It's In The Blood
Summary: The clock starts ticking when Logan is infected with Max's deadly virus, and she and Alec must a way to save him before it's too late. Lucky for them, a former Manticore doctor claims to have the cure, but what is it she's not telling them, and why is she so interested in Alec? As events spiral out of control, old enemies will be faced and new truths uncovered as Max fights to save the two men most important in her life and discover her innermost feelings about them. But soon she has to make a deadly choice, between saving the love of her life, and saving what could be the one thing that makes her life worth living...
This Fic Contains: Kidnapping, secrets from Alec's past, H/C Alec McDowell style, worried!Max, hurt!Alec
Pairings: Max/Alec (endgame), although it's a little Max/Logan-ish to begin with (I'm sorry! We get him out of the way sharpish, though, so don't worry =] )
Rating: T for language and gore (probably, but that's just to be on the safe side)
Disclaimer: I own nothing but the crappy storyline and the words on the page!
A/N: This is the first Dark Angel thing I've written that's of any length, so hopefully it doesn't suck too much, I know the show hasn't aired in forever but it's still awesome, okay, and I will write this fic, goddammit! Also I just started college (like literally today, woo) so schoolwork might threaten to take over my life and stop this from being completed, but I solemnly swear that I shall do my absolute best to make sure that doesn't happen =] Just don't expect daily updates... !
Cold metal beneath him, skin clammy.
Restraints. Always restrained.
Blood. Lots of blood.
Draining out of him, away, away, away... Infinitely.
When it stops draining it will be too late.
He can't see. Can't think.
Hurts. It hurts. It's... agony.
He's frightened. He can't remember being frightened very often, but he is now. He's terrified.
Max isn't coming.
He's going to die.
48 HOURS EARLIER
'I must say, Max, I've been waiting for you to appear on my doorstep in the middle of the night for a very long time,' Alec drawled with a lopsided smirk. He was fully dressed but slightly disheveled, his clothing crumpled and hair spikey. Max could smell the alcohol on his breath. It seemed he was always drinking these days, but as long as he was sharp enough to be good in the field, she tried not to complain about it too much. Unsuccessfully, of course.
There was just something about Alec that rubbed Max up the wrong way, his happy-go-lucky approach, his constant flirting, his easygoing nature, his infuriating cockiness, his seemingly never-ending line of female conquests, the way he seemed to attract trouble, and she always had to get him out of it again...
Maybe she was being too harsh. After all, the guy was a pretty good second-in-command. Unofficial second-in-command. He had rallied the transgenics when it looked like they weren't going to follow an X5, and an '09er at that. He'd put Dix in charge of supplies, and that had certainly been a good call - the guy was worth his weight in gold. And he was the only one who knew how to talk Mole down from a temper tantrum.
And, though she'd never admit it, his charisma, good looks and charm certainly proved helpful in helping to present their cause to the Ordinaries in a more favorable light.
'What can I do for you, sweet lady?' he said with a theatrical grin, and Max snapped her thoughts back to the situation at hand. She wasn't in the mood for Alec's antics, not today. In fact, not ever, not with Terminal City to run and Logan moved back into Joshua's old house, and the sector police on her ass all the damn time and food and typtophan supplies running dangerously low.
'Shut up. I'm not here to get sweet talked by you, despite what you may think. Logan's got a job for you.'
'Oh, so he's the one who should be on my doorstep in the middle of the night. Can't say it surprises me. He's been giving me these looks-'
'Cut it out, will you!' Max snapped, impatient. 'I'm not joking, and we haven't got much time. This is a now-or-never deal, okay?'
'A wild goose chase in the middle of the night? You've got to be kidding me. Last time this happened I nearly got blown up.'
Max didn't ask; she rolled her eyes instead. 'This is important. It's not a wild goose chase.'
Alec cocked his head. 'Important how?'
'Cut the crap, Max. This is important to you, too, or you wouldn't be here right now,' Alec observed, wrongfooting Max for a moment. Damn. Sometimes she forgot that Alec had been trained by Manticore. It made him the rival of Sherlock Holmes any day. Possibly.
She sighed. 'Okay, fine. You were going to find out sooner or later anyway. Logan thinks he might have found the cure.'
Alec shrugged. 'So?'
'So this is important! And if you quit drinking for just a minute you might be sober enough to see that!'
Alec's face closed down. 'I'm always sober, Max.'
'Whatever. So are you going to help or not?'
Alec cracked his usual grin. 'Aw, you know me, Max. 'Knight in shining armor' and all that.'
'More like 'anything for a pretty face',' she muttered, turning to go.
'I heard that, you know!'
'I'm sure your ego will recover.'
Alec snorted, but followed her out of his apartment, closing the door behind him. There was no point in locking it. He trusted the transgenics around here not to go snooping (and also the threat that he'd break their arms if they ever did), and if any Ordinaries ever made it this far then they were all screwed anyway.
They moved along the darkened alleyways that formed Terminal City quietly, more out of habit than anything else. It was no wonder the Ordinaries didn't venture here, even before the transgenics moved in. Terminal City was a creepy rabbit warren of shadows that screamed 'get the hell out of here unless you want to die, fool'.
Alec was at home in the dark. His feline DNA ensured that he was never quite blind, and he liked the fact that darkness allowed him to move around more freely. Ordinaries feared the dark because they couldn't see what might be out there. Alec liked it because of precisely that reason. It hid him when he was out there.
It had taken the sector police a long time to get clued up on the existence of the tunnels, and even longer for them to realize that the TC transgenics were using them as a network to move around the city pretty much unobserved, and even then it was just impractical to set up guards at every manhole and entrance they might possibly pop up out of. So it didn't take much for the two trained soldiers to sneak past what few cops there were around and make it to Logan's current house - Joshua's old one.
'We really should have a secret knock,' Alec mused, bouncing on the balls of his feet as they waited for Logan to answer the door. They'd taken to using the back door these days, on the principle that you never could be too cautious, especially not if you're a genetically engineered supersoldier that everyone wants to either kill or dissect.
'Y'know. Like in the movies.'
'Whatever,' Max grumbled, no longer really listening to Alec's lazy idiocy. If she listened to everything the guy ever said, she'd never get any thinking done. He was a ball of energy and charisma, and it could be damn irritating at times, not to mention tiring.
And Logan hadn't answered the door yet.
'Where is he?' she muttered, knocking again.
'Maybe he's joined a secret society of freedom fighters. They do that in the movies, too,' Alec said, raising an eyebrow.
'Yeah, I'm sure that's totally it.'
Another five minutes past, and Max's brain went into freefall, overdrive, as she thought through all the possible scenarios that would cause Logan to answer the door late.
Like being dead.
She decided that was a bad train of thought.
'And anyway, since when did you watch movies?' That was as good a topic of conversation as any, and it certainly seemed innocent enough to not lead down any nasty paths, (like Logan being- stop it).
'I watch movies all the time. Unlike you, I have this little thing called a life. You might want to give it a try sometime. It would certainly stop you being such a bitch all the damn-'
'Case in point. What have I even done now?'
'No, I mean shut up. Something's not right.'
Alec frowned, listening. 'What? I don't hear anything.'
It only took him a second to catch on. 'Logan's computers. I can't hear them.'
Being Eyes Only required an enormous amount of kit, and it always made a distinctive whirring noise, a bit like a chipmunk in a blender. But not today.
Max bit her lip, a thousand thoughts rushing through her head, all of them culminating with 'where is he?'.
'Hey, listen,' Alec said suddenly, holding up a hand to signal for quiet. 'Hear that?'
She closed her eyes and listened, really listened, focusingall of her being onto it, and - there! - she heard it, the tiniest of whimpers.
She broke the door down in a second, and what she saw stunned her.
It looked like a tornado had hit, and Max stopped for a second to panic. All Logan's computers had been ripped from the walls, their screens blank as empty eye sockets, papers littered the floor and there wasn't a single item of furniture still standing upright. Someone had been here. Someone angry.
And there, in the middle of the floor, was the man himself, Eyes Only, Logan Cale, the love of her life, lying unmoving on his back.
In a second she was by his side, fists clenched as she fought not to touch him, not to reach out and cradle his head, hold him and tell him that it was all going to be okay, more for her benefit than his.
Oh, Logan, what have they done to you?
She gave him a quick once-over, checking him for any obvious signs of injury. All his limbs were intact and in relatively comfortable positions - it almost looked as though he had been lain down gently rather than dropped or knocked out. He wasn't bleeding obviously from anywhere, although of course it could be hidden by his clothes. His eyes were closed and his breathing shallow, his skin an unhealthy yellowish color with a light sheen of sweat to it. He looked more unwell than hurt.
His spectacles were nowhere to be seen.
This was all her fault. She could have stopped this. She should have stopped this. Logan was only in this state because of her. This was all her.
She felt a hand on her arm and she turned sharply, only to find that Alec was very close behind her and now their noses were almost touching. The other transgenic dipped his head in apology and stepped back, his expression darkening as he did so.
'We need to get out of here, Max.'
'What? We can't! Logan...'
'We have to. I just called the police. Anonymous tip. They'll be here in a minute, all guns blazing, and by then I'd rather not still be here. I mean, I'm all for a bit of action, but you can have too much of a good thing...'
Max blinked. How long had she been standing there, battling with herself, thoughts chasing each other's tails. There were white crescents in her palms where her fingernail had dug into them. She must've been totally out of it if she hadn't noticed that. If she hadn't noticed Alec calling the police.
She didn't want to go. She didn't want to leave Logan there, his fate uncertain, not knowing whether he would live or die, or even what was wrong with him or what had happened. She wanted to take him back to Terminal City where they could help him, or, failing that, just be with him, sit by his side and hold his hand.
But she couldn't do any of that. Alec's logic was sound - the police would call an ambulence and Logan would be taken to hospital, where he'd be far safer and better looked after than he ever could hope to be in Terminal City. Quite apart from the deadly, toxic waste polluting the area the transgenics now called 'home', the sector police would have no problem with shooting anyone who appeared as a threat, and while the transgenics and their antics could usually avoid being hurt, Logan Cale certainly didn't posess any natural grace, stamina or fighting skills.
'Let's go,' she said finally, sounding decisive even though her entire body was telling her to stay. She had no choice. It was leave or die.
She still wanted to stay.
She didn't move, looking down at Logan's face. God, she loved him so, so much. He was so kind, so sweet, so generous. He gave so easily and unquestioningly. He was always there for her, no matter what. She should be able to repay the favor. But he'd never forgive himself if she got her ass kicked on his behalf. That was the kind of man he was. He was a good man.
She didn't deserve him. He didn't deserve this.
'Come on,' Alec said, turning for the door, and Max had no choice but to follow.
They must have made it back to Terminal City with no glitches, because by the time Max really registered where she was, they were already coming out of the tunnels at the other end. TC was quiet at this time of night, that silent time between late night and early morning when only the men and women on duty were up and about, and they were keeping a low profile as usual. Even Luke, who often stayed up into the early hours checking the computer system and trying to preempt problems before they occurred, had gone to bed by now.
'You gonna be okay getting back to your apartment?'
Max gave Alec a look. 'I'm not an invalid, you know. I don't need your help.'
Alec held up his hands in a placating gesture. 'Okay, fine. Suits me anyway. See you around, Max.' He sent her a theatrical grin and loped off into the shadows, leaving Max standing alone in the middle of the darkened alleyway.
She suddenly felt very much alone.
A/N: Hallo, Little Miss Author here (although you can call me Mo if you really want to =] ). Just a short chapter to start off with to gauge interest. I mean, I'm planning on continuing writing this anyway even if no one ever reads this (and let's face it, the DA fandom is practically zombified these days, right?), but it'd be nice to know if people are reading it.
Also, this is my first DA fic, so I've got no idea if I'm doing anything remotely right. Leave a review and tell me how bad it is?