Okay so here is the Red Canyon story as requested by Gurl and several other people. As usual it is going to be messed up…maybe even more messed up than most of my stories and for my frequent readers you know that is pretty messed up.

Disclaimer: I do not own Red Canyon, Walter or Mac. I only own Alexandra.

Summary: The desert is nothing… and everything all at once. When a woman goes into the canyons to photograph the formations for a magazine she finds more than she bargained for. Oddly enough Mac is not the most frightening thing she finds. Mac/OC Rated M for a reason.

Rated M (Obviously): Drug use, sexual situations, violence, torture….you have been warned

Pairing: Mac/ OC (Alexandra aka Aii or Alex)

As Always Please Read and Review

Chapter One

Fraying rope, burning skin, the cherry of a cigarette sizzling once sensitive flesh. Electrical wires. Everything smelled fried. Not the kind of fry you get at a block party or chicken shake either. The kind of fry that lingers for years; stuck in an oven burning for hours fry. The kind of fired smell that comes from sockets with too much voltage. The kind of pain that you feel when you have your finger too close to one and don't yank it back quickly enough.

The ropes…well they were there just to make sure that you couldn't get away from it and couldn't ignore the situation. The digging wouldn't let you forget…wouldn't let you ignore. But you could ignore them…it was hard not to with the smell of greasy rotisserie meat drowned that out.

Alexandra took a long breath as she snapped out of her minds spell and looked out over the endless expanse of deserted road in front of her. She had zoned out…road zone. Driving for hours did that to you. She didn't like the chatter of the radio. Even if she did her black Subaru SUV's radio had long turned into more brain numbing static. She had flipped it off when the white noise began speaking to her; screaming at her in her own pleading voice.

Exhaling the breath she had just taken she pulled the car over on the side of the stretch of highway and lowered the mirror, glancing at her green eyes reflection for a brief moment before pulling out the white, hand rolled object waiting for her.

Grabbing her lighter, tucking it behind her ear she slipped from the car and walked over to the dulled silver barricade separating the road from the desert. On a second thought she went back to the car and opened the back door, pulling out her large SLR camera. She slung it over her shoulder and resumed her previous position looking out over the desert. She pulled herself up onto the railing and planted her jeans on the burning metal, barely feeling anything. She'd feel even less in a second.

She pulled the joint from behind her ear and brought the tip of the torch lighter to it. She took a long hit and brought the lighter back down. She liked the desert….it felt nice. It played tricks on the brain. A vacuum of nothingness and everything at the same time.

And this place…it was safe. She couldn't feel it but she knew it was more safe than her last assignment over a year ago. Nothing like that would happen here. Not in the good old USA. This was the kiddie pool and she needed to get her feet wet before she could jump back in.

She could do this. She had to do this. She didn't want to be sick anymore. She didn't want her peers to think that she was. After a year nothing had really changed. She could live life in normalcy and that was all that mattered. The memories weren't going away…they weren't ever going to go away.

"Please let this be different?" She asked no one and nothing in particular.

Bringing the joint to her lips again she let the numbness of that marijuana, desert and nothingness re engulf her. Closing her eyes she let the hot sun beat down on her back, soaking into the black tank top she wore.

Sighing at the universes lack of response she lifted her head and swung the camera off her shoulder, taking a wide shot of the extensive vacuum before her. She checked the view finder and gave a little smile to herself. "Beautiful." She murmured before taking another hit.

Pulling up in front of the cantina, Alex looked at the map again, spread out on the wheel with the creases pressed down. The house wasn't far from here and she was dehydrated. Everyone could use a drink in this kind of weather.

She smiled to herself as she parked the now dusty SUV beside a red pick up truck and pulled herself out. Checking to make sure that her cloths were mildly presentable after the 3 day drive, she walked over towards the doors, pushing the screen open to the local looking eatery.

She quickly took a count of the people inside before going to the bar. There was a family of tourists at one of the tables and two men wearing cover all's shooting pool at a near by table. One man, also in cover all's, was sitting at the bar, nursing a glass of brown liquid and glancing up at her from under thick brown eyebrows.

Alex leaned onto the bar a few stools down from the man. She stretched her neck from the long car ride as she waited for the bartender with his pointy white beard to come down from where he was cleaning glasses at the other end.

"What can I get you miss?" He asked her in a thickly accented voice.

"Whatever is cold on tap." She told him with a little smile as she took her wallet out of her back pocket.

The man raised a bushy eyebrow at her. "ID?" He asked. Alice handed it over to him and he looked at it and then back at her, going over the picture and name. "You don't look 29 Miss Connors." He told her with a smile. "Alexandra."

"Alex." She told him with a little smile. "And thank you."

"Ali there will have a whiskey Walter." Said the man at the other end of the bar.

Alexandra looked over at the burning blue eyes that had turned fully up to her by now. He scratched at his facial hair as he took in the slender form of her and the pulled back messy bun of light brown, curly hair. "It's just Alex." She told him with another little smile. She turned back towards the bar tender. "I'll stick with the beer. I've got to drive and all. Maybe next time. "

"Better safe than sorry." His rough voice mocked.

'Walter' set down a pint glass of amber liquid in front of her and glanced at the man at the bar. "You going to be staying around here long Alex?" He drawled.

"A bit." She said taking a sip. "Actually…I saw a road block ahead. Maybe you could show me an alternate…" She pulled the map up and Walter smoothed it out on the counter in front of them. "I'm trying to get to this area up here?" She said pointing.

Walter looked over the map and where she was pointing as she took a long drink of the refreshingly cold beer. "You renting from Billy Chesly?" He asked her. She pushed a strand of hair behind her ear and licked her lip. Walter shot the man at the bar a look as he leaned farther back in the stool to get a better view of the new comers ass in the low rise jeans. "We all know each other around here." He told her with what she guessed was meant to be a comforting smile.

"I am." She finally said with a lip twitch of her own. "Work and all."

"What kind of work you do in those jeans?" The leering man at the bar asked.

Alexandra let out a little breath as Walter shot the man a commanding look. "Thanks." She told him placing a bill on the bar and stuffing more into the tip jar. She stopped as the blue eyed man's eyes followed her. "I'm a photographer." She told him as an afterthought.

Walter watched with pursed lips as the young woman left the bar. "Low profile Mac. Low Profile."

The scruffy, blue eyed man took a deep drink of his whiskey curling his lip as he finished it with an over exaggerated noise of satisfaction. "Didn't fuck up her skinny ass did i?"

The house that she had rented was small but worked well for her. The bathroom had no windows and the majority of the house was dark to shade it from the heat of the desert. The front windows over looked the beginnings of the Canyon, a few low shrubs still managing to squeeze stubbornly through the dust and dirt. In the evening light the tips of the rock formations glowed a startling bright shade of blood red before being cast into shadow.

Alexandra took a long sip of water as her eyes followed the orange feral cat that ran along the edge of the property. She looked at the three bags that she had brought in as she took the joint from behind her ear and placed it on the coffee table. She needed it after the encounter at the Luna Mesa on the way up here.

If she was honest with herself she knew she was desensitized to most things…almost all things. The pot made that easier; gave her an excuse for it but truth be told it was more in her head. She hadn't expected the locals to be welcome her with open eyes. These kinds of towns were small and close knit. Still there was something about the bar tender that threw her off and made her abandon her beer.

She shook her head and turned back to the bags in front of her. One held hiking materials, one camera and darkroom equipment, the last clothing and personal hygiene items. Grabbing the hard cased bag full of photography items she made her way to the bathroom. She opened it and looked up to find the old light. She pulled the shade off of it and unscrewed the bulb, placing the red one in instead. Licking her bottom lip she reached over and flipped it on once, twice, three times to make sure it was working.

Most photographers for magazines like the one she worked for preferred just using digital but she still liked using film for personal shots. She liked the way they looked, liked the process of developing them. It was one of the only things that she could still tell she liked. That brought her some sort of catharsis.

Running her hands down her jean clad pant legs she pulled out a pair of latex gloves and snapped them onto her wrists. She pulled out the three bottles of chemicals and made sure that they hadn't leaked during the drive. Smiling to herself she placed them on the floor by the bathtub.

"This will work." She muttered to herself, pushing a sweaty curl from her face. She moved to unload the rest of her equipment.