Archive: Please ask!
Summary: When Max sees a transgenic boy living on the streets of Seattle, finding him will lead to a painful reunion of sorts...
Disclaimer: I don't own Dark Angel, wish I did, don't sue me please.
Visit the X5 Resource - http://members.tripod.com/~Ashantai/DarkAngel/X5Resource.html
FATE IS BLUE AND I AM, TOO
"Hey!" a woman yelled from behind one of the shops lining the rundown Seattle street. "Stop that thief!" Max felt someone brush by her and turned quickly, reaching out. Her hand closed around nothing and all she saw was the receding form of a young boy, who was moving almost too fast toward an alley for her to make anything else out but his military crewcut... and the barcode on the back of his neck. She gasped.
"What?" Alec asked from beside her, concerned.
"That boy," she said, grabbing his arm and hauling him along down the alley toward an open market.
"Whoa!" he exclaimed as they ran at super-speed. "Okay... Max, what the hell are you doing?" They rounded a bend and she quickly scanned the market, busy with people, but the boy had vanished and there was no way to tell which way he'd gone.
"That was a transgenic," she said, still searching the area with her eyes hopefully.
"That kid. You didn't see him?"
"No," he answered; she let go of his arm and sighed. People were looking at them, surprised and a little unnerved at how fast they had rounded the corner. "You okay, Max?"
"Had any problems with delusions lately?"
"Shut up, Alec," she muttered. "You were looking the other way."
"Well, if there was a transgenic he's gone now." Satisfied, he stuck his hands into his pockets and turned back the way they'd come.
"Maybe he lives around here," she mused.
"Max, give it up."
"He's just a kid, and he's alone," she said stubbornly. "He needs someone to look out for him." Alec gave her a look that clearly said he thought she was crazy.
"You don't know that. Just because he was alone for the two seconds you saw him you immediately assume that? How do you know he doesn't have a nice home somewhere with a big-screen tv and..." He trailed off as Max rolled her eyes at him. "What?" She smiled good-naturedly.
"Come on, let's get back to Jam Pony before Normal has a heart attack."
"Yeah, I guess we have been gone for a couple of hours." They headed for where they'd locked their bikes. Max glanced back at the market before mounting her bicycle, scanning the crowd and hoping to catch another glimpse of the boy, but there was no sign of him. She sighed and rode off with Alec.
It was probably stupid to think that she might see him again, but when she got off work Max found herself at the open market again, now closed down and significantly less crowded. She sighed and halted her motorcycle, propping it against a wall and leaning into the seat, preparing herself for a long wait. After an hour, she was starting to wonder if Alec was right and it was ridiculous for her to assume that the boy was homeless, or that he would come back here.
After two hours, she had almost convinced herself that there hadn't even been a barcode. And the crewcut? It was probably in style for boys these days. Their mothers wouldn't have to wash their hair of all this dirty country's filth- she could see the appeal. Rolling her eyes at herself, she remounted her motorcycle and gunned the engine, heading for Logan's, already twenty minutes late for dinner.
From the shadows, a young boy watched.
"I thought you were never going to show up," Logan said with a smile on his face as she entered his penthouse; he was in a good mood. Keeping a safe distance from him, she returned his smile and took her jacket off, happy to be in a warm place. "Where were you?"
"It's stupid," she said, walking into the kitchen with him. The food smelled delicious.
"I doubt it," he said, leaning down to stir the pot bubbling on the stove. She sat down on one of his bar stools and he handed her a glass of red wine, taking a sip of his own. Max told him about her and Alec's encounter with the boy in the marketplace, and what she'd done afterward.
"See?" she said sheepishly when she was done. "It's stupid."
"I think it's kind," Logan said. "Looking out for a boy who has no one else to look out for him." He smiled. "Besides, he's family."
"Yeah, Alec didn't seem to get that," she answered wryly, smiling at him. They moved to the table where he served her a mouth-watering dinner of sauteed chicken and some kind of flaky honey-filled side dish that melted in her mouth. Logan raised his wineglass to make a toast, but there was a loud bang on the door. He sighed, put his glass down, and rose to his feet.
"Get rid of whoever that is," Max growled good-naturedly. She added to herself, Especially if it's Asha. Logan smiled and left the room, pulling the front door open as he reached it.
A young boy, about thirteen years old, gazed up at him with unblinking eyes. Logan was confused until he took in his tattered clothes, his strong posture, and the crewcut capping his head. Apprehension was written all over the boy's face; it was obvious that he didn't know why he'd come and seeing Logan had unnerved him even further.
"Max!" Logan called immediately. "I think you'd better come here." The boy stared at him, his blue-green eyes unwavering and piercing, as Max's footsteps approached. She stopped next to Logan.
"What is-" Then she stopped as she saw the child in the doorway. She inhaled sharply as she saw his face for the first time, and tears sprung to her eyes, surprising Logan. She put a hand against the doorframe to steady herself, gazed at the boy. Shaky hands reached out to touch his shoulders before seeing his apprehensive look and dropping them to her sides. She got control of herself.
"I know you." The boy's voice was calm, unemotional, guarded. He looked confused as he stared up at her and his voice was laced with uncertainty. "I know you."
"I look like someone," Max managed. "Your sister."
"Sister?" He said it like he'd never heard the word before. Logan stared at the boy; he looked like someone, too. He couldn't quite place it. Then he remembered the pictures of Max that Lydecker had sent him over a year before, with the same haircut and cold look... It had unnerved him then, and it unnerved him now.
"Never mind," Max said to the boy after a moment. "Come in." He followed her inside and allowed her to set a plate of food in front of him, digging in methodically.
"I want him to go somewhere safe," she said firmly.
"Of course," Logan said, glancing over at the boy in the living room as he tapped on his keyboard. He located the file he'd been looking for.
"Paula and Jeremy Anderson," he told Max. "They have a big house. Three acres. Cows. No children, but they've taken in homeless kids before. Now they're looking to adopt. They go to church every Sunday. They have a dog. He's an artist, and she's-"
"Church?" she interrupted hesitantly.
"That's right," Logan answered; she looked apprehensive.
"What religion are they?" He checked his papers.
"Catholic," he said when he found it, surprised at her question. He hadn't pegged her as someone who would care about religion either way.
"Catholic," she repeated flatly. She shook her head. "No."
"Max, this is a great family. They have experience with special needs children; we can pass him off as autistic. He has a lot of the symptoms. You can't get much better than this." She crossed her arms stubbornly.
"Find somewhere else," she said firmly.
"Anywhere that's not Catholic?" he asked after a moment.
"No Christians at all would be preferable," she said. He stared at her.
"What do you have against Christians, exactly?"
"It's not me," she said softly, looking at the boy where he was staring out the window, oblivious to their conversation. Logan followed her gaze.
"I doubt he cares," he said, confused.
"It's not about him, either," she said, her voice even softer this time.
"Then who is it about?" He was getting frustrated. Why did she have to be so stubborn sometimes? Weren't they supposed to tell each other everything?
"It's about Ben, alright?" He could barely hear her. Logan's brows lifted; it had been a long time since he'd heard that name. Then his gaze shifted from Max to the boy and he found himself reevaluating his appearance. There was that familiarity again... it had never been the pictures at all, he realized suddenly. He looks like Alec.
"That's Ben?" he blurted. Max turned to him sharply.
"No," she snapped, and glanced over at the X7 with what could only be described as a forlorn expression on her face. Her eyes said, Not if I can help it.
A/N: This is an idea that just hit me- what if Ben's X7 did show up? I have no intention of continuing this unless I get some fantastic inspiration of what might happen next. Like I said, it was just an idea that struck me. Hope you liked it and review me, please!! :)