Disclaimer: Eventually, when I'm a famous millionaire, I intend to track down Jensen Ackles, Jessica Alba, Michael Weatherly, James Cameron and the rest of them and start up Dark Angel again, but until then, I own nothing besides a healthy dose of snark.
AN: As much as I love reading that my story has been favorite (and believe me, I do) I would love it even more if you would leave a review to tell me why! Remember, reviews feed the plot bunnies of the future! Do it for the kids!
Max and Alec were always getting into it over something. It was routine in T.C. to see the two of them in some sort of row, expected even. At some point during the day, the two of them were going to clash over something Alec said, or something Max did, or just the fact that it happened to be noon, and one or both of them were bored. Regardless, a day in Terminal City was never complete without some sort of confrontation.
This particular confrontation came on a particularly hot Saturday afternoon. The heat was unusual for Seattle, and T.C. being so insulated and there being just so many of them now that it didn't help matters at all. Max was doing what she did best—storming around, looking for someone to order around. That person, as per usual, was Alec.
And Alec, as per usual, was not having any of it.
When she'd found him he'd been laying sprawled out on a table, one arm tossed over his eyes, trying to sleep away the discomfort of the humidity.
As soon as she saw him, her stomach clenched in that particular way that it only seemed to do for Alec, and she had eventually chalked up to it being pure annoyance at his presence. Here he was, sleeping in the middle of the day, when there was so many more useful things he could be doing. Tons of more useful things, really. Even though her mind failed to come up with any.
It wasn't as if she sought out these confrontations with Alec. Of course not. She would never purposefully expose herself to more of the snarky blonde than she had to. Absolutely not. After all, she hated him.
Really, she did.
She snapped at him to wake up, and he responded with a mumbled retort somewhere along the lines of "bugger off". She threatened to dump some water on him, to which he grinned lazily and said that if she wanted to see him wet, all she had to do was ask.
Oh yeah. She hated him.
"Get up, Alec, that's an order." She snapped. His eyes blinked open as he sat up slowly, standing with a yawn and staring down at her, arms crossed.
"That might work on all the other Transgenics down here," He told her calmly, "But it won't work on me. We're equals, remember Maxie? We run this place together."
She took a step forward, jabbing an accusing finger into his chest. "Then why are you sleeping and I'm the one stuck doing all the work?"
"What work?" Alec asked with a laugh, spreading his arms to indicate their surroundings. "There is no work! Not today, not right now, at least. You just got bored, so you decided to come and pester me because you just can't stay away."
Briefly, she considered kicking him in the shins, but from the way he was staring at her warily, she had a feeling he was expecting something like that. "I'm sure there's something you need to be doing," She told him.
"Yeah, getting back to that sweet dream I was having, that's what." He winked at her, continuing on when she made a face, "What makes you think you can just come over and start giving me orders, anyway?"
"I named you," Max reminded him smugly, one of his smirks on her face, her body language screaming the confidence of someone who had just found the Ace in the deck. "That means I own you."
Alec gaped back at her, any retort he had frozen in his throat as all around them Terminal City slowed to a halt, its inhabitants curious to see what kind of conflict their two fearless leaders were in now.
What Alec did next, no one saw coming. He growled low in his throat as his eyes narrowed, his hand flashing out and closing around her arm, jerking her forward in a blur. Before she could twist away, he bent his head and sunk his teeth into the flesh at the junction of her shoulder.
Max went absolutely rigid, too startled to throw him across the room or knee him in the groin. A few seconds passed before her brain clicked back on and she jerked away with a yell, shoving him back hard against a pillar.
"What the hell, Alec!" She screamed, hand flying up to cover the stinging—and bleeding for Christ's sake!—teeth marks. "That's going to leave a mark!"
Alec smirked back at her, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand. "There," he said, mimicking her smug voice from seconds before, "Now I own you, too." Without waiting for her inevitably violent response, he turned on his heels and left, yelling something about checking on the supply runs over his shoulder.
Max whirled on the closest Transgenic, a lanky young boy who had been trying to creep off without notice and froze as soon as she turned to him. "What the hell does that mean?" She demanded. The boy stared back at her, eyes wide, mouth working but unable to respond out of sheer terror. She sighed impatiently, eyeing the other Transgenics who were trying to slink away unnoticed. Mole, however, stood his ground, trademark cigar hanging out of his mouth, and clearly smirking. Joshua was next to him, head tilted in thought.
"What?" She snapped, "You two know something?"
"Cat in Alec's cocktail," Joshua said slowly, carefully, "Cat in Max's cocktail. Alec…marking his territory."
Mole gave a derisive snort of laughter as Max's eyes widened, horrified. "His what?" She hissed.
"He marked you, Bitch-Ma'am," Mole chirped happily, using the nickname he'd given her when it had become clear that she and Alec would be stepping up and taking charge of T.C. He had called it a 'respectful acknowledgement of her status and self'. Alec had cackled in enjoyment when he'd heard it, and she hadn't argued. "He claimed you."
"Claimed me for what?" Max growled, though she was pretty sure she was beginning to get the picture. Mole snorted again, shaking his head, and Joshua stared at the ceiling.
"I'm not your mommy," Mole grinned, "I ain't havin' that talk with you."
Max could do nothing but gap, the usual rage that would have burst to the surface being subdued by pure shock. Mole smirked back at her, clearly pleased at her discomfort, and Joshua was still pointedly avoiding her gaze.
As if a light switch had been flicked, she snapped her mouth closed, her eyes narrowing into dangerous slits as her fists clenched with a familiar anger. "Oh, I'm going to kill him!" She yelled, turning and marching off in the direction Alec had escaped to.
Mole and Joshua watched her storm out, Mole shaking his head with a low chuckle. "Think we should send a medic after her?" He muttered, pausing when the sound of a laugh that quickly turned into a strangled cry followed by a loud thud reached their enhanced ears. The two of them winced. "Or maybe a cleanup crew," he amended quietly.
Joshua sighed, shaking his head. "Little Fella very angry at Medium Fella…"
Mole chuckled quietly. "She's just pissed that Blondie stole the first move from her,"
The boy Max had cornered earlier seemed to finally come back to himself, turning to face the two of them with a thoughtful frown. "I don't get it," He said, "Alec is easily stronger than her. Why does he let her beat him up so much?" The boy's question was logical. Back at Manticore, Alec had been considered fairly elite amongst the X-5 soldiers. Yet somehow, in all his brawls with Max (which were too numerous to count), he always ended up on the losing end.
Mole laughed, patting the young boy on the shoulder. "You'll understand someday, when you're older." He shook his head thoughtfully, muttering under his breath, "If you grow up to be a wise ass masochist with a love for impossible women, that is."
Before anyone could say anything else, there was a loud crash from down the hallway, silencing them all for a minute.
Joshua sighed, shaking his head in resignation. "Max and Alec both impossible," he said simply.
"Yeah, they're a match made in genetically engineered heaven," Mole agreed sourly, "And of course, tomorrow, they'll just end up fighting over whatever it was they just broke." He shook his head, frowning. "It must be all that mixed up human DNA, because I swear, I'll never understand the X-5's and their crazy mating rituals."