 30 million dollars before next Friday or they will use the weapon in American soil."

Logan frowned and said, "That sounds like a classic case of terrorism, what do you need us for?"

"What's the catch?" Max asked

"I have reasons to believe that the government is behind this" Sebastian explained simply

"The government? why would they detonate a biological weapon in the US? Why would they kill their own people"

"The United States was the most powerful nation in the world for a long time Max,. It has been ten years since the pulse and we're still living in a third world country. The government needs someone to blame for this"

"So they are just gonna kill a couple thousands of Americans so that they can look good to the rest of the world? Sebastian you are a genius but that my friend is whacked" Max was shaking her head

"You can believe anything you want Max but the fact is this bomb is set to go off in less than 24 hours and the government isn't doing anything to stop it"

"Why don't they just give the terrorist the damn money and stop this shit?" Max wondered out loud

"The United States of America does not negotiate with terrorists" Logan rubbed his forehead "Ok, what are we dealing with here?"

"This weapon is in small containers, the size and shape of a dice. It contains a compressed substance in the form of a liquid. If the container is broken by a strong impact the liquid becomes gas and can be easily inhaled. It's lethal either way but if inhaled death occurs in less than three minutes. If a drop of the weapon in it's liquid state hits any surface it burns like acid. On human skin it burns and then the chemicals enter the bloodstream and initiate a chain of chemical reactions that will end up killing a human being in around three days, four the most depending in the resistance of the body. There is no cure for this, no way to stop the pain of it or the process. We can only slow it down by freezing the body but that will only result in more pain."

Max frowned. She knew any human losses were terrible but if there was no way to prevent it from happening the worse that could happen were a couple of casualties

"How much of this substance did the terrorist take?" Max asked

"Four containers"

"That's not much. Can't it be controlled?"

Sebastian's head bobbled from side to side "The substance is like a bacteria, it passes from one organism to the other quite quickly. It would take approximately seven containers to wipe out the world's population in less than five months. I need you both to understand that this makes the bubonic plague seem like a walk in the park"

Max and Logan stared at Sebastian in shock. Max was stunned, she was expecting something small, maybe burning down the lab and destroying some records or killing some terrorists. This was too much.

"I can make a hack and expose the government if you have enough proof" Logan said in a small voice. Max unconsciously edged closer to him

"You would only succeed in provoking chaos"

"What's the name of the weapon?" Max asked. Both men stared at her

"What? I wanna know what to call this bitch"

"SXOJ78" Sebastian answered

"Wait, I still don't understand. What can WE do to stop this?" Max leaned against Sebastian's desk

"Max, at Manticore you were trained to defuse bombs weren't you?"

"Yeah"

"I've got the location of the bomb. It's in a warehouse in the middle of Chicago"

"OH NO!" Logan interrupted "Absolutely not! Max is NOT attempting to defuse any kind of biological weapon. In fact I'm putting you in a plane to Europe as soon as I can" Logan was babbling and he knew it but he couldn't even conceive the idea of Max trying anything as dangerous as getting within a hundred miles from a bomb

"Sebastian, would the SXOJ78 affect me?"

"You're genetically engineered Max, not immortal"

"Max isn't going" Logan set his foot down

"Logan, would you rather have thousands of people killed?" Max asked

Logan was tempted to say yes, God knew it was true but his conscience wouldn't let him do it

"If you're going I'm going with you"

"Logan no, you have to stay away and help Sebastian..."

"I'm going with you weather you like it or not"

Max sighed and turned to Sebastian "What's the plan?"

"We can not move the SXOJ78 since it is inside a bomb that is programmed to explode if the terrorists don't get their money, It can also be exploded by using a trigger. There are cameras watching the whole building. We are going to jam the cameras. You'll have seventeen minutes to get to the bomb, diffuse it and extract the SXOJ78. There will be a quarantine team waiting for you. You'll be wearing special suits for your protection but if the container cracks and you spill the SXOJ78 on it's liquid state on your suit the plastic will be burned and you'll be infected. The plane leaves in two hours"

Sebastian looked from Max to Logan, they had worried expressions on their faces but Sebastian knew they were only worried for each other

"Isn't there someone else you can call?" Logan asked

"You are the only ones I trust with this"

"Oh"

"It might be a good idea to... say goodbye to your friends, just in case. But don't tell them about this, we don't want global panic"

Max an Logan nodded and left

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

The ride back to Logan's apartment was made in silence. Once they got there Max grabbed her bike and said "I should probably go check on Joshua and tell Original Cindy to feed him in case..."

"Want some company?" Logan asked

For some reason Max couldn't even think about not having Logan with her right then

"Yeah, I would like that" Max straddled her bike and motioned for Logan to sit in front of her

"You drive"

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

(One hour later)

Max and Logan sat in their comfortable seats on the plane

Despite the situation Max was smiling and looking out the window

"What?" Logan asked

"Nothing I just... I love flying"

"I hate it" Logan gripped the arm rest as the plane began to move

"Logan! It's an amazing experience, going so fast and so high up gives you the chance to forget all of your problems and leave everything behind"

"Yeah? Well it also gives you the chance to fall for 3000 feet and die a horrible death"

Max laughed "We have more possibilities of being ran over by a donkey"

"That's why I don't go anywhere near donkeys" The plane began it's ascent and Logan's grip tightened around the armrest

Max laughed again and took his hand in hers

"Logan, you are paranoid" Max sighed and leaned her head against his shoulder "and I need to be well rested for this" She closed her eyes and relaxed against him

Somehow feeling her body so close to his calmed Logan down a little. He rested his head on top of hers and closed her eyes as well

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

Sebsatian rolled his way over to the couple. He hated having to wake them up. They looked so cute, Max's head on Logan's chest, their hands laced together but the plane was going to land soon and they still had to go over some stuff

"Logan" Sebastian nudged him with the wheel of his wheelchair

"Urgh, go away" Logan groaned

"We are almost there"

Max stirred next to Logan and opened her eyes groggily "Ok, we're awake. At least I am"

Both of them sat up but Logan refused to let go of Max's hand

"What's going to happen to the SXOJ71 after we recover it?"

"My team can destroy the weapon in my lab. We just need to get our hands on it"

The three of them continued to discuss the possible variables to the plan until the plane landed and the nightmare began

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

Logan was standing in the lobby of the building with Max standing next to him, she was carrying a briefcase.

"Ok Logan, the area is secured. You're clear to go. Good luck" Sebastian said through the radio

Max and Logan walked to the room where the bomb was hidden. They found it and settled down to work defusing it.

"Are you sure you know how to do this?" Logan asked Max.

She nodded and sang a small chant, trying to remember which color was the wire she had to cut. "Roses are red, violets are blue, sugar is sweet, and so are you." She hesitated before cutting the red wire. She did and the whole mechanism shut down.

They both released the breath they had been holding and then worked on removing the panel so that they could get the SXOJ78 out

Max unscrewed the panel and removed it, then very carefully she took one of the containers out using tweezers, careful not to apply too much pressure. Then she handed the container to Logan.

He used the tweezers to place the SXOJ78 in a special container, then reached out for the other one

One by one they placed the SXOJ78 in the container until only one was left

Max carefully held it with the tweezers and stopped to examine the little lethal cube

Suddenly something smacked against the window. Logan was on his feet in a second, he looked around but couldn't find the source of the noise

"Sebastian, what was that?"

"I don't know, a pigeon maybe. We're not getting any readings"

"Logan" Max called out. The tone in her voice scared the shit out of Logan. She sounded lost and scared

Logan turned around just in time to see the plastic of Max's gloves bubbling

Logan's breathing became erratic "Max, what happened?"

"I gripped it too tightly..." Max screamed in pain as the acid burned her skin further. There was nothing she could do and she knew it

'Oh shit' Logan thought and yelled into the radio "I need the containment unit now!"

"Logan, what happened?" the Sebastian asked

"One of the containers cracked in Max's hands!"

"Logan, stay away from her. Do not touch her. containment is on it's way"

Logan dropped the radio and ran to Max's side, he reached out to take her hand

"Logan, No" Max took her hand away "Please... don't"

Tears spilled from Logan's eyes. He sat as close to her as she let him and was forced to watch the love of his life agonize in pain

"Max, I'm sorry. I'm so sorry"

The containment team entered the building then and took her away to the quarantined ambulance they had prepared

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

Logan wanted to get on the back of the ambulance with Max but one of the doctors wouldn't allow it

"I have to see her!"

"You would only get in the way! We have to get out of here now" The doctor closed the door and the ambulance drove away. Sebastian was riding another car. He motioned for Logan to get in

They drove away as the building exploded. Logan jumped in his seat "What the hell?"

"We had to burn down the building to assure 100% containment" Sebastian explained

Logan nodded, buried his head on his hands and cried.

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

After driving for a few miles the ambulance stopped. The car parked behind it and a doctor approached Logan

"Sir, the lady is asking for you. You'll have to get back in your suit if you want to see her"

Logan nodded and changed back quickly

"Hey! What happened to the broken container?" Logan asked

"We returned the substance to it's original state and placed the gas on a gas mask that will be destroyed along with the other containers"

"Oh"

Logan hurried to the ambulance and got in

"Could you give us a minute?" He asked the doctors there. They hesitated but left

"Max?" Max was lying on a bed, her skin clammy and sweaty

"Logan! Don't leave me"

"I won't angel" Logan got closer to her and sat down

"Max, I have to tell you something"

"What?"

Logan's eyes filled with tears again "Max I love you! You can't leave me! I can't live without you" He broke down and cried again

Max reached out and touched the plastic front of his helmet

"Logan, I love you too. Don't you ever forget that" her hand trailed down to touch his plastic covered chest "I'll always be with you, right here"

"Oh Max, I never should've let you do this"

"Logan don't, you can't blame yourself for ever! I knew the risks and took my chances. I'm only glad you're ok"

Logan covered her hand with his gloved one

"No Max, you can't leave me! I wish we had never met"

Max slapped his chest with all the force she had left, which wasn't much "Don't say that Logan! I will much rather die now, knowing and loving you than live for another fifty years without you"

"How can you say that?"

"Logan, I know I'm going to die but I have only one regret"

Logan sniffed "What?"

"I regret not telling you sooner just how much I love you"

Logan broke down again, his lower lip quivered while tears spilled down his cheeks

Max coughed a couple of times and said "It's so much pain Logan, too much."

"Max, we can freeze your body to stop the process until we find a cure."

Max interrupted him "Logan, both you and I know that there is no cure to this. I want the pain to stop, please make it stop."

"I'll see if you can get anesthetic or something." She shook her head. He knew what she was asking. With tears in his eyes he grabbed the mask where the SXOJ78 was kept and placed it on Max's mouth.

His hand trembled "No Max, please, I can't..." He was now crying loudly, speaking between sobs. She held his plastic covered hand and urged him on. He whipped his face and opened the valve.

"I love you" Max managed to say before exhaling

"I love you my dark angel, I love you" Logan held her lifeless body in his arms for what seemed like an eternity

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

(four days later)

*Is Jesus your pal, do you call out his name

When your conscience is shivering.

Do you need someone too, just like those people who

Find peace in someone's promises.

You sure don't need my promises.

So come sit on my box, enjoy the view of the water

While my lifeboat is sinking*

Logan stood at the edge of the needle, he opened the black box and carefully poured the ashes into the wind

"Now you're really free my love, free to fly and leave everything behind" Logan closed the box and laid it down

He stared at the emptiness below and sighed. Normally he wouldn't even be standing so close to the edge but his life meant nothing to him anymore

Logan closed his eyes and plunged into the darkness

Max was right, he thought he would be scared to death but he wasn't, the speed and the height made him forget his problems and for just a couple of seconds he was able to pretend that Max was still alive, waiting for him at the top of the space needle, wanting to be with him for ever.

Nothing mattered anymore, he'd be with her soon.

*If you open your eyes, take a look at this mess

Could you fake your own reflection child.

If you reach out for more, you find nothing but sorrow

'Cause knowledge is hollow.

And pride is hard to swallow.

So come sit on my box, enjoy the view of the water

While my lifeboat is sinking*

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