When I got fed up with Season 2 I started wondering exactly how Logan would live up to his words in Borrowed Time. "That year we wasted, dancing around each other, afraid of actually admitting how we felt ... if I had that time back, I would do that so differently."
In this story, he'll have his chance.
Here's how my A/U works ...
Designate This happened pretty much the way you saw it.
Forget everything in between DT and Borrowed Time. In this world Max immediately tracked down Delbert the lab geek and got the cure.
And that cure is permanent. So Max goes to Logan's apartment with her good news, the dance begins ... and then complications happen, including the shooting at the beginning of Harbor Lights. That's where this story starts. But lots of ship and a happy ending are promised!
Those words. Sorry Logan sorry Logan sorry Logan. How many times had he heard them?
Logan, spinal nerve damage does not just heal itself ... not ever.
Listen, I know how you feel, son, but you've got to let her go.
"Sorry, Logan. I have no idea when she'll remember something. It could be an hour from now. It could be never," Sam was saying.
He couldn't listen any more. Without another word he stood and walked out of Sam's office, down the corridor, out to the parking lot. Viciously he jerked the car door open and climbed in, flopping back against the seat in grief and frustration.
I just got her back. I just got her back, he thought over and over. I can't lose her now.
Had it really been only one short month since she returned to him from the dead?
Had it really been only one short week since she had come to him, hesitant, to tell him the virus was cured?
What did you want to talk about?
Let me ask you a hypothetical question.
Those are my favorite kind.
Supposing ... just supposing ... I found a cure for the virus.
Is there such a thing?
You're serious. So we can touch and nothing will happen?
I don't know about nothing, but you won't die.
Oh, my ... Max ...
Had it really been one short day since he'd ignored her call, thanks to his hurt pride, only to hear the phone ring an hour later?
Hello. To whom am I speaking?
Well, that depends. To whom am I speaking?
Sorry. This is Julie Camby. I'm a nurse in the emergency room at Harbor Lights. And you are?
Still wondering why you're calling me.
We treated a young woman this morning for a gunshot wound. She didn't have any identification on her, only her pager, and yours was the last number to call in.
After that it had mostly been a blur, the frantic call to Sam Carr, the ride to the hospital, negotiating with Nurse Camby to get a visitor's pass, and then the confusion when Sam stopped him gently at the door to Max's room.
Logan, I need to talk to you.
Can it wait?
She's not ... ?
No, no. She lost some blood, but she'll recover completely from the wound. It's something else, Logan. When she fell she hit her head on the sidewalk.
And, she has a concussion, which seems to have affected her memory.
How badly? Does she know who she is?
Yes. She knows her name, knows she's Manticore. She's in no danger of exposing herself.
Logan, it's you she may not know.
What do you mean?
When I told her you were coming, she said, Who the hell is he?
That was when he pushed past Sam into her room. The minute he saw her he knew it was true. She lay in the bed, pale from blood loss, but that wasn't what frightened him. It was the look on her face, the one he thought he would never see again. The cynical runaway. The hardened soldier. He stopped.
"Uh, hello," he said after a moment.
Suspicious, almost mocking, she looked him up and down and then said, "So I'm supposed to know you? You're Logan?"
After the summer he had thought nothing could ever hurt him again so deeply, but this came close. Very close. "Yes, we've met," he said, fighting to keep his voice steady.
"Huh." She stared at him again, then shrugged. "That doctor said your phone number was in my beeper. What for?"
"I was returning your call."
"What did I call you for?"
"I don't know," he said, and that was the truth, or as much of it as he wanted to tell her. What was he supposed to say? Well, you see, we danced around each other for a year, then I thought you were dead, only you came back, and after we got past them trying to kill me, we were finally going to be together but we had a terrible fight? And I was hoping you were calling me so we could try again? Yeah, that would sound perfectly sane and reasonable to someone lying in a hospital bed with a hole in her belly she couldn't remember getting, talking to a guy she thought she'd never seen before.
"So I just called you randomly? Out of the blue? And you thought it would be a kick to call back?"
"No." Any other girl would have been confused, upset, scared even. Max was weak but her calm confidence devastated him. How could this be happening? "You've done some work for me, now and then. Maybe you were calling about a job."
"What kind of work?"
"I'm an investigative journalist. You've done some research for me."
"I have?" She made a face. "Doesn't sound like much fun." His heart sank. He didn't dare mention Eyes Only, not yet, but he had hoped that maybe when he said "investigate" something would have clicked. Nothing. Not a spark
She shifted in the bed, with a little moan. "Are you all right?" he asked her quickly. She looked so small in the bed. He wanted so badly to hold her, now that he could. Except he suspected she would knock him halfway across the room for trying it.
"Yeah, I'm good." She leaned back on the pillows. "Listen, you got a cell phone?"
"Could I borrow it? I want to call my roommate, let her know I'm okay."
"Sure." He handed her the phone, hesitating. She remembered she had a roommate, that was good -- but which one? If she couldn't remember him, did she think she was still living with that blonde -- what was her name -- Kendra? "Cindy's probably at work now, though," he said finally.
"Cindy? You mean Original Cindy? She's not -- oh. Am I missing something here?"
"Yes. Kendra moved out and Cindy moved in."
"Kendra's with her boyfriend now. Cindy was evicted and you took her in."
"No shit." Max looked annoyed. "Guess I've got some catching up to do. How do you know all this anyway? Just how long have I known you?"
"Not quite two years."
"No kidding," she said, then turned her attention to the phone. He heard her speaking to Cindy, heard Cindy's alarmed voice, but he wasn't following the words. Dazed, heartsick, he stared at the table beside the bed until it blurred. Then he heard her saying, "Hey. Hey!" He refocused his eyes to see her waving the phone at him. "Cindy wants to talk to you."
Cindy had questions, a lot of them, but all he could manage to say was, "I'll call you later." Sam had arranged to transfer Max out of this decrepit dump of a hospital over to Metro Medical and he wanted to be there every step of the way. There had to be more tests they could run, more they could tell him. Then Max closed the phone and gave it back to him.
"Thanks. Look, I'm kind of tired now. Could we talk some other time?"
"What? Sure. No rush. You take care of yourself, okay?"
"Yeah, thanks," she said, closing her eyes.
And that was how he had come to be sitting here in his car in the middle of the afternoon, in the hospital parking lot, not knowing where to go or what to do. I just got her back, I can't lose her, the voice in his heart cried out again. And then, without warning, for the second time in his life with Max, he cried.
He cried for a long time, cursed, shouted, pounded the dashboard. And by the time it was over he had made a decision. He took a deep breath, wiped his glasses clean, then got out of the car and went back to Sam's office. Sam looked up inquiringly as Logan pushed the door open.
"Got a minute?"
"I'll do anything. Whatever it takes. Just tell me how we're going to get her back."
"This could take time, Logan, if it happens at all. Time, and a lot of patience."
"I said, whatever it takes."
Sam nodded. "Okay. Who's going to take care of her when she leaves here?"
"Her roommate, I guess."
"Then bring the roommate by tomorrow. We'll talk then, okay?"