This is a little 'what if' story with 4! 'what if' endings, all with the premise that Max didn't came back in Blah Blah, Woof Woof. This chapter is sort of an intro, and those that will follow can each be viewed as the conclusion; chapter 2 is the happy ending, chapter 3 is the shifted cannon ending, chapter 4 is the surprise ending and chapter 5 is the frustrating ending. :D I'll try to be speedy with updates considering the fact that it's all on my hard-drive, and some of it needs just a little editing. Hope you enjoy.
She stops half-way to the steps of his uncle's cabin and turns around, the need to look at him one more time too strong to resist. The pain in his eyes reflects the one deep inside of her and she goes back, takes his face in her hands and kisses him, trying to show him how badly she wants to stay.
He looks at her and she feels tears prickling her eyes, but when he tells her to go, she does. She walks away, up the steps and into the cabin, slamming the door behind her and leaning against it for support.
She doesn't think anything was ever harder to do than leaving him behind.
There's silence outside, and she feels a surge of hope that he changed his mind, but then he starts the car and drives away, back to Seattle, back to his mission.
She promises herself that someday, she'll come back and see him again.
She wakes Zack in the middle of the night and demands them to go, now. The thoughts about Logan are driving her crazy and she's afraid she'll never really leave if she stays here for a single more minute. Zack seems to understand and doesn't argue with her, so they are on their way well before dawn. They hitch a ride on the back of a truck on its way to Canada and she spends most of the morning arguing with him. He claims that she can't go back to Seattle for at least a year and she already knows that she can't stay away for that long.
She tells Zack that she'll go back in six months and not a day longer, which only earns her another lecture about phony sentimentality that will get her and her friends killed.
Finally, they agree on nine months and she tries not to think about how much can change in such a long time.
The only thing she's got of Logan is a memory of their first kiss. She hopes it won't be the last, but she still has a strong urge to jump off the truck and run back, across all the miles already between them, just to hear him say her name. She's one of the few people on the planet who can pull it off, but she's the only one who mustn't even try.
She dozes off, rocked to sleep with the movement of the truck and the sound of the threads on the highway. In her dream, she's wearing a white dress and she asks Logan to dance with her, and even though it's impossible, he gets up from his wheelchair and takes her in his strong, sure arms, and they dance.
She tells him not to let her go, and he promises he won't, but when he kisses her, his lips are cold and she wakes to Zack shaking her, telling her that they've reached their destination.
She must've slept for a long time because it's already dark, but it felt like Logan was holding her for only a few minutes, and it wasn't enough.
She knows it would never be enough.
Her lips are still buzzing with the kiss, but she can't shake the cold.
Nine months consists of 388800 minutes, and she's fairly certain that time slowed down after she left Seattle. It's not just that the days drag by; hours do too, and every week feels like an eternity.
Zack's got some connections in this sleepy little Canadian town and finds her a job as a waitress in a diner on the outskirts of town, and gives her some money to buy a few items of clothing and basic necessities. He's also got good looks and charm, and townspeople believe every lie he tells them.
They go to sleep in a tiny bedroom above the diner that will be her home for the next nine months, and when she wakes up, Zack is already gone.
Every day she puts on a pink apron and a name tag that reads Lucy, goes downstairs and does her thing, greeting the locals with a few words and a hollow smile, answering their questions about what she did last night without enthusiasm and rarely the truth.
And even acting like that, a fellow waitress stubbornly befriends her and although Max will never tell her the story of her life, she finds herself telling her about Logan. She never mentions his name and leaves the details of their working relationship a little hazy, but the rest is more or less true. Noelle seems to understand her pain and the need to talk to someone about him and never complains.
It's not just Logan she misses, she tells Noelle. She misses OC and Kendra too, the crowd at Crash, the crew from Jam Pony, even Normal. She misses her Ninja and her apartment and Space Needle, but all of it pales in comparison with Logan, and that's why she's mostly talking about him.
When Noelle suggests that she calls him, she can think of a dozen reasons why she shouldn't, and she's not allowed to tell her a single one.
Max is almost thankful that his cable-hacks don't reach this far north, because his eyes alone would probably undo her and she can't let that happen.
She manages to resist Noelle's nudging for a long time, but the night that marks three quarters of her time away from Seattle, she finally picks up the phone and dials his number, her fingers shaking.
No one answers, and she hangs up the phone as soon as his answering machine kicks in, but it's too late; her heart is breaking again, the aching need to see him coming back full blast.
She knows she must soldier on, even though every day she stays here is killing her inside, and she tries to tell herself that everything will be okay, but she doesn't believe her own words.
Zack blows back into town a week before the deadline and seems pleased that she's still there, if a little bit surprised. He gives her the all clear and she says goodbye to Noelle and some of her regular customers, barely keeping herself from blurring out of town at superhuman speed.
They cross the border on foot and he steals a car, dropping her off just outside Seattle, telling her to take care of herself. She quickly hugs him and then she's on the move, running down the dirty streets, realizing she missed their familiarity too.
Her destination is, of course, Fogle Towers, and she doesn't care about anything except seeing Logan. It's well past midnight and she hasn't eaten since noon, she's dirty and a little tired, which makes her cranky and not even slightly embarrassed to be on the verge of tears. She sneaks into his building through the garage and seeing his car sends a much needed surge of relief though her.
She takes the stairs rather than waiting for an elevator and pauses only for a moment outside his door before breaking in.