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DA: Never Be a Saint (Max & Alec)

A billion years ago, musesfool issued an informal lyrics challenge. I was given the following lyrics:

And I'm beyond your peripheral vision
so you might want to turn your head

"32 Flavors" - Ani DiFranco


Title: Never Be a Saint
Author: voleuse
Fandom: Dark Angel
Pairing: Max & Alec
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Summary: I'm not trying to give my life meaning by demeaning you.
Notes: Post-series



Life continued on, and even with all their fancy salvaged equipment, day to day operations didn't lend much time for genetic research. Max met up with Logan three or four times a day, but after a while, she learned to restrict their conversation to logistics and hi-how-are-yous. Too much hope was bad for a girl.

One morning after patrol, she found herself leaning against a wall of Logan's workspace. He was picking at some chunk of computer, trying to replace the fried circuits, switching them out like soldiers. He looked up at her, and his smile was brief and warm and different.

Max tilted her head, met his eyes. It took her a second to realize what was missing--that deep-rooted flutter in her gut. "Huh." She thought maybe it had been gone for a while.

Logan gazed at her for a moment, then straightened and dusted his hands together. "Yeah." He took a step toward her, and she listened to his steps, still unfamiliar. "Max--"

"We've always had suck-ass timing," she observed.

Logan half-smiled. "I guess so."

"Okay." Max pushed off the wall and thought it was a good thing she wasn't a hugging person. "See you at lunch?"

"Definitely," Logan said, and he looked happier as he went back to work.

*


She was never comfortable playing the grown-up of the group--Zack had always been the one giving orders, and she missed that, his reassuring presence. But at the end of the day, she sat around a rickety table with Logan and Mole and Alec and Gem, with Joshua puttering around in the back, painting things and interjecting on occasion.

They talked about rebuilding generators, reassembling furniture, resetting walls, and reneging treaties. (Mole was never, ever happy with their uneasy truce with the police, but Alec usually talked him down from his crazy plans to have everybody burrow underground.) Gem managed to keep the ranks from killing each other, and Logan managed to keep them from freezing--or burning--too much.

And after the meeting was over, she and Alec would look at each other, because they were it when came to food, clothing, and medicine, and the fate of Terminal City bore down on them like a mack truck.

If the moon was less than half-full, they would shrug off Logan's suggestion that everybody get some rest. Max loped to the fence on the far perimeter, Alec cursing behind her.

"Can't keep up?" she remarked, facing his scowl without expression.

Alec rolled his eyes. "We're on safe ground," he replied. "We don't need to sprint."

"Doesn't mean we can't," Max said, and she crouched, sprang, and cleared the top of the barbwire fence. She didn't check to see if Alec would follow, because she knew he always would.

*


In the depths of might-be Chinatown, Max dipped a spoon into a fragrant bowl of noodles and something green and leafy. "Tastes good," she said, licking the back of the spoon.

Alec watched her. "Yeah." He cleared his throat. "And the green stuff means vitamins, right?"

"I never really paid attention to those health vids," she replied. "Did you?"

"Yeah, well." Alec looked into his empty soup bowl. "I had ten more years to soak in them."

Max looked up, but he smiled at her, shrugged.

"Think we can find more of the green stuff?" he asked.

Max waved at the shopkeeper, and together, they cobbled together three languages, some hand gestures, and a deal.

*


She watched Alec scramble up the side of the building, swing over a ledge and into a window. In a minute and a half, he slid out again. She held out her arms, and he tossed a bundle down to her, then leapt down from the fifth-story window with ease.

"Did you get everything?" she asked, strapping the bundle to her backpack with a length of bungee cord.

Alec did the same with a second bundle, nodding. "They had everything on the shelves, as promised." He flipped the pack over his shoulder, sliding his arms into the straps. "Hope these'll last a while."

"Maybe," Max said. She pulled her hood over her head and twisted to don her pack. "It's kind of nice, running things down like this." She started running. "Like old times, you know?"

"Why, Max," Alec said, keeping pace. "Are you enjoying our quality time together?"

She looked at him for a second, then laughed. "Shut up," she said.

Then they reached the first checkpoint and started dodging.

*


It was four in the morning, and only the X5s and the nocturnals were out. Max relinquished her pack to Dalton and another X6, and waited for Alec to do the same. She stretched slowly, luxuriously, and even as Alec turned to eye her, she relaxed and gave him a cheshire grin.

"So I'll see you at lunch," Alec said, but a smile hovered on his lips like a question.

"Maybe," Max said, "or maybe not."

"What's that supposed to mean?" he asked.

"The moon's still out," Max said. "Why don't we go steal something?"

"Absolutely," Alec laughed, but he surprised Max when he broke into a run.

She rose on her toes and counted to three. It didn't take long for her to catch up.


###

A/N: Title and summary adapted from Ani DiFranco's "32 Flavors."

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Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
musesfool
Nov. 12th, 2009 04:37 am (UTC)
Awesome! Thank you!
zarahemla
Nov. 12th, 2009 05:08 am (UTC)
*happy sigh* The wondertwins are content at last.
callmesandy
Nov. 12th, 2009 05:40 am (UTC)
I really enjoyed this! :)
sabaceanbabe
Nov. 16th, 2009 07:58 pm (UTC)
Oh, I enjoyed this! But then I pretty much enjoy anything with a well-written Max and Alex. :D
alethialia
Nov. 29th, 2009 07:23 am (UTC)
Here via musesfool. This is lovely!

It took her a second to realize what was missing--that deep-rooted flutter in her gut. "Huh." She thought maybe it had been gone for a while.

And that's one of the best means of closure I've seen. Nicely done. Thanks so much for sharing!
ranalore
Nov. 29th, 2009 06:35 pm (UTC)
Oh, this is excellent!
flighty_dreams
Nov. 29th, 2009 08:05 pm (UTC)
This was lovely. Thanks for writing it. There can never be enough Max/Alec stories. :D
quirkies
Dec. 1st, 2009 05:23 am (UTC)
ooh! i feel like the structure works with the rhythm of the song. love the straightforward, grrl-just-trying-to-make-it-work-and-enjoy-herself tone. of course, having an alec along for the ride would definitely bring the joy.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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