last01standing: ([BtVS] Hush)
[personal profile] last01standing
Title- Handful of Memories
Rating- PG-13

Summary- Max can’t remember. Logan can’t forget. Tag to Pocketful of Lies
Disclaimer- I do not own Dark Angel

Author’s note- Anyone still remember Pocketful of Lies? I was editing a few weeks ago, you know to remove all the suck from the grammar and this happened. I’ve been floundering a while on if I should post it because I love the ending of that story and it’s been done for pushing two years. But I’ve been having huge problems writing in this fandom of late so I figured what the hell. Those looking for a happy fluffy sequel are not in the right place.



Handful of Memories


Memory. Memories. Logan had these in spades. He remembered.

No one had ever discovered the key to the memories. No one knew why one person’s recollection would differ from all the rest's. Watch a conversation along with fifty other people and every single person was going to recount a different story. But that the conversation happened, that was a fact. That was not debatable. That was not a memory. That was history. That was permanent. That was the one intangible thing never changed.

Until it did.

***


The advantages to being dead:
-Worlds best cover story
-No taxes
-No bad guys gunning for you

The disadvantages to being dead:
-Lack of identification makes it difficult to move throughout the city
-He was homeless.
-He’s not actually dead. Not for real anyway--which made having a headstone really freaking creepy

***


The kiss was rough, almost bruising and it took Logan by surprised. He was at his computer in Terminal City and the next thing he knew, he was moving backward until the wheelchair slammed into the back wall, and he suddenly had a lapful of transgenic. Logan moved on autopilot, snapping the breaks of his wheelchair into place, kissing her back.

This was wrong, he thought. This wasn’t how it was supposed to go. There were supposed to be candles and romance and dinner and music. This was supposed to be something beautiful. Not something quick and rough, a product of heat and Manticore genetics.

Max moaned into his mouth. Logan tugged her closer, tongue plunging into hers. He should stop, he realized. He should stop because she was in heat and she didn’t remember and he wasn’t sure he could take the added abuse to his body. It had only been three weeks since White and he still ached every time he moved. He should stop, he should stop, he should stop.

But he didn’t stop, couldn’t stop.

Neither of them was in completely control right now.

***


He woke up with a policeman by his bedside. He talked to Sam Carr, Matt Sung answered a hundred different times who he was. Explaining again and again the circumstances of his disappearance. My name is Logan Cale. I was kidnapped by a man named Ames White and held on the Space Needle for six days. He couldn’t count how many times the story had been repeated. He knew this wasn’t standard procedure but didn’t know what was happening until Alec appeared at the hospital well into the third day.

“Alec!” Logan had never been so happy to see the transgenic in his life. “Alec, you have to tell me what the hell is going on!”

“Weird to see you solid, Cale,” Alec said, crossing the room to sit down without looking at him directly. “You know I was starting to think Max had made you up.”

Logan forced a laugh but it wasn’t funny. Made him up? Alec knew who he was. They hadn’t been friends, but Alec had been a near permanent fixture in his life for nearly two years. “Why would you think that?”

Alec blinked, surprised. “You mean you don’t know?”

“Know what?”

“As far as me or anyone else is concerned, Logan Cale died three years ago.”

Logan stared.

***


He traced the scars snaking up his arms, the intricate pattern more individual then any snowflake. They healed funny. Puckering up in raised red lines that looked almost as bad as they did coated in blood.

They were the souvenirs that would never go away, a brand on his skin almost like her barcode, reminding him of the place where everything changed. He found himself dressing exclusively in long sleeves, hiding the marks like the transgenics hid theirs. Max didn’t notice but Alec did, watching him from the corners heavy eyes like he actually got it.

***


He found himself testing Max, feeding her stories about their life, trying to find the person who spilled into her memory to replace him. He liked to think she would have needed someone to fill in his place. He was never sure if he noticed these little tests, but hoped to hell she was oblivious.

Because wasn’t fair to her and it sure as hell wasn’t fair to him.

***


Logan didn’t remember. Not everything. He remembered getting the tip on White, the one that said he was still alive. He remembered coming up with the hard proof. He remembered paging Max non-stop for an entire morning. Then there was breaking glass and a dozen me all coming for him and then blood and pain and darkness.

He didn’t remember all of his captivity. Any of it really—just the general sensation of blood slicking his arms and the icy-hot pain of a knive skating across his skin. Alec said it was better that way. That he managed to send for help. That they got him before the blood loss did and that meant everything was always all right.

There were things that didn’t add up. Max didn’t remember. Alec didn’t remember. How had they known to look? White had promised Max’s presence. Had promised her slow and painful death within the hour, within the day, within the week. But no one came because no one remembered. That had been all right too. He was more then willing to die for Max, the transgenics and Seattle but--

Sometimes when Logan was looking at all the pieces, he’d think that maybe he had died after all. Maybe he was still on the Space Needle, sprawled unconscious as the city of Seattle sprawled out before him.

***


Max came back, standing awkwardly in the doorway like she had the first time she’d come back, after his shooting. Logan smiled at her, kept his voice light, but there was a plummeting in his heart because she didn’t remember, she didn’t remember, she didn’t remember.

He gave her his hand, told her they were starting over. That this was a clean slate.

He wondered if she felt the same jolt at the touch. He wondered if she could ever know how special this was, wonders if she the muscle memory remained even though the real one was gone. It had been months since he touched her and he found himself wishing it had been something different, something more.

It would have been easier if they had both forgotten, but burdened with the years of history, Logan felt the weight sinking down all around him until it was hard to move let alone breathe.

***


Logan’s first day back in Terminal City a little girl from psy-ops came to see him, poking her head out from behind his computer monitor. Logan raised an eyebrow. “Well, hey there. How are you doing?”

“You’re Logan Cale,” she said.

“And you’re about the only one in this place who knows me without me knowing them,” Logan replied, his voice light despite the subject.

“Dee,” the girl said. She was missing teeth, the snaggled miss-matched mouth of a second grader except that Manticore only ever really had soldiers and science projects. “I’m psy-ops.”

“You were psy-ops,” Logan corrected. “There is no psy-ops anymore.”

“Thank you for that,” Dee said.

Logan felt his heart leap. Thank you. Did she know? Did she remember? Had she looked inside and seen the rest. Had she seen the past and the memories that weren’t still history? Logan opened his mouth to ask, but Dee beat him to the punch. “Your scars,” she said, wrinkling her nose. “They aren’t going to go away.”

The scars were itching underneath his t-shirt, threatening to tug themselves back open and spill bits of Logan back into the world around him. “I never thought they would.”

Dee looked up at him, met his eyes. “They’re going to fade but they’re not going to go away. I’m sorry. I tried to fix you but I can’t.”

Logan swallowed.

“Things are going to get better,” Dee said. “Promise.”

It wasn’t like they could get much worse.

***


He made his mistake the morning after when he and Max were still tangled in a mess of limbs and drying sweat. He was on the verge of sleep, everyone of his muscles numb and singing. “I love you, Max,” he muttered into her hair.

She wasn’t there when he woke up and Logan knew why.

***


The first Eyes Only broadcast caught the press’s eyes immediately. Except it wasn’t the first broadcast, it was the one-hundred and fifty-first and this shouln't still be this big an occurrence.

WHO IS THE NEW EYES ONLY? The headlines screamed. The pretty blonde anchor on the six o’clock news gave this imposter three weeks before some mobster took him down in a blaze of gunfire.

But the new Eyes Only was the old Eyes Only. And he hadn’t been missing for three years, he’d barely been gone a month. He broke his own rules and watched the entire feature and when Alec walked in on him twenty minutes later, he was still shaking with rage and wondering why Max hadn’t come herself.

I’m real, he wanted to say. I’m real, I’m here and I never left.

***


Logan was sitting in front of his own gravestone. He’d been here for the last two hours, staring at the faded letters of his name and trying to ignore the itching from his still healing scars. A month ago, he’d been alive. Fully and legally alive. Three weeks ago, he’d been in Ames White’s clutches waiting for a rescue that seemed like it would never come. Two weeks ago he’d been in a hospital, locked in a unconscious battle for his life. One week ago, he’d watched Max standing in the hospital doorway as she told him she still didn’t remember a thing about him.

Today he was sitting in front of his grave of two years wondering how the world had forgotten his existence. How Max had forgotten his existence.

“Thought I might find you here, Logan,” a voice said from behind him.

Logan turned the chair around, wincing as the scabs littering his arms tried to break back open. Alec didn’t know him. Not anymore. Then again, Logan was beginning to suspect he had never really known Alec. He thought they might be even. They were wearing the same scars after all. They’d bore the same torment albeit six months after.

“You know you’re not really dead, right?” Alec asked. “Me and Max checked.”

“Yeah,” Logan said. “I know.”

Alec was quiet for a moment and then he walked up by Logan and sat down on top of a neighboring gravestone. Logan winced. “Doesn’t feel like it though.”

“No,” Logan admitted. “It feels like the world left me behind.”

Logan remembered how it was when Alec had been missing. How Max had looked around the clock, how the transgenic had formed a team. His own disappearance hadn’t sent a soul looking for him.

Alec settled down, bracing his arms on the tombstone. “I’ll let you know when the feeling goes away.”

***


Sometimes he caught Max looking at him. Curious glances while he worked. In Terminal City, eyes heavy on his back through a crowded room.

He pretended he didn’t notice.

***


Dee was right. Things got better. The scars on his arms started to fade into his skin. The news stopped speculating on how soon this imposter Eyes Only would be captured and killed. Things in Terminal City were quiet. Logan had managed to recreate some semblance of normalcy with his workspace.

He didn’t see Max as much as he would have wanted. After all, Max was running a city and he was running Eyes Only. They didn’t cross paths as much as he would have liked.

And that was okay, really, it was. The first time this had all started, that had been a special set of circumstances, a freak pattern of events with unexplained results.

The fact was; he didn’t need her like he did that first time when she was all he had to hold onto after the shooting. And Max, she didn’t need him either. She wasn’t the person she used to be when he first met her. She wasn’t hiding and constantly trying to find her place. She was a leader, a fighter. Someone with friends who knew what she really was. He didn’t need her as much this time around. The physical scars White had left were nothing like the barbed wire that plunged into his heart every time Max failed to recall him.

It didn’t stop him from following her. Didn’t stop him from stealing touches whenever she was near. It wasn’t his fault. It was a habit, a physical craving born in the two years of virus induced non-contact and while he could live without Max, he wasn’t going to if he didn’t need to.

***


He and Alec played pool twice a week. Shot game after game in Crash every Tuesday and Saturday. They picked a table near the back. Someplace where they weren’t going to be noticed. Logan was used to this. He’d been going unnoticed most of his adult life. It was a function of necessity, of Eyes Only. The same went double for Alec. A transgenic needed to hide almost as much as he did.

That wasn’t why they were hiding.

There was a similarity to their movements, the rounded shoulders, the steely concentration. They’d both been shattered in a thousand pieces and the hodge-podge reconstruction had been similar to the original but not perfect. They were not all right.

But in the darkness and the din of Crash, they found something like satisfaction in the shared games and the shared conversations and shared scars.

***


“We need to talk,” Max said. She’d cornered him in his computer lab, cutting off his exit. “You’ve been avoiding me.”

Logan keyed a sequence into his computer and turned to look at her. She didn’t quite match the match from his memory. She was older, more mature, less willing to pick a fight. “You’ve been avoiding me just as long.”

She shrugged as if to say fair enough and crossed the room to sit down at the table across from him. “What happened to us, Logan?”

Logan could remember. That was what happened. Logan could remember and Max didn’t have anything in their place. There was a history between them that didn’t fully exist anymore. But there was no way to explain something like that. They were Max and Logan and it wasn’t anything definable, it just was.

“I mean you followed me around the entire week you were missing. I thought you were a ghost or something. That or I was going crazy.”

Logan faltered. “I don’t remember that.”

Max smiled. “Welcome to my world. Your ghost stalked me for more then a week. The first time I met you, you were dying. I could see you when no one else could.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be. It’s better that then being dead.”

“Thank you,” Logan said. He owed her for more then he could ever say. She’d saved his life more times then he cared to count.

“I wish I could remember,” Max said.

Logan met her eyes. “Sometimes I wish I could forget.”

“We make quite a pair, huh?” Max said. “Lucky we hooked up.”

The first time back was a disaster. Too quick and too soon and too rough. Logan looked at his hands, saw the thin trails of scars snaking up his forearm. They’re teetering on something here, something real and something different. Logan opened his mouth closed it again.

“It’s not going to be the same,” Max cautioned. “Not at—“

Logan reached up and grabbed the back of her head, smashing their lips together. This was everything, right here, all the memories he had and all the ones he wished he didn’t. This was letting go and starting again. This was letting go of memories and rewriting the history and this wasn’t going to be the same at all.

This was going to be better.

(end)

(no subject)

29/8/08 10:34 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] roses-in-may.livejournal.com
oooh. I just knew there had to be more. Glad I found this.
Fantastic!

(no subject)

30/8/08 04:29 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] trolllogicfics.livejournal.com
Glad you enjoyed it. I was super apprehensive about posting this for fear of wrecking PoL but it's good to hear I didn't.

(no subject)

31/8/08 04:45 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] big-edna.livejournal.com
any ending with lip-smushing is a good ending! I really like this series!

(no subject)

1/9/08 00:20 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] trolllogicfics.livejournal.com
Thanks again. I guess the lip smashing added to the satisfaction, huh?