Thanks so much to those of you who reviewed chapter one. Unlike Kiss with a Fist I have NO IDEA where this is going. I had an outline for a one shot of around 5000 words, but cut the end and decided to see where it takes me.

MutantSquirrel: I'm glad you felt that way about chapter one, it's exactly the mood I was shooting for. I wanted to explore the idea of a story where Max believes she has lost everything. I do just want to make the point that I didn't kill off Logan because I hate him (quite the opposite, actually. I have grown to quite like writing him), but so that I can move away from the whole 'I love Logan but can't touch him' agonizing that kinda stunts the development of a lot of stories. Don't despair, remember season one Max? The one who actually had fun? She'll be back, but this time without that much to lose.

DisconnectSelfDestruct: Thanks for appreciating the jargon etc... I researched hard out. Bless Google and Wikipedia!

Our Cause Has Gone Insane – Chapter 2

"I feel ridiculous."

"You look hot."

There was a collective intake of breath as the group waited for the thwack of fist against skull. Max settled with glowering ominously at Alec. She had opened the bag containing her civilian clothes to find a brown zebra print minidress and a pair of impossibly high stilettos, needless to say she was not impressed.

"Ow, shit!" The attention in the small utility room moved to Lydecker, who was clutching his posterior, grimacing. Higgins was putting a syringe like device back into his kit bag.

"Didn't think we'd forget to put a tracker in you, didya Deck?" Higgins chuckled gently.

"You didn't have to put it in my ass."

Max pushed her amber colored sunglasses down her nose and looked over the top of the frames. "Not gonna try and dig it out though, are you?" She spun on her heel and walked toward the guest elevator, not bothering to check the two men were following her.

The gentle click of wooden heels on marble caught the receptionist's attention and he glanced up from his computer and sighed gently. He could tell by the expensive but trashy dress and the ostentatious Dolce and Gabbana handbag that this was going to be one of those guests. Americans with more money than sense were always a pain in the ass, but the stupidity of some of them made it almost worth it.

"Damn." it was however, unusual for a single woman to turn all heads in the large lobby, including the ladies. He let out a breath and turned back to his monitor, attempting to exude an air of indifference.

"Reservation for Weiss." Her voice was sullen and rude. And she was chewing gum.

He glanced up and smiled tightly. "One moment please ma'am." He hit a few keys, "is that w-i-s-e?"

"No you moron, its w-e-i-s-s." She rolled her eyes and snapped her gum.

"Sorry, my mistake. Aaah, here we are. I see you are alone, are you no longer traveling with accompaniment?" He looked at her again and her eyes were again heading skyward.

"My husband and his father have stopped at the bar. May I please have their room keys?" She fished around in her enormous glittering gold bag and pulled out a credit card.

"Certainly, Ma'am. May I offer you an upgrade to one of our Club suites? Perhaps you and your husband would like some privacy?" She smirked and tilted her head to the side, eyes suddenly going from dour to mischievous.

"That would be lovely....." she squinted and studied his name badge "...raa-feek." The smirk was replaced by a grin. "Do you guys do all night room service? I'm starving."

"Absolutely, Ma'am. Our chefs would be delighted to prepare anything from our room service menu for you. Here are your Keys." He handed her three magnetic card keys and smiled the pageant smile he had become rather adept at over the years. "I pray your husband and father-in-law are not long at the bar." He glanced over her shoulder and his smile dropped a little. She turned and caught sight of what had caused his slight change of demeanor. The younger man had his arm around the older, clearly supporting him after one too many whiskeys.

"Oh, wonderful. Here they are now." Her hand closed around the key cards and she turned toward the two Americans. "Thank you Rafik. Sorry I called you a moron."

"That is not a problem, Ma'am. Have a nice stay." Yes, definitely typical Americans.

Alec smirked as Max came striding towards them. She was clearly enjoying the acting for once judging by the unsettling but cheerful smile on her face. He adjusted his grip on Lydecker slightly and opened his mouth to say something smart, but thought better of it, instead turning it into a false yawn.

"Hey Emma you wanna help me with the old man?" She pulled a face.

"You're on your own there honey. It's not my fault you stopped at the bar at four a.m." She handed him their keys. "I took the liberty of upgrading us to a two room suite, I'm not sure I can handle his snoring tonight."

Alec smirked. Luxury rooms on Manticore's time and money were alright by him. "Of course. I need to sleep off the jet-lag anyway." He awkwardly turned himself and Lydecker and followed Max back toward the elevator. Something about her smirk was bothering him, but he chose to ignore it. She was probably just enjoying insinuating to the receptionist that alcoholism was hereditary in her 'husband's' family.

The short walk to their room was spent in silence. Both Alec and Max were busy observing the hotel, taking note of any escape routes and possible security threats. So far Alec had managed to work out three possible escape routes, none of which Lydecker would be able to handle. By the time they reached room nine-oh-seven he was looking decidedly worse for wear and about ready to either pass out or vomit.

Max passed her key through the reader and pushed open the door. The lights flickered on automatically and Alec watched her head straight for one of the open bedroom doors. She immediately slammed it closed.


He dumped Lydeckder on one of the soft looking armchairs and stomped over to the door. He pushed it open forcefully and glared at her. She was laying serenely on the bed, shoes still on and a folder held above her face.

"Piss off, Alec. You're on Deck duty." She didn't even bother to look away from the menu.

"You're ordering room service without me? That hurts." He glanced behind him to make sure the old man was still where he left him. He was asleep. "Gandalf's asleep, you wanna have some fun?" He raised an eyebrow and sent her a conspiratorial look.

"I'm not having sex with you, Alec." She still didn't look away from the menu.

He laughed. "As much as I would love to dive into that wonderful complicated mess, that's not what I meant." He held up his right hand and opened all the fingers bar his thumb and index. "Manticore sanctioned minibar, anyone?"

The folder was quickly snapped shut and she sat up, swiveling on the bed she stood up and snatched the key out of his hands. She went for the vodka first.

"Get me a mixer will ya?" Her finger was pointing to the cupboard next to the small refrigerator. Alec opened it and pulled out a stainless steel mixer and two short tumblers. He watched her carefully as she poured almost every kind of alcohol in the fridge and an almost pathetic obligatory splash of cola and lime. Her nose wrinkled "Damn, no tequila. Who stocks a minibar with rum but no tequila?" She shrugged and added a splash of bourbon instead.

"This should put you on your ass." She held her glass up. He clinked and took a long sip and coughed a little.

"Woah, Maxie. You're gonna make me think you have some nefarious purpose here." He winked at her and she poked out her tongue.

"Yeah, to knock you out so you'll shut the hell up." She took another drink and leaned back in the plush sofa. He watched her kick off the ridiculous heels and tuck her feet up on the cushion. Her dress was riding dangerously high and he reached over and pulled the hem down a little. "Someone's feeling chivalrous tonight."

"My whole purpose for existence isn't just to get in your pants."

"No, just to help me kill my boyfriend." Her voice was laced with bitterness.

"Give me a break, Max. What would you have done in my situation? Ignored direct orders for the third time and finally gotten yourself put out of your misery, or save your ass? Shit happens, deal with it." He stood abruptly and went back to the minibar, copying Max's mixture from a few minutes earlier. He should probably slow down or he actually might get drunk for once. He turned and looked harshly into her eyes, his next words were gonna hurt, but they had to be said. "It's not like you were as close to him as other people you've lost. You killed your own brother and got over that in a couple of months." He caught the empty glass she threw at him and watched her storm off to her room.

She hated him. Hated more than any other person she could remember. More than Normal, more than Deck, even more than Renfro. She hated him so much she actually had murderous thoughts, not that she hadn't had murderous thoughts about the other three, but this was different. She had actually created detailed situations in her mind, only problem was they all involved her seducing him first.

God she was fucked up. How many people fantasized about killing their workmate while they were lying sweaty and satiated and tangled in said murderous woman's sheets? She had analyzed it and came to the conclusion that she wanted to use him like he had used her. Either that or her genes were telling her to screw someone who would make pretty offspring. Whichever way you looked at it, it wasn't her fault.

She growled and pulled a pillow over her head. She was quite happily practicing holding her breath when she felt a wisp of air over her hand and heard something hitting the bedside table.

"Go away."

"What was that? I can't understand you on the other side of that feather monstrosity you're calling a forehead." She felt the bed move and his hand rested on her waist, gently caressing her stomach with his thumb. "I'm sorry, Maxie. I meant it, but it probably wasn't the right time to actually say it. I'm blaming the Long Island." She heard the clink of ice cubes and figured he was well on his way through his second drink. His hand had slipped lower to her hip and she jerked the pillow away from her face and sat up.


He laughed. "Worked though, didn't it?" He handed her the drink he had placed on the night stand earlier. She drank it quickly.

"Deck still asleep?" She nodded her head toward the sitting room.

"Yeah, I handcuffed him to the coffee table. It looked pretty sturdy." She waved her glass in front of his nose and he snatched it from her hand. "Trying to get drunk are we? Not a good look for someone who's hanging onto their freedom by a thread."

"Speak for yourself," she hollered after him as he headed back to the main room. He was back a few moments later with full glasses. This time instead of sitting on the edge of the bed her laid down next to her and crossed his ankles nonchalantly.

"Okay, so lets get this over with," she blurted. Alec looked at her like her hair had turned green.

"What the hell are you on about this time?"

"I hate you, you know that right?" Her eyes were looking intently into his own.

"I may have been led to believe that, yes." He was looking right back at her, guarded and a little afraid of her intensity.

"So why are we sitting here getting drunk like old buddies?"

"Circumstance, I guess. No point in both being miserable when we can pretend to have fun." He had a fake chipper tone to his voice and she frowned. He looked away for a moment and she pounced, pulling her knees toward her chest, she rolled over and shoved him off the bed with her feet. The look of shock on his face was enough to lift her mood momentarily and he landed with a thud on the floor between the bed and the bathroom door. She rolled off the bed and landed on his torso, arms on either side of his head. He had somehow managed to save the glass of booze and it was now resting in the palm of his left hand.

"I really, really hate you." Her nose was only an inch from his, and she could see the laughter in his eyes.

"I know Maxie. Why do you have to keep saying it constantly? It's not like it's some big secret or anything."

"Is it okay that I hate you, but really, really want to fuck you?" She took little satisfaction in the deer caught in headlamps expression, instead focusing on how soft his lips looked. And then she found herself on her back, Alec scrambling away from her. Emergency backtrack time, "Someone's all talk and no action, huh?" She giggled.

"You were screwing with me, you bitch!"

He watched her as she stood and headed for the bathroom, mentally kicking himself for almost believing her crude words. His eyes carefully trained on her back he couldn't help but notice the slightly hunched over shoulders and bowed head. Nowhere near noticeable to someone not trained to pick up on the smallest changes in body language, but enough for the cogs in Alec's head to start to turn. Perhaps she wasn't lying. Maybe it was just a cover for his reaction, after all, she had improvised brilliantly in the lobby earlier that morning.

He was waiting for her at the door when she came out, leaning on the doorjamb and blocking her exit from the bathroom. She stood in the doorway and glared. He reached behind her and slid the door shut.

"You might not want to hear this Max, but I hate you too." His voice was low and throaty and he had moved closer, trapping her against the door his body almost touching hers. He leaned forward and pressed his lips to hers firmly, sliding his hands around her waist and lifting her up so her legs wrapped around his back.

With her newly prone position Alec had no trouble sliding one hand under the bottom of her dress, playfully resting it on her ass while the other slid up her body, over her breast and into her hair. She gasped into his mouth and he caught her tongue in his teeth, letting go after a second and moving onto sucking on her lower lip. Her hands had moved to his hair, twisting almost painfully.

He let her go abruptly and let her feet drop to the ground.

"Question is Max, which of us is being ironic here?"

He walked out of the bedroom and quietly shut the door.

The Colonel awoke to the uncomfortable sensation of a dead arm. He didn't know how long he had been asleep but clearly, it was long enough for the transgenics to have had a huge fight already. 494 sat across from him on the couch, face set in an expressionless mask, drink in hand.

"What's the matter, son?" He tilted his head up and looked at the younger man through narrowed eyes.

494 remained silent, blank look unchanging, but the colonel knew it was all an act.

"Quit with the bullshit, Alec. I know the Manticore mask better than anyone. What have you two been coming to blows about?" 494 narrowed his eyes and took a drink.

"What makes you think me and Max've been fighting? You don't know anything about me. For all you know the chef refused to cook me excargot and foie gras with a fucking champagne and truffle sauce." Lydecker laughed. It was just like 494 to come up with a far too elaborate answer when on the defense.

"Get me a drink will you, son?"

"Whatever," 494 got up abruptly and headed for the minibar.

"Whiskey, neat." He looked over to the x5 who was listlessly pouring a tiny bottle of single malt into a tumbler. "So what's going on with you two anyway? You screw some other chick on a mission or something?"

"Shut it old man, you don't have any idea what you're talking about." The glass was dropped down just out of his reach.

"So fill me in."

"You don't have clearance, I can't just go telling you classified mission details because you used to be my CO." 494 narrowed his eyes and sat back down. "Besides, I'm sure Renfro's just gonna get as much information out of you about the Conclave as you'll give and then pop a bullet in your skull." Lydecker grimaced.

"She won't kill me, not now that she knows we're on the same side."

"How do ya figure? You teamed up with a bunch of rogue X5s and blew up the DNA lab. Last time I checked that counted as a black mark on one's record." 494's mouth twisted in a sardonic smirk and he looked at the older man expectantly.

"My enemy's enemy is my friend? Don't tell me you've forgotten basic training already. Besides, why would she stage such an elaborate rescue attempt for someone she's just going to pop off anyway?" He gave 494 a look that said duh and again reached for his drink. This time he managed to snag the edge of the glass an pull it towards the chair.

"If you were the conclave you wouldn't want to have someone held prisoner by us, would you? It's amazing what stuff comes out of your mouth when someones sticking needles in your eyes."

Lydecker shrugged and took a sip of his drink, he wasn't really in the mood for debate tonight. Closing his eyes, he leaned his head back onto the chair and sighed. Mac and cheese sounded good, he could go for some mac and cheese.