Disclaimer – I don't own the characters of Dark Angel.
Summary – X5-599, I've got a heart for you . . . He didn't need to consider the fact that he was about to end his own life. Max needed a heart, and there was no one else who could give it to her. He didn't need to think about it – he just reacted.
Spoilers – '411 On the DL, Cold Comfort, Blah Blah, Woof Woof, The Kids Are Aiight, ...And Jesus Brought a Casserole'.
A/N – When I originally thought of this story, I wasn't planning for it to turn out to be a Zack/Max shipper piece. But as I continued to write it, it just turned out that way. Seeing as I'm both a Max/Zack and Max/Alec shipper, it all works out.
Oh, and just to let you know, this sounded a lot better in my head than when I wrote it down. I don't know, it just seemed to flow more in my head than when I wrote it.
No Thoughts Needed
As soon as Zack was brought in, he saw her. She was lying on a gurney just like he was, but she looked much worse than him.
"Max!" He tried to fight off the hands that were restraining him, tried to break the straps holding him down, but he was too weak from his own gunshot wound to do much more than struggle.
He could hear the flatline tone, a steady beep that was telling him that Max was dead.
"Internal paddles." Doctors were trying to bring her back, and he tried to struggle harder. He had to get to her.
"Charge to thirty." Another doctor spoke.
He heard the shock, and felt his own heart pounding in his chest. The flatline beep continued, and his own heart rate picked up in response.
"Thirty again." The doctor instructed, and the paddles were charged for a second time.
They shocked her again, but the steady beep continued.
Suddenly, Renfro was in the room. Zack's eyes burned into her, willing her with his mind to revive Max. He felt the panick and sorrow churning in his stomach. He couldn't lose Max . . .
"What's her condition?" Renfro demanded.
"The bullet went clean through." One of the doctors replied. "Her right ventricle is collapsed. She's gone."
Gone. Gone . . . Zack's heart skipped a beat. She couldn't be gone . . . Not Maxy . . .
"Is there damage to any other organs?" Renfro's cool voice brought Zack back to the room.
One of the doctors shook his head, and Zack felt relief surge through him, but only for a second.
"Prep her for harvesting." Renfro ordered.
No, no, no, no! They couldn't do that to Max, they just couldn't.
Finding strength in anger and horror, Zack broke free of the straps holding him down. He knocked out one of the guards, and grabbed his gun. He grabbed Renfro as she tried to escape the room, and turned his gun on the doctors.
"Bring her back!" He commanded, his eyes on Max.
"Her heart's too badly damaged." One of the doctors told him, but Zack didn't care.
Then, Transplant her!" He told them.
When the doctor told him that there were no donors available, he tightened his hold on Renfro.
"Then you need a donor." He said, the realization causing him to tighten his hold on Renfro even further.
"It won't do her any good," Renfro told him triumphantly. "She's an X-5, she needs an X-5 heart."
Zack let her go, not caring anymore what she did. He leaned close to Max, hoping that somehow, she would hear him.
"Fight them, Maxy. Promise me you'll fight them." He breathed in her ear.
He knew what he had to do, and there was no time to consider the fact that he was about to end his own life. Max needed to survive, and he would do anything to see that she did. She had always held a special place in his heart, even when they were children. He had always been concerned about her. If he was honest with himself, he would admit, however reluctantly, that what he felt for her wasn't how a brother feels for a sister. He had never told her, and now, he would never get the chance to.
When he had first seen her, after finally finding her after the escape, he had noticed how much she had changed. She was no longer a child, and he had had trouble recognizing her at first. She had had trouble recognizing him, too, but she had figured it out.
Then, when she was framed for the murder that he had committed, he had come to bring her away from Seattle. She had stayed for too long as it was, and it was time for her to move on. She had refused to go with him, and he had accepted it, no matter how much he didn't want to.
He had always called her when he couldn't handle something, automatically asuming that she could help him. He had called her when he had been tortured for the whereabouts of their siblings, and she had come through for him.
He hadn't realized that he felt more for her than he was supposed to until it was too late for him to do anything about it. It seemed that she was with Logan, now, and he wouldn't stop her. If that was what made her happy, then he could let her stay with the older man.
She wouldn't have a choice to be with anyone if she was dead, though.
At least, this way, a part of him would always be with her.
He took a deep, calming breath, and forced these emotions back, just for a second.
"X5-599, I've got a heart for you . . ."
He didn't allow them to be shocked. He felt his muscles relax as he pointed the gun at his head.
He fired, and just before everything went black, he pictured Max's face one more time.
He knew that she would live.