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[personal profile] last01standing
Title: If
Rating: PG
Pairing: MA, ML, A/RB (that's right. Coexisting.)
Spoilers: General series, the Berrisford Agenda
Warnings: Character death.
Summary: It won’t last. [for the challenge on Raising Hell. Prompt: "I understand with love comes pain, but why did I have to love so much?"]
Author’s note: I usually write ML. This is MA. This does not mean I’m switching sides. I was toying with the thought of just how I could view MA as plausible and this resulted. I realize I’m going to piss both sides off, but seriously, this shipper war? Get over it. The series has been done for years, it’s hard enough to maintain and attract people in this fandom without all the shipper wars.



________________________________________________________________


If

Cemeteries are always cold. Transgenic, human, it doesn’t matter, a cemetery drops the air temperature ten degrees and sends goosebumps crawling down the spine.

The cemetery is quiet today. They almost always are, but today is worse than most. The man stands in front of the grave, hands shoved in the pockets of a denim jacket. He hasn’t been crying. Just standing there, watching the grave.

Rachel Berrisford.

“How long?” a voice asks from behind him.

“Four years, five months and six days,” he recites. There was a time when he had it down to the precise minute, the precise hour, the precise second. It’s not quite so bad anymore. The burning pain has turned into a dull ache.

“Two years for me,” Max says. “Exactly.”

“I didn’t think you were coming back,” Alec says. “You left us with a whole lot of shit.”

“I’m sorry,” she says.

But she’s not sorry. She’d run. She’d hit a rough patch and she’d run just like she always did. Like she’d do again given the chance. He turns around to see her to take a good look at Max for the first time in two years, but before he can focus, her lips crash against his own.

He kisses back reflexively. He’s still male after all and Max is still drop dead gorgeous. He can taste her cherry lip gloss, a faint hint of peppermint toothpaste and her tears.

It’s the tears that stop him that make him remember where he is, who this is. He pushes her back. He can smell it now, knows what this is. “You’re going into heat,” he says plainly. “You’re probably going to want to lock yourself up for a few days.”

“What if I want to stay here for you.”

It’s everything he can do to keep himself from taking her up on her offer, but this is something he can’t do, not today and definitely not now. “We can’t, Max,” he says. “It’s not that I don’t want to. It’s just… If—”

The last word hangs in the cold cemetery air. If it hadn’t been for Rachel lying underground here, if it hadn’t been for Logan two years dead somewhere in this very cemetery, if it hadn’t been for Max’s two year absence when things got bad. If—

If he hadn’t been Alec and she hadn’t been Max.


________________________________________________________________


He is there when Logan dies even though she isn’t. He watches the slow struggle for life over death with the bone crushing knowledge that they’ve run out of miracles.

Him and Logan, they’ve never been friends. Not exactly. But things change over time and as they got close to the end, it had been Alec on the Eyes Only missions and not Max. They had grown apart. That isn’t a surprise. She runs a city after all and Logan saves the world. Alec is the true intermediary, stealing food from Logan and annoying the hell out of Max. He broaches the void between the two.

He likes to think that by the end of it all, he will be a friend to the both of them.

Only the end is already here.

Logan gasps for breath. His face is starting to swell. Alec can hardly look at him without remembering the first time. When he’d stood and watched Max touch the bleeding Logan with nothing but the satisfaction of a job well done.

He isn’t that guy anymore, can’t go back to the cold unfeeling soldier who’d gloated as another man died. And Logan was half the reason why.

It was an accident, Alec knows. A panic in Terminal City and the accidental brush of skin on skin that neither of them noticed and it was too late. Even after the transfusion, he’d just been too far gone.

“Take care of her,” Logan whispers and if it weren’t for his enhanced senses, Alec would have missed it completely. “Keep her safe.”

It’s two years to the day before he sees her again.

________________________________________________________________


And he forgets, you know, forgets the look on her face as she smiles and forgets the way her hair fell across her face (it’s in curls now, thick spiraling curls that make her seem younger.) Forgets everything about her when she runs away (they taught that at Manticore, bury it all so deep not even he can find it.)
When she comes back, it all floods back and suddenly he can’t stop watching.

She left him in charge whether she realized it or not. She left Alec with an army of transgenics for two years and everyone’s still more or less intact (he isn’t and she isn’t, but he won’t admit that to anyone but himself.) Nothing blew up, nothing exploded and it’s not her city anymore.

It’s his.

He’s not sure if he can ever forgive her for that.

________________________________________________________________


So, two weeks later in Crash when her heat is over and Terminal City is crisis free, he’s got to wonder why his lips are locked on hers, why his hands are running through the tangle of curls and why he can taste the salty tears running down her cheeks.

This won’t work, he knows, won’t last. In his head, he counts a thousand ways it could have been different, a thousand ways they might have had a chance.

If you didn’t leave.

If I didn’t know the real you.

If it weren’t for Logan.

If it weren’t for Rachael.

If I wasn’t Alec and you weren’t Max.


This is going to end badly. Desperation is not a good foundation for anything, much less a lasting relationship and Logan had trusted him to keep her safe. He tries to do the right thing, tries to make the smart decision and not the easy one.

He’s not the same Alec she left behind.

If we weren’t so broken, maybe…

He can’t stop.

(end)

(no subject)

12/8/07 20:18 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] yourlivewire.livejournal.com
I realize I’m going to piss both sides off, but seriously, this shipper war? Get over it. The series has been done for years, it’s hard enough to maintain and attract people in this fandom without all the shipper wars.

you deserve a gold star or something just for saying that. and you deserve about ten more gold stars for this story. i love both m/l and m/a and you've written m/a exactly the way i like them - two lost kids taking comfort in one another when they've lost the people that they truly love.

also, i would not be opposed to reading more of this, should you chose to write more.

bottom line, beautifully written and very well done, like always. i love reading your stories.

(no subject)

5/9/07 22:18 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] trolllogicfics.livejournal.com
Horray! A sane person in the DA fandom!

Glad to know I'm not the only one. (I'm starting to feel very contrary here. Lately, all I seem to write is Lydecker gen.)

and you know what? You deserve a gold star for just generally being awesome.

*gold star*

(no subject)

12/8/07 23:13 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] blackcat333-99.livejournal.com
I liked it. And am happily mostly ignorant of the shipper wars. Either ship works for me if well written. Nice job. This piece reminded me a bit of the M/A relationship on the show - two people who put up a certain facade but underneath it have more in common than they care to admit. And it's like the qualities they share almost make it harder for them to connect than the ways they are different, because it's so hard for either of them to admit to those shared points.

(no subject)

5/9/07 22:20 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] trolllogicfics.livejournal.com
Shipper wars have very nearly turned me off DA so it's people like you who say, 'you know what, I like both' that keeps me sane.

I was really trying to stay true to the show with this, you know acknowledging the deep and unabiding ANGST MA would need to get over to make this worth. Thank you so much for the comment.

(no subject)

15/8/07 05:28 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] strangevisitor7.livejournal.com
I rally liked this. Since I haven't read much DA fiction, I am happily ignorant of the fandom wars mentions above. I thought this was a perfect portrayal of how Max and Alec would be together. Well done!

(no subject)

5/9/07 22:22 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] trolllogicfics.livejournal.com
Thank you. I was a bit insecure before I posted this and you can tell by the f you fandom author's note.

I really appreciate you reading.

(no subject)

17/9/08 03:55 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] twasadark.livejournal.com
This is so vivid and unique. There seems to be so much beneath the surface, love and pain and need. I do wish you'd write more M/A. &hearts

(no subject)

17/9/08 04:50 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] trolllogicfics.livejournal.com
Thank you so much! This is still one of the pieces I'm most insecure about in this fandom and it's always good to see it's getting the response I wanted.

As for more MA? I've been slowly migrating to the person who goes 'damn the ship wars! Take some gen!fic' so I'm in serious doubts they'll be any hetfic coming from me for a while. If it ever comes back, well, ML is really my first love but you never know what my brain will decide to produce.

(no subject)

6/6/11 14:34 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] wwwiamasheep.livejournal.com
Well, I only found the series a grand total of ten years after it finished, so really, ship wars? What ship wars? I'm cheerfully ignorant.

If I wasn’t Alec and you weren’t Max.

Oh, ouch. My heart, it's in pieces.

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