Rating: PG - Gen
Spoilers: General (for all aired episodes)
Disclaimers: DA & characters are owned by their various creators.
Summary: Cindy likes to sleep in. Alec doesn't sleep at all.
Cindy woke up and she knew for damn sure it wasn't her alarm clock that did it.
Startled and uncertain as to why, she lay in bed with the blanket pulled up to her eyes, waiting and listening for what could have possibly caused it. It wasn't unheard of for Max to start her motorcycle in the living room which was separated from her pillow by a few pieces of plastic tarp. But the noise hadn’t been a roar that settled into the idle of a well tuned engine.
It had been brief and chaotic.
And it suddenly happened again. Exploding through the serene morning quiet and making her sit straight up in bed in a panic. Creeping to her doorway she could see from across the living room that Max hadn’t come home last night and that only left—
Alec grinned at her from over the source of the noise. The noise being a blender that Cindy had forgotten about over a year ago because the rusted piece of junk didn’t work. She was about to point out that fact when Alec spoke again.
There was some odd but pleasantly pale yellow concoction being whipped inside the machine.
“I found an orange.” Alec explained when Cindy had still said nothing. “And some orange yogurt.”
With a yawn and a stretch, Cindy collapsed onto what was supposed to be Alec’s bed for previous evening. By the looks of the still folded blankets and the pillow that sat on top of it, it appeared that the sofa saw no action of any sleep kind that night. But their kitchen seemed to have gotten the once over. Especially the faulty appliances. Oranges flavored with orange?
“Sound good?” He asked.
“Sounds redundant honey.” She rubbed her eyes and watched him pour some of it into a glass.
“It smells good.” He muttered in his own defense, tipping back his glass and finishing it.
“Did you sleep at all last night?” She forced her to ask even though she knew the answer.
The answer was that he was up at all hours doing Lord knows what in her apartment. She took a cursory look around. Nothing seemed more out of place than usual. Well, the kitchen looked a little different. There were no dishes in the sink. All the cabinets were closed and nothing was sitting out on the counters. It was tidy.
“Did you clean—“
Alec studied what was left of the stuff in his glass and poured the rest in another for her.
“Here,” He put it in her hand when all she did was stare up at him. “Drink.”
Cindy took the glass, surprised to find it cold and finding that it did indeed, smell pretty good. Lumps of orange all swirled together with yogurt made it into a light refreshing foam. Her third and fourth sip made her wonder how on Earth she had these things in her house but had no idea what they were capable of.
“I found some bread.” Alec informed her disconsolately.
Ah. The moldy bread in the back of the fridge. Max and her were undergoing a unspoken cold war on just how exactly long that thing would stay there until one of them snapped and threw it out the window.
“Did you make penicillin outta it?” She felt like being smug so she was. Being awake before the allotted and exact forty-five minutes she needed to shower, do her hair, select her clothing and roll into work on time made her cranky.
“Can I turn on your stereo?” Alec asked.” I asked you before but you were sleeping and you didn’t answer me so I figured that was a no.”
Her stereo was in her room on a shelf by her bed. What the hell was he doing all night?
“You were in my room?” The look on her face made him stand up a little straighter.
“Just for a little while.” Alec quickly explained. “I couldn’t find a new bulb for the one that’s burnt out in your bathroom and well, you know Max will never fix it because she can see fine in there, but I thought you might want to be able to—“
“Sugar, sugar, not so fast, I’m not even awake yet.”
Right when she thought she knew all there was to a transgenic. Apparently they weren’t all quite the same. Alec had some kind of hyperactivity that Max sure didn’t. Max didn’t sleep much either but when she was awake she sure as hell wasn’t cleaning the kitchen, let alone the bathroom—
Cindy poked her head into the closet that contained their sink, shower and pilfered bath tub.
It was almost sparkling.
“You get pretty handy when you’re bored huh?” Cindy eyed him as he took the rinsed blender back apart into its stackable pieces and put it in an organized cabinet.
“I tried to be quiet but once the sun came up I figured I could use the blender and look, you’re awake now so….” Alec absently clapped his hands together. “Are you going to work now because maybe I could come with you—“
“I thought Max told you not to leave this building?” Cindy knew enough about Max’s warnings and Alec’s almost physical inability to heed them, but a small flare of worry for the boy fluttered uncomfortably in her belly.
“Yeah.” Alec sighed as he walked into Max’s bedroom.
Baffled, Cindy followed him.
He had opened her closet and was looking through her things.
Cindy did remember when she had first moved in and found it a little uncomfortable when Max had started unpacking her things with her. Studying every book, knick knack and bra that came out of the few boxes she had. Max would have sat down for a good read with her private journal if Cindy hadn’t pulled it out of her hands and told her no.
Privacy was not huge on Manticore’s list of inherent traits in their children.
Alec got bored soon enough with the cute T-shirts Cindy taught Max how to find and even cuter dresses that Max never seemed to wear. Kneeling down, Alec pulled out a box and made a small sound of surprise when he found it filled with ammo and a hand gun.
“Huh.” He took it out and examined it. “Thought she didn’t abide by these things.”
“It’s for me.” Cindy admitted. “Sometimes a girl doesn’t like to be quite all alone.”
Alec shrugged and put it back where he found it. Cindy watched him do it, the offhanded but professional way he’d handled the thing as if it wasn’t an object that could end someone’s life. She’d seen that look on Max’s face too, hell, her entire demeanor was nothing but that sometimes. But it was still somehow different. Alec would never know that kind of fear would he? The kind of fear someone like her would experience, cold and terrible, hearing something move quietly in her apartment in the deepest hour of the night… He didn’t have to fear it, because he was it. He was the proverbial thing that went bump in other people’s nights.
Or turned on a blender at 5AM because the sun had started to come up.
And since when was that a rule? Sunlight did not mean time to start making as much noise as possible. If they were going to be temporary roommates for a while, they needed a sit-down talk about that kind of annoying bullshit. And she didn’t want him scaring the ever living shit out of her every time he came home with those quiet transgenic moves either. About a day after she’d agreed to move in here, she’d had that little conversation with Max first off. If he couldn’t have the common decency to create some noise to announce his passage, she was going to put a bell around his neck whether he liked it or not.
Cindy suddenly had the urge to ask him a question.
“Don’t you ever get scared?”
Alec looked up at her sharply, his hand resting on the shoe box he’d pushed back into its corner.
“Scared?” He repeated as if he wasn’t sure what she meant.
Cindy curled back into a chair, tucking her feet under herself to avoid the morning chill. She thought about turning on the gas stove just to heat the place up a little. When she spoke she could almost see the fog of her own breath. Crossing her arms with a shiver, she realized Alec still hadn’t answered her.
“You know,” She prompted. “Afraid?”
Alec was still just wearing some drawstring pajama bottoms Cindy had lent him and didn’t seem to be feeling the cold at all. They were loose on him where her body curved and his didn’t. But they were the softest and most comfortable things she owned. She wondered if he felt that, or if they were just something to wear.
“Sure.” Alec finally said with a shrug. “I guess so?”
“Yeah? What scares you?” Cindy smiled just a little.
Alec tried to smile it away, but the smile was pained, uncomfortable, his eyes suddenly larger and lost. Like Max when she found she couldn’t gather up all she had to say and put it out there in words for people to hear. Cindy realized she was looking at the same thing. That childish fear of their own pain. That adult world that made them that way.
Alec opened his mouth and then closed it again, his gaze falling on everything in the room but her and her question. He didn’t want to say. That was fine with her. Come to think of it, she wasn’t really quite sure she wanted to know what could scare a man like Alec anyway.
To her surprise, Alec spoke up anyway.
“Well,” He scratched at the back of his head and considered her. ”Your bathroom doesn’t scare me quite as much anymore—“
A well aimed pillow stopped him right there.
But how could she be angry? The boy went and cleaned the whole damn place. It was probably cleaner than it had ever been since Max moved into it. Cindy briefly wondered if maybe she had gotten hooked up with wrong roommate. With a small shake of her head she knew that that was just the swept floors, lack of visible roaches and breakfast smoothie talking. The reality of full and long term exposure to Alec was nothing she wanted to contemplate for very long.
Her gaze wandered to their bookcase. It looked different. No volumes stuffed every which way they could fit. None of them piled along the floor next to it instead of the reorganization of its shelves that it needed very badly.
Cindy blinked as she looked closer.
“A-Are our books alphabetized?”
“Only by title?” Alec half apologized.
“Damn.” Cindy breathed.
With a yawn he lay down on the sofa they had made up for him the night before. He pulled a blanket over his bare chest and rubbed at his eyes. He finally looked as if he was actually tired.
“Are you sure yer Alec?” Cindy eyed him skeptically.
“No,” He answered softly with a yawn. “Not most of the time.”
With a half smile, Cindy got up and started the routine she would usually begin an hour from now. Filling the kettle with water she put on the burner to get some nice strong coffee going.
“I guess I should ask if you want some coffee.” She usually dug a reasonably clean mug out of the cluttered sink, but the sink was empty. Opening a cabinet she found all their mugs cleaned and in neat rows. “But seems like you are on some coffee of your own…”
The water heated quick over open flame and the kettle started to whistle. Using a cloth on the handle she looked up into the small living room when she got no answer.
He was turned on his side, his hands folded under his head. The blanket had fallen away, but his chest rising and falling in all semblance and far as Cindy could tell, honest to God sleep. The howling kettle didn’t seem to disturb him at all. She set it aside letting it die to a wheezing gasp.
And just as she did for the other transgenic she knew, she quietly drank her coffee and made sure she was almost silent as she got dressed for her day at Jam Pony.
When she was ready to get out the door, Cindy moved over to him and slowly drew the shades, blocking out the gray early morning city light. Pulling the other thicker blankets free she covered him up, one layer after another. Only the last one woke him up when it brushed against his face.
“Night Alec.” Cindy said with a pat on his hip.
“Just resting my eyes.” He smiled a little up at her.
She watched the smile fade as his eyes closed and his breathing fell back into its shallow rhythm of true rest. The time the transgenics found to sleep was precious, so rare that she felt the need to shelter it with her hands like a candle in a storm. Thoughtfully, she thumbed off the kitchen light and slowly shut the front door behind her, locking him inside with a soft muted click.
Cindy willed him to sleep the day away. Behind closed curtains and the gray sky, and sound of water falling gently on the windows behind him. She wished he didn’t have one single dream. Cindy hoped all he got was peace. It was just about all she ever hoped for Max. She just never realized Alec needed it just as badly. Maybe even more.
She rolled her bike down the hallway and waited with a lazy early calm for the service elevator.
Maybe when he woke up he’d discover something else in their mysterious fridge for dinner.
Cross posted to jam_pony_fic
Cross posted to darkangelfic
Cross posted to x5_darkangel_x5