Title- First Time For Everything
Summary- Nine of Max’s firsts. For the contest on jam_pony_fic.
Characters- Max with various season one cameos.
Disclaimer- I do not own Dark Angel
Author’s note- A series of nine loosely connected 100 word drabbles. Bit of a weird style I know, but hey, that’s how I roll.
First Time for Everything
It’s an order. Nine years of hell and she only escapes because it’s an order. Escape is terror and ice and death ranging all around her. Escape is unknown and strange and the absolute last resort. Escape is going into a world of enemies and secrets and lies. Escape is leaving the only place she’s ever called home. Escape is following the order and leaving her family behind. Escape is everything she’s always wanted but never knew she could have. Escape is Ben’s stories and Zack’s dreams.
Escape is freedom hope and above all, escape is a better than Manticore.
First Bike Ride
It’s Theo who sets her up on her first ride. He sets her up on one of Jam Pony’s battered old loaners and lets her loose. Even with her superior genome and cat-like reflexes she takes a spill rounding her first corner. Sketchy laughs at her, but gives her a hand up. “Always thought riding a bike was one of those things you never forgot.”
Max shrugs and plays it cool. “I’ve never been one for conventions. More important things to remember.”
Her first day at Jam Pony is wobbly lines and skinned knees but she smiles the whole time.
She starts every relationship with a lie. A simple, “My name is Max.” just doesn’t cut it in the real world. No, they want full names, identifiably, everything Manticore fought against. She takes a step back from it all and realizes that everything about her is a lie. She’s never had a real home, never had a real friend, never really been human. She crafts a personality from scratch, brash and offensive so no one gets close enough to see the girl inside.
If she gets her way, no one will ever know Max Guevara is really just 452.
When she applies to Jam Pony, she lives out of a box for a week. Max makes it work because she’s got nothing else and it’s not like she actually needs a place to sleep. She takes to spending her nights at Crash because she likes being lost in a crowd. One night she gets to talking to a girl named Kendra she’s only just met. At the end of the night Kendra asks if she needs a place to stay.
“Why you asking me?” Max stammers, taken aback.
Kendra smiles. “Because it looks like you could use a friend.”
She’s picked a guy from the crowd, and drags him from the crowd and into the alley. He’s a little surprised, sure but he doesn’t protest. He’s older than her, handsome, and strong.
Her first time is up against that dirty alley wall as an old man, strung out on cocaine, watches and laughs. She doesn’t notice a thing except the masculine prescience in her arms and the ecstasy of lips on skin. Her first time is quick and brutal and leaves her feeling alone and empty. She leaves before he recovers from shock.
She doesn’t even know his name
Zack, when she lets herself be honest is a bit of an anti-climax. She’s spent more than ten years on the outside yearning for knowledge of the others. (Twelve, Logan says and her heart sours) But when Zack comes, nothing changes. She’s still the same girl and she’s still looking over her shoulder. But for a few glorious seconds, she wasn’t alone anymore and that was the best feeling in the world. It was just her and Zack and unspoken volumes of past. She’d forgotten what a control freak he was.
Ten years gone and he still feels like family.
Her first kiss with Logan is everything she’d ever wanted to say and more. It’s desperation. It’s wasted time, and missed chances, everything that should be bottled up in years all poured into this one final act of longing. Lydecker’s IDed her. Zack wants to cross the boarder before the day is out. Logan has a life in Seattle. Has Eyes Only and responsibility. She’s not supposed to have roots. Not supposed to become attached to this man, this life, this city. It’s snuck up on her and now it’s her everything.
So she kisses him.
He tastes like home.
Death by clone. As the bullet slices through her skin, Max feels like she should be angry, should hate this little girl, but she doesn’t. She pities this little girl and hopes to God she winds up with a better life than Max ever had. There’s a ringing in her ears now and she can feel her body shutting down system by system. Logan’s cradles her head in his arms.
Killed in action.
Died in the line of duty.
It’s worth it if Manticore burns. It’s worth everything.
She just wishes she’d had a few more seconds to tell Logan…
“Do not attempt to adjust your set. This is a streaming freedom video bulletin.”
And in the end, she’s running again. The cages are open and they’re all running. Behind them Manticore is in flames. The second escape brings déjà vu, visions of how it happened all those years ago. Only this time she’s not running away, she’s running back. Back toward Seattle and Logan and home.
“Your location has been revealed. Your secret is out. And now Manticore will be held accountable for its crimes.”
For the first time she looks back at Manticore and knows she’s won.