Disclaimer: If I owned Dark Angel would I be writing fanfiction?

Series: First in the Fathers & Sons Series

Series Explanation: Father & Sons is a series of oneshots that span across many fandoms and detail various father/son relationships, some typical, some not. The only rule is that the Father and Son cannot be in anyway biologically related.

Summary: Donald Lydecker is many things. Heartless is not one of them.

Pairings: M/L, Deck/Logan Father/son

The Only Thing That Matters

Donald Lydecker is many things. Heartless is not one of them. He honestly cares about what happens to his kids, the escaped X-5s. It's why he searches so hard to find them, because he knows that if he doesn't and Renfro does she'll make what happened to Tinga seem humane in comparison.

Yes, Donald Lydecker cares. That's why it hurts so much when he goes out after Cale and finds the younger man cradling Max's body. He feels his chest tighten. Max. His beloved daughter. She's always been his favorite. And now he realizes the only way to save her is to let Renfro take her back to Manticore.

He struggles to push his emotions aside as he tries in vain to reason with Cale. Trying desperately to convince him that the only thing they can do is leave Max's body behind for Manticore to find.

His heart constricts further when he is forced to knock the younger man out in order to get to leave her body behind. He understands where Cale is coming from. Really he does. There's nothing harder than to lose the person you love. Even after all these years that's a pain that still is raw and fresh on Deck's heart.

He knows to well what Cale is going through, but right now they have to leave Max behind if there's any hope of saving her. Cale won't be of any use to Max if he's captured too. At least, that's what Deck tells himself as he drags the younger man's body back to the van and orders Krit and Syl to drive.

Cale is still unconscious when they arrive back at the warehouse. For that, Deck is grateful. Gently he lifts up the younger man and carries him to the dirty blue Aztec, which he knows to be Cale's car. Krit and Syl move to help him, but he shoos them away. He was the one who knocked Cale out, so he'll be the one to get the boy home. On the way to the warehouse, he had searched the younger man's pockets and found his driver's license. Why the kid has his license on him, Lydecker had no clue, but right now he was grateful for it, as it told him it exactly where he lived.

It seems like hours before Deck reaches the kid's address, which he's surprised to discover was a penthouse in the wealthiest sector of the city. He had to wonder how a guy as rich as Cale apparently had crossed paths with Max.

He has a bit of trouble with the doorman, who was instantly suspicious of a strange man bringing Mr. Cale in. Then he mentions that he's Max's father (because, he tells himself, that's really what he is), and instantly the man is all smiles. Apparently Max is a frequent and welcome visitor to the building. It hurts Deck as he realizes that that won't be the case anymore, at least not for a while.

It hurts even worse when he enters the apartment and sees the wheelchair close at hand. He remembers that Cale was in a wheelchair the first time they met but he had hoped the fact that he appeared to be walking now meant he no longer needed it. But if he didn't need it why would it be here, out where anyone could see it?

As he slowly lowers the younger man to the couch, Deck finds he can't help himself. He gently rolls up the leg of Cale's pants, and what he sees shocks him. A DOD issue exoskelton? How did Cale get one of those? Well it explains the fact that Cale weighs more than his size would indicate. It has to be nearly impossible for him to even walk in it.

His heart breaks for the kid. To lose first his legs and now Max? Deck isn't sure how Cale'll handle it. He only hopes that he can rescue Max and Zach sooner rather than later.

Beside him he feels Cale begin to stir. Before he even knows what he's doing Deck pulls Cale into his arms. He remembers how much he needed someone when his wife died, and he knows that no matter what he says, Cale will need that too.

Deck watches as Cale opens his eyes and takes in his surroundings. Watches as the memories of the night come flooding back. Next thing he knows, Cale is pounding on his chest, trying to push him away, trying to hurt him, the man who made him leave Max.

Deck can do nothing but hold him. In his heart he wishes that he could go rescue Max now, if only to get rid of Cale's pain. But he can't, he has to wait until Manticore has time to heal her body. Then he'll save her. That much he vows.

Eventually the pounding subsides and gives way to great hiccupping sobs. Deck pulls him closer allowing him to bury his head in his chest. Plans for rescuing Max and Zach can wait until tomorrow. Tonight the only thing that matters is the young man sobbing his heart out in his arms.

AN:So I'm back. And with the start of a brand new series of oneshots too. The Fathers & Sons Series will detail all sorts of various father/son relationships from various television shows. Some will be the typical relationships, but others will be slightly different, like the one above. Feel free to suggest any that you can think of in the reviews. All suggestions will be taken under consideration.

Up Next in The Fathers & Sons Series: She Should Have Known Better (Gibbs & Tony)