Summary: After being tortured by White for ten days, Alec's walls have crumbled. Can Max restore him after everything that has happened? M/A.
A/N: This is going to be a one-shot. The idea just kind of came to me as I was walking my dog, so we'll see how it all ends! As for the medical stuff in the beginning, just bear with me. I'm not going to school to be a doctor! As for the Max/Alec pairing, it will be near the end, kind of leaving it open for their relationship to continue. I am not a fan of Logan/Max at all, if you couldn't tell. Frankly, Logan gets on my last nerve. Anyway, be patient with this story. It's only my second, and it's my first DA fic.
Warning: There will be the mention of rape. Just a heads up.
Disclaimer: I don't own any characters from Dark Angel. Jensen Ackles is just yummy to dream about. No beta, all mistakes are my own.
When she found him, she couldn't tell if he was breathing or not. Alec's chin rested on his chest, and he was covered in blood, all of it being his own. He was shirtless, and his jeans were torn up, most of the fabric hanging off his legs. Blood was all over his abdomen as well as his neck and shoulders. Ames White was currently on the floor, crimson spilling from the hole in his own chest. Max had taken out his guards, all who were lying unconscious throughout the building, but when it had come to White, Max had been forced to kill.
The scene she had stumbled upon had given her no other option. White had been shouting at Alec, who, as far as she could tell, hadn't moved at all for a while. Agent White had laughed after getting no response, telling Otto to get rid of the body. Max had felt anger and fear grip her heart as she watched White raise the gun to Alec's head, ready to make sure X5-494 was ultimately dead.
Max had acted right away. She took Otto and the other guards out in a heartbeat, already formulating a plan to disarm White and get Alec out of here. What she didn't expect was to hear Ames White's laughter to fill the steel room as he turned his head to look at her.
"452…I figured you'd eventually get here. Pity it took you so long though, 494 is already gone." He had smirked and turned back to the too still transgenic cuffed to the metal chair, ready to blow a hole through his head. However; his plan came to a stop once he heard the gunshot. White had never expected Max to actually shoot him.
He thought wrong. Max had just regarded Ames with a cold and empty look as his gun clattered to the ground and his body hit the floor.
Max could feel tears threatening to spill as she dropped to her knees in front of her fellow transgenic, throwing the gun she had taken to the side. She gently pressed her two fingers on the side of Alec's neck, waiting for what seemed like hours until she felt the weak thump of his pulse. She choked back a sob of relief, uncuffing his wrists and catching his body as he slumped forward.
"Alec…I…" Max's voice came out as a broken whisper, her fingers running through his blood-caked hair. She shook her head, saving the talking for later and instead hauled him up, taking all of his weight as she half-carried half-dragged Alec through the building and back to her Ninja.
As soon as they got to the hospital, Max called in the help of Dr. Shankar, who had ordered Max to wait as she wheeled Alec away. Max could hear her calling out vitals and injuries, everything almost in slow motion. Max was covered in Alec's blood, the tears finally flowing down her cheeks as she slumped down into a chair.
I'm sorry I let you out of Manticore.
Three hours it took them to finally stabilize Alec. Three hours of non-stop fear and worry. The three longest hours of Max's life. They came to a halt as soon as Dr. Shankar reappeared, leading Max to Alec's room. He was hooked up to all kinds of machines, his heartbeat steady, but he still couldn't breathe on his own. Alec looked deathly pale; his eyes sunken in and any skin that was visible on his arms and neck were marred with bruises and cuts.
I'm sorry I inflicted you on the world.
Max sucked in her breath as she walked over to the side of Alec's bed, studying his ghostly white face as well as the bruises along his arms, most from the fine point of a needle. She couldn't begin to imagine what horrors Alec must have been through to be in the state he was. If only she could've been quicker. If only Logan could have found the correct building sooner. Now, Max probably had a list of "if only." Seating herself in the chair beside his bed, Max glanced at Dr. Shankar, who had been checking Alec's vitals.
"He suffered massive amounts of blood loss, as well as multiple contusions along his neck and chest, as well as across his back. There were two stab wounds, one on his shoulder and another on his thigh. We had to reset his shoulder as well as his knee. As for his breathing, his lung collapsed as we tried to revive him. He has also suffered a severe concussion, and we won't know his full mental state until he wakes up. Most of his ribs were broken, and had punctured his other lung. With his accelerated healing, the ribs should be fixed within a few days. In his blood, we found traces of all sorts of drugs, almost like they were experimenting on what sedative worked the best on a transgenic."
Dr. Shankar rested a hand on Max's shoulder as she bent down to whisper the next part in Max's ear. Max could only stare at the doctor in shock, the tears threatening to spill over once again. Dr. Shankar sighed, straightening up, "You got him here just in time, Max. Any longer and he would've been gone." She left Max alone beside Alec, slipping out of the room.
It was four days before Max would see those green eyes again. Four days of sitting and waiting with a grand total of 6 hours of sleep along with Original Cindy dropping by every now and then to make sure her girl had at least eaten something. Alec had finally opened his eyes, but there was no emotion at all. Almost like the lights were on but no one was home. Max had been holding on to the faintest hope that Alec would wake up, flash that cock-sure smirk of his, and ruin the moment by saying, "Aww, Maxie, I didn't know you had some Mother Hen DNA in ya!" Then, Max could just smack his shoulder, make a comment about her saving his ass, again, then leave him to his own devices.
This time, Max had to stay. She knew it was entirely her fault that this had happened to Alec. It should've been her. She was the one that had asked Alec to follow one of Logan's leads, not knowing that Ames White and his agents were waiting at the end of it. Her only reason for not going herself was because she was being selfish, and Alec had known it. But he had just agreed and went to see Logan himself. Max had wanted to distance herself from Logan now, their relationship crumbling after she had informed him she was now with Alec. Selfish.
As those moss green eyes met her chocolate ones, Max sucked in a breath, gently laying her hand across his, "Alec?" All of her hopes were diminished as he blinked once, twice, then shut his eyes altogether, not opening them again. Max sighed, releasing his hand and putting her head into hers.
For three days, Alec would open his eyes, stare at whatever was in front of him, then shut his eyes and go back to sleep. Each time, Max would desperately try to get him to respond, and at times just talked softly to him, trying to coax him into looking at her. Once he would close his eyes again, she would stop talking and continue to wait.
On the fourth day, Dr. Shankar informed Max that Alec's injuries were healed enough for him to be discharged. Max had waited for any form of reaction from Alec, but all Alec did was stay mute during the exchange before closing his eyes. Dr. Shankar thought that his body was trying to restore its energy after being starved for so long. It didn't take an expert to notice that Alec had lost weight.
Max had thanked Dr. Shankar for everything, taking Alec back to her apartment. She had led him in, talking about how she was so not going to be giving him baths and spoon feeding him. Not even a blink in response. Max had sighed and sat him down, cupping his cheek in one hand and forcing him to meet her gaze, "Alec? C'mon, stop being an ass. Say something. I'm surprised you've actually managed to stay silent for so long." She gave a weak smile, searching his eyes for a spark of recognition or any emotion at all. All she saw was pain and emptiness, and that broke her heart.
Must be hard. Having me around. Some guy with Ben's face.
"Alec? Look, you better be hearin me, because I am only going to say this once. You're not just 'some guy' that I don't care about. I promise. Just…come on back now, okay? You're safe. White is gone." The moment she mentioned White, she got what she had wished for: a reaction. It just wasn't the one she had been expecting.
Alec's eyes widened and he let out a choked cry of fear, something that normal Alec would have died before letting Max of all people hear. He scrambled away, looking for an exit in this too small room. He was on the verge of hysterics, screaming no at the top of his lungs and begging Max to not hurt him as he crumpled down onto the ground. Alec had curled in on himself, his knees to his chest as if fearing another blow was coming his way.
"Alec? It's Max…Alec, you're safe. I won't hurt you," Max crooned softly, getting to her knees beside the prone form. She ran a hand through his hair and down his cheek, praying that Alec would say something other than "No," or, "Don't." Max felt her heart sink as Alec's whimpers eventually stopped, and he became nothing more than a silent form.
Alec could hear him. His god-awful voice ringing through the blissful darkness he was currently trapped in.
"Tell me, 494, why are you protecting her?" Ames White was standing in front of him, staring down like he wasn't even worth talking to. "Tell me where she is, 494. As well as Eyes Only's location. This will all be over if you just talk."
Alec had watched White's figure come into focus, and every inch of his body was throbbing in pain. He could barely lift his head to actually see those merciless eyes. The drugs pumping through his blood were designed to keep his not so normal abilities at bay, and they were working. His own voice even sounded foreign to his ears as he told White to shove his offer where the sun don't shine. That little quip had rewarded him with a jolt of electricity. A scream ripped from his already sore throat as his body spasmed after the electric shocks.
"494, I could do this all day…or, at least until you finally die."
Alec had responded with a comment about how that just tickled, as well as how White should really get his hearing checked because how many freakin times had he told him that his name was Alec.
This time, White was rewarded with more screams from the bloodied transgenic in front of him. It was pure music to his ears. After all, it had taken about five days to actually make X5-494 even allow a cry of pain to escape his lips.
Alec groaned, coughing up some blood in the process, his entire body shivering in pain. His head lolled to the side, only to be met with a hard fist, successfully snapping his head the other way and increasing his headache. Alec was begging now for sweet relief to come, for unconsciousness to swallow him up. Instead, he found himself being jerked to his feet and thrown against the wall. He could've sworn he heard something snap, probably another rib, even though he was surprised that there were some even still to break. Breathing was becoming a burden.
White was suddenly standing in front of him again, jerking him up and shoving him face first against the cold steel walls of his little room. "Transgenic scum," White had snarled into his ear, the agent's hands getting dangerously low on his torso.
"Didn't your mother ever teach you to keep your hands to yourself?" Alec's mouth had quirked up into his usual cocky smile, but it disappeared as soon as White shoved him back into the wall, digging his fingers into the knife wound on Alec's shoulder. Alec had let out a small cry of pain, gritting his teeth and grunting at the impact.
White had chuckled, his hands easily undoing Alec's tattered jeans, "Let's try a new kind of questioning, shall we?"
Alec stopped talking.
Max awoke to screaming.
She scrambled from her makeshift bed on her couch, which she was so going to kick Alec's ass for taking her bed, and ran over to a thrashing Alec. Screams were torn from his throat as well as the occasional sob and whimper. She gripped his shoulders, holding him in place, "Alec! Alec, wake up! Alec, please!" Max ran a hand through Alec's hair, watching as his thrashing was replaced with small whines and whimpers. She sat down beside him, gently hushing him.
Max sighed, biting her lip to fight back the sorrow that was gripping her heart. She couldn't believe that the smart-aleck jerk that always looked out for "number one" was reduced to the quivering mess beside her. However, she heard a small whisper coming from the broken man. Sucking in a breath, Max leaned down to listen to whatever Alec was muttering.
"X5-494, sir. X5-494."
Max gently stroked his cheek, listening as his whispers died down. Vowing to never let him know about this, she slid into the bed beside him, taking his hands in hers, "Alec? Are you listening to me?" she whispered, searching his eyes, "You're name is Alec. You're no longer a soldier. That designation number means nothing to you now."
Alec stared back, still shaking from the aftershocks of his nightmare. The only response Max got was the tightening of his grip on her hands. That was good enough for her. Max smiled a little, realizing just how much Alec needed her at the moment. She watched as his shaking eventually ceased and his eyes fluttered shut once more.
Max laid with him all night, keeping herself close to Alec's body as well as never breaking contact with him. She had even allowed herself to close her eyes, awakening not two hours later to find Alec's eyes boring into hers.
Her name was a whisper, but she'd be damned if she even complained one bit. Tears automatically surfaced as she smiled, "Yeah, Alec, it's me. You stupid jerk. Had me worried." Her happiness and triumph were short lived though.
Alec didn't speak again for the next week.
Max and he had fallen into a routine. She would lay with him at night, comforting him after every single nightmare. She'd lead him to the bathroom in the morning, telling him to get ready and that she'd make him some coffee and breakfast. It always took him twenty minutes on the dot to reappear. She wasn't stupid. She knew Alec would simply turn on the shower, stand under the water for ten minutes, then turn it off and step out of the bathroom, like he had forgotten what to do with himself.
Max would always have to hand him clothes, telling him to put them on and to not shower with your boxers on. Eating wasn't an issue. Not-so-Alec ate as much as normal Alec would.
She had also noticed how Alec would move to keep her in his peripheral vision at all times. Whether this was a good thing or bad thing, Max hadn't decided yet.
Max would joke with Alec at times, telling him not to get used to her waiting on his lazy ass all the time. She would watch and hope for any reaction, but always received none. She had thought things had been moving forward when Alec had whispered her name not so long ago. Looks like she had been wrong.
"Alec?" Max could hardly stand the lost look in the other transgenic's eyes. Honestly, she was beginning to miss the sound of his voice. She could hardly believe that was even possible, and would never give him the glory of learning that little fact.
Speaking of voices, Logan had called her. Fourteen times in total so far. Max had only answered once. She ignored all of the others seeing as how their one and only conversation hadn't ended well.
"Hey, Max…how are you doing?"
Of course he would ask about her. Who cared that Alec was nothing but a vegetable at the moment? That it was Logan's mistake for not realizing the lead had been a trap sooner? That Alec woke up screaming in the middle of the night, begging for an imaginary White not to touch him and just to kill him, god, please?
"Alec is fine, thanks for asking." Her voice had been cold and quiet. She didn't care that Logan thought Alec was a nuisance and a threat to society. She also didn't care that Logan disliked Alec because he was supposedly "with" her.
Yeah, blame Alec. Because he's just the kind of jerk that would steal another guy's girl.
"Oh, right….I thought he would be better by now. He's still lying around?"
Max had felt her blood begin to boil at the comment. Alec had been tortured. Apparently that hadn't been good enough for Logan to actually have some sympathy for him at all.
"He's not better at all, Logan. Now what do you want?"
"I just wanted to check up on you…and Alec…," he had added after a pause, "and maybe see if you-"
"No." She cut him off, hanging up and tossing the phone to the side. She rested her head in her hands, almost regretting what she had done. Almost.
At the end of the week, Alec had finally spoken again.
Max had been lying beside him in her bed, gripping his hands tightly. His green eyes had flickered open to meet hers, like they normally did each and every night. This night had been a bit different. Alec had opened his eyes to stare at Max, but had released her hands to place his palm against her cheek.
"Thank you." It had been a broken whisper, but Max wasn't complaining.
Her eyes had widened slightly in surprise, and she placed her hand over his and smiling softly, "You're welcome," she whispered, but didn't stop there, "Alec, I'm….sorry…it should've been me. No one should have to have suffered like you did…"
Alec had just been watching Max as she spoke, a little light returning to his too dull green eyes. "Max," he murmured, successfully quieting Max's rambling, "Sorry."
Max shook her head, "No…no, Alec don't be sorry. It wasn't your fault."
"Didn't tell him anything," Alec choked out, "P-Promise."
Max could feel the lump forming in her throat. She had called him a screw up one too many times. He had already been broken, and her banter with him hadn't helped. Alec had always let every name and snarky comment bounce off of him. He had never held anything against her, but with his current state of mind, those names and comments hadn't helped his cause.
Alec was fighting. He really was. Every time Max had spoken to him since he had woken in the hospital, he had been listening. His own mind was a maze; pulling him every which way as he fought for clarity and release. Each night he dreamed of Ames White. White stabbing him. White drugging him. White beating him. White violating his body in the worst possible way.
"Alec? Alec, breathe! Alec, damn it, don't you do this to me!"
He wasn't breathing? Alec could've sworn that he found the sweet peace he had been craving. Deep down, he was begging and pleading with Max to just leave him the hell alone. She had never ever cared about him before, so why should she start now? Because he was her responsibility? Her problem? The pain in her ass?
"Alec….Alec, please…please, I need you."
Needed him? Max didn't need anyone besides her beloved Four Eyes. Why couldn't she see that he, Alec, the one who would do anything for her, could make her happy? Logan had been in a rich penthouse most of his life. He would never know how it felt to be a transgenic in a world that fought to get rid of them.
"Alec, breathe, damn it!"
And he did. He did it for Maxie. He found the strength to take in a shuddered breath and open his eyes to see a desperate Max hovering above him, tears in her beautiful brown eyes.
"Alec? Oh, thank god…" she smacked his shoulder lightly, "Don't you ever scare me like that again!"
Frankly, Max had thought her heart had actually stopped. One minute, she had been talking to Alec and telling him how she believed that he had protected her and Logan from White, then the next his body had gone limp, his eyes fluttering shut, and his breathing halting.
Max ran a hand through her hair, wiping her eyes as well. She didn't think she could care so much for any person besides Logan and Joshua. Turned out she was wrong. Again. She chewed her bottom lip for a moment, studying Alec's handsome features. It was then that she realized that she not only needed Alec around, to ground her and remind her that she was not so ordinary, but that she also loved him. Loved his cocky smile, that damn smirk, and all those comebacks or crude comments.
Truth was she could never truly be with Logan. After these three weeks with Alec, rebuilding him piece by piece, even if he wasn't fully whole yet, Max knew that this was where her heart was telling her to be. She was not an ordinary. She was a transgenic.
Alec hadn't taken his eyes off of her since he had opened them. He managed to squeeze her hand to get her attention back on him, "Hey, Maxie?"
Max leaned down to hear the broken whisper better, "Yeah?"
"I didn't know you had so much Mother Hen DNA in ya."
She kissed him.