Continued in Sequel: Traces
Author: Mink (& thank you Jink!)
Disclaimers: DA & characters are owned by their respective creators.
Hot water, musky lather of soap, soft words and Alec seemed almost to breathe like himself again.
Exhausted and glassy-eyed, he had settled down into an eerie calm. Even beneath the heady aroma of the shampoo, the heavy scent of his tampered blood wafted from him. Promising violence. Reminding Logan that nothing had changed except for the transgenic's reluctant compliance. Alec seemed as wary of their movements as they were of his. But that didn’t make Logan any less nervous.
They'd dried him off and lent him some clothes that had been sterilized. New sweatpants from the five and dime out of the wrapper, a T-shirt given to Logan that had never been worn. Even laundered clothing would have traces of his own chemistry. For now, Logan reasoned, the less possible irritants the better.
Following the extended trauma of the bathroom, Max had lead him to the bed they had set up and quietly placed the restraints on him. One on either of his wrists and one on either of his ankles. Alec had watched her but he hadn’t fought it, moving only when she was done, testing his mobility and finding that he didn’t have much from the solid wrought iron bed frame. Alec was subdued. Weary and watchful but some how utterly resigned. The blankets up to his waist made it look as if it was comfortable and normal. They had arranged it so he was closest to the bed’s right side for easy access. They had given him enough pillows so that he was almost sitting up. After that it was time for Dr. Beverley Shankar to take up where they left off.
The doctor had spent an hour alone in Logan’s bedroom with Alec. The door was kept closed upon her request. The apartment was strangely quiet as they all sat in the living room and waited. When the door finally opened, it was only Logan who stood to join her in the room. One look at Max showed him that she’d rather have the cliff note version that Logan could provide for her afterwards. Cindy simply nodded her head in some show of encouragement, her hand closing over Max’s in their own shared resolve.
The room smelled… good.
He had been avoiding rooms Alec had been shut up in. Even with the ventilation, the presence of his pheromones built up and lingered in any one place he stayed in for any given length of time. Logan hoped the doctor didn’t notice him holding his hand idly over his mouth and nose. He was gestured away from the bed as he entered, closest to the wall.
"Can he hear us?" Logan pointed out in case the doctor demanded discretion. Alec's eyes were vacant, his chest rising and falling softly.
"I’m not sure." The doc snapped her fingers in front of the transgenic’s face and got no reaction at all. "He seems to be in an almost catatonic state."
Logan felt his eyebrows rise.
The doctor smiled tiredly, but there was no humor it. It reminded Logan of his mechanic every time he pulled in with the car after it’d had a particularly exciting ride off the civilized side of the city grid.
“Where would you like me to start?” She asked.
Logan found himself smiling back, the make of it formed out of exhaustion. To his relief she started without him actually trying to discern what part of Alec’s battered body they should discuss first.
“I won't have anything conclusive until I get the blood work back. The rest, as you saw, may be inferred. I'll start with the light suff." She held up her memo. "There are definite signs of malnourishment and the onset of…” Her gaze flickered up at Logan and then away. “…of starvation. Massive dehydration, and all the subsequent vitamin deficiencies which were accelerated due to his metabolism…”
Logan tried to listen as if it was just like any other kind of information and not a detailed list of how and exactly this transgenic was tortured. The vague picture of Alec’s time in captivity started to solidify in disturbing focus.
“The contusions are well, plentiful, but not advanced. They should clear up on their own in time.” She paused. “The gun shot wounds however…”
Dr. Shankar rubbed at the back of her neck as she took a seat next to the patient. Alec flinched mildly when the blanket was pulled back, his shirt lifted to reveal the gauze taped perfectly in place. The bio plastic had been removed by the doctor, most likely out of confusion as to what it was rather than its ability to properly bandage a wound. The white gauze it had been replaced with was carefully peeled back.
“It's like science fiction. If you hadn’t told me these were a few days old, I would have guessed more than a week. Maybe more.”
Logan watched her lightly touch the small entrance wound with a latex gloved hand. Her voice became lower, her gaze going to Alec who was watching them but showing no acknowledgement whatsoever of what they were saying.
"So what's the outlook, doc?"
"To be honest? Variable. Until I get a better idea of what his system's been through these past weeks, I can only speculate based on my initial findings. Fortunately, they are relatively positive. Alec's level of regeneration is maintaining his functions better than I could have ever expected..."
Logan nodded but sensed a growing timber to her voice, a shift in tone that said there was something else on that list she had carefully complied. Something much worse than what she had revealed so far.
He saw her gaze flicker to Alec's stoic face before she continued.
"I have to inform you, there are some factors I did not anticipate Logan.”
“The blood analysis?” Logan felt his brow furrow. “I thought that the lab work would take at least a day—“
To Logan’s surprise she gently clasped Alec’s trapped hand for a moment while she looked back at him. Alec’s reaction was no reaction at all. He simply stared at her, seeming to wait for what she would do next.
“This man has been badly beaten. A few ribs that reset themselves, some hairline fractures that are doing the same in his wrists…”
Logan sighed. The array of x-rays the doctor had produced with a hand held device no larger than a camcorder had revealed some trauma none of them had been able to see.
The transgenic's organs were all battered as if he’d been rolled over by a truck. The condition would have been more than life threatening if the person in question hadn’t seemed to have been half way to healing all on his own anyway.
"There are contusions." She continued gently. "Consistent with repeated trauma."
“His throat and his arms... excessive bruising, indicative of enforced handling... around his legs, his thighs and lower abdomen...”
Uncomfortable with the woman’s sudden inability to discuss Alec’s condition out loud, Logan attempted to help. Even a doctor who knew what a transgenic could manage to live through didn’t always get the pleasure of seeing it in full breathing color everyday.
“We think he got most of them trying to defend himself.” Logan said in the calmest voice he could manage. “The ones on his hands and forearms, we think they’re conducive with measures of self defense—“
“Logan, if he didn’t heal so fast I might have been able to prove it, but I think...” She was shaking her head. “I think someone in that facility tried to... assault him."
There was much more meaning behind the obvious observation of the marks Logan could plainly see on Alec's flesh. Logan felt his skin chill, her words stopping the next long ramble of meaningless comforting words that were ready on his tongue. He thought of that night, being knocked out of his chair by Alec. Logan thought of how the pheromone affected any other transgenic that got near the X5. He thought about what that would mean if someone had had control over Alec, desperate and in pain, unable to protect himself let alone--
Alec unexpectedly spoke. Low and strained, his voice rasping in his throat.
“I won’t tell them.”
His eyes were locked on Shankar but Logan knew he wasn’t addressing the doctor.
“I-I won't tell them where you are.”
Logan and the doctor both stared at him uncomfortably.
“I’ll need a few more things.” She said quietly.
“S-Sure.” Logan fumbled to get his glasses back into place. “Name it.”
“Make sure to turn him onto his side at least twice a day.” The doctor said. “I mean, if he doesn’t start moving himself.”
Logan looked back at the man that lay in his bed and nodded.
“All his fluids are coming in from the IV, you should be able to measure it on the way out almost like clockwork. “ She rubbed at her chin. “Let me know if his fluid output starts to change in any way, I’m a little worried about his kidneys.”
Logan nodded, wondering how much of this his mind would be able to hang onto after she’d left.
“Keep on that drip, if you run out of what I’ve left you, just give me a call.”
The doctor checked the machine that regulated the fluids that were being administered down through a network of tubes. Some of it provided Alec with some kind of nourishment until they could figure out some way to get him to eat. A catheter eliminated the issue of releasing him repeatedly for the bathroom.
“T-thank you Dr. Shankar.” Logan repeated.
He wasn’t sure of what else to say. All he could feel was completely thankful that this woman had come all this way without even one question. It had taken the better part of the day to acquire all the things she said Alec would need, but with Max and Cindy ready to do just about anything, they had found everything Dr. Shankar asked for along with a few things she hadn’t.
Logan wasn’t nervous being left alone with Alec this time. He had faith in the hospital grade restraints. He had even more faith in the several hundred pound metal bed frame he’d bought himself last Christmas.
“There’s a wheeze in his lungs I’d like to keep an eye on too…” The doctor paused. “I’d like to check in again tomorrow. If-- If you don’t mind?”
Logan blinked, startled that the doctor was actually asking his permission to return.
“Yes, yes of course.”
Dr. Shankar sighed, her gaze falling back on the quiet transgenic that lay unspeaking on the bed before them. Alec hadn’t said one word to any of them as the doctor had checked him thoroughly. He didn’t protest when the needles were slid into his veins and taped up neatly for the IVs. He didn’t even struggle when more painful procedures were required below the waist.
“H-He’s remarkable you know.” She mumbled mostly to herself. “I think his system will be able to withstand the brunt of the withdrawal all on its own.”
Logan shifted his weight and uncrossed his arms.
“Is that a good idea? He’s been put on so many things, we don’t even know—"
“That’s just it.” Shankar shrugged. “I can’t treat something if I have no idea what the hell it is. The safest bet is to monitor his vitals, sedate him as best we can and just let it run its course.”
Logan watched her sit by Alec one more time and press a finger against his neck. Alec’s gaze flickered sideways towards her, a slow simmering menace in the look that made Logan glad that Alec couldn’t act on it even if he had had the strength to.
“If he gives any indication that he’ll eat, by all means, let him. His caloric intake requirement is well, a lot higher than ours….” The doctor’s voice trailed off as she looked back down at the patient. “…remarkable.”
Beverly Shankar slowly took up her jacket that was laying on a nearby chair and gave Logan a pat on the shoulder as she left.
“I’ll see you tomorrow.”
Logan stood there still for a time after the doctor left.
Alec’s skin was glazed with a sheen of sweat. The shirt they’d given him was already soaked in a damp V down his chest. He stared back up at Logan, his lips parted with labored breath, his hands moving in and out of fists from where they lay in the padded cuffs.
“D-Do you know where you are Alec?” Logan asked softly.
He hadn’t mentioned it to the doctor, or even to Max for that matter, but ever since they had found Alec, Logan had been trying not to get too close. He could smell him again, the waft and thick swirl of it blended in the room’s stale air. He stepped backwards, hoping to somehow step out of range of it, like it was some kind of cloud. Logan's jaw tightened as he thought of how easily someone could had taken advantage of Alec in this state. Handled and used him like they had foolishly mistreated his chemistry.
Logan decided in that moment that he wouldn’t tell Max that part of the doctor’s discoveries. That was something Alec could tell or keep to himself as he saw fit. It seemed criminal that even Logan knew. With a deep breath, he suddenly wondered what Alec actually would remember of what had happened to him. Only time would reveal that.
Logan cleared his throat.
“Do you know that you’re back in Seattle?”
Alec’s pained breathing was all the response he got. The vial the doctor had injected into his IV was supposed to have sent him into a restful sleep but apparently the transgenic’s body had other plans.
Logan turned off the light anyway, leaving the corner lamp on. It was dim and yellow but it kept the room from total darkness.
“Try to get some sleep.”
Alec stared at the ceiling.
Someone had left on a television with the intent that the sound would make him more comfortable. It was doing the opposite. The insidious program it had cycled to between commercials was supposed to be funny. He remembered watching it before. A long time ago in his own apartment late at night. He had thought it was funny then. Not exactly how other people might have found it funny he supposed, but it had made him laugh. He thought how the actors talked and moved was strange. It surprised him every time a burst of recorded laughter blared over their words when they did or said something manufactured to make him smile.
He didn’t think the effort itself was meant to be the entertainment but he always laughed when they told him to. He always smiled when the music indicated he should. But not now. Now the roar of the contrived and computer manipulated mirth frayed on his edges. Every digitally enhanced chuckle and happy wheeze made him breathe faster, grip his hands on his tethers tighter. The sweat that ran down his temples, and beaded on his upper lip made him shiver violently one moment and then attempt to kick his stifling blankets away the next. The bed he was in was permeated with the presence of another person.
A man he knew. Logan Cale.
The smell of a place where one slept was inundated with every scent that person owned. The warm smell of deep delta sleep. It was that subterranean level between sleep stages three and four that were the least like the human mind was when awake. It was hardest to wake a person when they were all the way down there. Sometimes you couldn’t wake them up at all. Every movement he made, no matter how slight, maddened him with the scent of another human being that he couldn’t touch. The clothes they wore, the pillows they laid their heads on and the mattress that eventually bore the groove of their body. It was one of the most intimate belongings that a person could expose to someone else. Someone like Alec anyway.
When Logan walked in, it was almost as if the man himself was just a shadow of scents compared to what Alec lay in and was surrounded by. The pillows were filled with him. It wouldn’t matter how many times they washed any of it, it was as if the man had some continuous gentle hold on all of his senses.
Logan smiled at him uncertainly from behind Max.
“Aren’t you hungry Alec?”
No. He was the opposite of hungry, he felt like he could burn forever on the air he took in alone. He was the perfect machine needing and wasting nothing. Didn’t they know that? They had fixed him up there in those mountains. Ames had altered him once again so he wouldn’t need anything but oxygen. Sometimes not even that was necessary. Didn’t Max know he had been unfettered from everything? Did she realize that they could set him free now? The only reason she wouldn’t was because she had made a deal herself.
Alec made a small sound in the back of his throat as she tried to feed him whatever poison lay in her offering.
A spoon was pressed up against his lips.
“Just one bite.” Max sighed. “Come on? I didn’t cook it if that makes you feel any better.”
Alec could smell the aroma of the chicken broth from the bowl even over the riot and cascade of her red scent. It did smell good. Salty and rich. With chopped up carrots, celery and potatoes softened in the soup. Lumps of peppered flour dough steamed into dumplings floated among the mix. He forgot what they called a food like that. He found he had been forgetting a lot of things when he had never forgotten a thing in his life.
“Just one small bite?” She pleaded softly. “Y-You’ve gotten so skinny Alec.”
In her persistence the hot fluid pushed against his lower lip and he licked at it involuntarily. Like blood from a wound. It was better than it smelled and he felt his stomach clench. It was salty like blood but it had a substance to it, proteins and fats, starches and carbohydrates.
Alec blinked when he realized he hadn’t in a very long while. His eyes burned and itched. He wanted to rub at his eyes but his hands wouldn’t reach his face.
“Let me go.”
Max sat back with the bowl in her lap. Her jaw worked, her lips pressed together.
“I can’t do that—"
Alec brought up his knee as hard as he was able, striking the bowl out from her hands and unbalancing her causal seat by his side. The restraint kept his knee from going any further, but the shatter of the porcelain bowl on the floor made him smile. He looked up to see Max backing up away from him. She was covered in scalding soup.
Max had moved before his knee could really get her in the leg. Some soft tissue damage avoided. A black and blue she wouldn’t even have for 48 hours.
“I-I can’t do that Alec.” She repeated.
Alec shuddered in his binds, trying to rip them right off the metal bars that they were lashed firmly to.
“Let me go." He twisted until he was on his stomach, bringing up his knees as far as they could go and using his crisscrossed wrists to just brace himself and just... pull.
“Alec- stop it!”
They weren’t going to ship him anywhere. They weren’t going to slice him up into well fed pieces for some agency that set itself up like some kind of a spider. A pitfall, a trap down in the dark waiting for something to walk on by.
“P-Please Max?” He heard himself beg. “I’ll go far away, they’ll never find me…”
They were going to bind him up in silk and deliver him to it. They were going to feed it with his living body. He was never going to die that way, they’d have to shoot him, they’d have to hold him down into one of those deli meat slicers first—
The metal bed frame groaned with his efforts. So did the bones in his arms and wrists.
“Alec! S-Stop! Stop it!”
Alec’s hands were wrenched free of the metal, his wrists suddenly limp and in a dull agony. When he tried to move his fingers he found they wouldn’t obey his commands. He wondered briefly if he had broken them. Max’s body was smothering him with its strength and her frantic smell. He struggled violently one more time but he whimpered at the feel of the buckled binds as they held fast. All he wanted to do was sit up. All he wanted to do was walk to the other side of the room. All he wanted to do was go and find out how far the drop was outside that window. All he wanted was to walk out of here…
“Max?” He searched her face until he found her eyes. “It's okay, Max. T-they wont kill me yet. They’ll use me first Max, cut me apart. They'll keep cutting and cutting until there is just enough of me left to stay alive—“
“Let me go?” Alec moaned. “Why won’t you let me go!”
His frustration peaked and broke.
He started screaming.
Footsteps crowded into the space that had been made into his new prison.
“Help me!” Max ordered.
Alec knew what was coming next, he knew what would happen every time he fought too hard. Every time he came close to maybe one more inch of freedom. He heard himself choke back his sobs when he was turned and shoved down onto his back, people were speaking everywhere, confusing him with all the sounds and white gray fierce smells of their fear, worry, fear, anxiety, frustration, fear…
A needle broke his sweat slick skin, jarred painfully when he jerked his arm causing the needle to snap in his flesh. He yelled out again, weaker already with what they’d managed to inject into his vein. Alec felt the dull sensation settle rapidly over his thrashing limbs, his heart finally the only thing still struggling, beating hard and steady in his chest.
When he faded away he hoped that this time that he’d never come back.
That notion made him smile.
He heard himself laughing, heard and felt people touching him, blood dripping like sweat down to his wrist. He inhaled and laughed again, wanting to be able to form the words he wanted to say. To tell them to do their worst. Let them try anything they wanted. No matter what they did, he’d be back.
He always came back.
He woke up every now and then.
Drifting in and out as slowly as waves that lapped a shore with the incoming tide. Sometimes he woke to someone changing the dressing on his side. Once it was the steady beep of the machine at his bedside that made him open his eyes. He watched an empty bag be unhooked and a new full one replace it before he was gone again. Someone was reading to him softly. An article in a magazine about the rise in ocean levels was now slowly dooming the global climate. The pages flipped gently one by one, each word spoken one after another and another...
He opened his eyes again at the dawn streaming through at a flat angle into his face. Squinting into the sun, he turned his head away for some relief. Before he vanished, he felt plaster casts had been put on his wrists.
He didn’t remember that being done.
Next he came to with a hand under his neck, and being told to swallow slowly. Alec began coughing when he didn’t, choking on the food that went down the wrong way. His body was not awake enough to properly do what it was meant to do automatically.
Alec woke alone sometimes, trembling and sweating so badly he thought his heart might burst right out of his chest. He longed for a familiar voice then, anyone to send him back into the blackness where he felt and heard nothing at all. Some peaceful place several feet below himself where he was a rest from his mind’s chaos and his body’s agony. Although, even without the bite of the needle, it all eventually faded away whether he willed it to or not.
But this time when he opened his eyes, something had seemed altered. Looking around the same four walls of the room, he could detect that things were not as they had been before.
In fact, everything had completely changed.
Confused, Alec tried to sit up as far as his binds would allow him.
He wasn’t exactly sure what had changed right away. He listened. All he could hear was the gentle thud of rain beating softly against the window. The whisper of voices a room away. Unconcerned. Heavy with sleep. Alec turned his head back towards the window. Somewhere, far below, was the ragged sharp sound of traffic. The pounding in his head was gone. All that was left was a dull ache left over right behind his eyes. Shifting, he longed to rub at it with one of his bound hands but he couldn’t reach. His body still trembled slightly but he wasn’t wracked with the shakes that shifted into mild convulsions every time he dared tried to move.
Drawing up his knees closer to himself, he saw that the room seemed brighter even though the lights were off. Everything was in focus. Crisper and neater. The television was mercifully off. The screen was black, as dark as the windows and the night outside. Blinking around in the dim light of the room, he worked his mouth open and shut.
“Are you thirsty?”
Alec focused his sluggish pupils in the semi-dark and spotted Logan seated in the corner. He hadn’t heard or sensed him sitting there. Alec suddenly realized he hadn’t awoken to the onslaught of scents that he knew surrounded him in every way. He let out a small sigh of confounded relief.
But he couldn’t quite remember why he was in Logan’s apartment. Let alone his bed. Something had happened. Something pretty bad. Alec frowned, his hands tugging absently at the tethers. He knew he was supposed to know. Alec clenched his jaw, thoughts and actions, places and noises, flickering on and off in his mind like a faulty light bulb. The sensation was mildly infuriating.
But first, something to ease the ache in his throat. Logan had suggested that there might be water in his near future.
“Do you want something to drink?”
Alec quickly nodded and watched Logan laboriously right himself and take up a plastic thermos from the table beside him. He sat down next to him cautiously, staying out of reach of the limited range of Alec’s hands.
“How-how many days?” Alec asked, his mouth dry, his tongue aching. “How long have I been here?”
Logan looked at him, his eyes studying Alec’s closely. He laughed a little in disbelief as he guided the plastic straw from the thermal mug to Alec’s lips.
“Is that really you?”
Alec sucked down the cool water in long steady gulps. Breathless, he looked back up at Logan.
“Who else would it be?”
“You’ve been—“ Logan sat back and took a deep breath. “.. You’ve been in but mostly out of it for about twelve days. These last three you slept straight through.”
Alec felt the hard casing of plaster reach up around the palms of his hands, the restraints refastened to fit around them. Flashes of his time came to him. Brief glimpses of pain and voices. He shook it off just to resettle his head.
Alec held up his hands. “When do these come off?” He asked as politely as he could.
“We’ll have to see.” Was all Logan said.
“For what?” Alec wondered why Logan looked so relieved. Worn too as though he hadn't slept in days.
Logan stood back up and retook his seat in the corner.
Alec looked around and suddenly found the dark quiet discerning. He fidgeted in his binds and tried several times to get into a more comfortable position.
“Hey?” He tried. “Hey Logan, tell me ya at least got a pack of cards or something?”
Alec knew perfectly well he wasn't really hiding.
This was her place anyway, her own platform whenever she wished the world to go away. It was a good place, an effective six hundred feet. It was probably why he had escaped up here that night who knew how long ago. It was a place that seemed detached from the rest of the world let alone the city. The tower above the noise. The citadel in the clouds. Paint it white and you had yourself a storybook page.
He had to admit, he himself had an almost childish inclination towards cliché.
It was better than fleeing into a bottle of pre-pulse Jack Daniels. It was what he would have usually done given the circumstances. Tempting though it was and practical as it would have been at one time, he found the promise of oblivion not as comforting as it may have once been. He’d had enough oblivion to last him for a long time. All he wanted now was just to seek out a little peace.
He'd made up his mind that if he were going to brood, it would not be in some off-grid dive or any echelon of the city's sewer system. He liked the view up here where the wind raged so savagely it blotted out his thoughts. The clamor of the city below was now a soft, gray haze, the horizon beyond a wide expanse fading from distant green to gray, the pale yellow sunset chill and unfriendly. He wanted no darkness or light. No thoughts or ideas. Alec didn’t feel like waxing and waning on what had become of his transgenic existence. All he wanted to do was just take a breath, feel the beat of his blood and watch the city quiet and laid out before him.
Above the howling wind, he heard the unmistakable metallic thud on the hollow dome, her soft and slightly irritated.
He didn't move, did not look up when she approached, still lost in the haze of trying not to think. He knew she’d find him here, this was after all, her stomping ground. Not his.
“Guess you finally figured out how to get outta four point restraints.” She shrugged as she took a seat beside him. “Yer gonna have to teach me that one some day.”
Alec said nothing.
“Look, I understand that well... I understand that you’re gonna want to be by yourself for a while, but I don’t think that’s such a great idea. C-Considering everything.”
Alec listened to her stop and almost heard her think her next thoughts out loud. ‘Considering everything’ was about as close as Max was ever going to delve into what had happened to him. To them both. Maybe even to Logan too.
“I don’t mean hangin’ at Logan’s forever? Besides, that would drive Logan crazy. You know how he is about his stuff.” She paused to fold her hands over her knees. “B-But I think you should stay there for a little while. Let the doc check you out a few more times.”
Alec touched the worst of his wounds over the fabric of his borrowed clothing. Max knew as well as he did that he didn’t need any more attention from any doctor. They were built to mend. And do it quickly. She wasn’t worried about his body. Max was worried about his mind.
He crossed his arms tighter over his chest.
“And hey? I told Normal you were back in town. I made up this really well, it was a really stupid story about you getting hitched and taking off for New York to join a band but he seemed to buy it. I think you can get your old gig back—“
He stopped his mouth before it replaced the right words with the wrong ones. He didn't want to look at her. No matter how fast they healed, the brown mottled bruises were still fading on her skin.
“I did that?" Alec swallowed.
He knew without looking that her forced smile had disappeared.
"Ames.” Max muttered. “Ames White did this. All of this.”
Bright lights and the feel of water just a few degrees above being ice closed over his head. The echo of stanch voices sounding out his vitals rang in his ears. Alec fought not to make any noise, lifting his trembling hands up over the sides of his head as if that would somehow stop his memory from recalling anything else.
But it kept coming in stuttering wavering flashes.
The dark box they kept him in. The other transgenics. The fires. The ache. Ames White. His voice. His hands. The heat.
“Where is he?” Alec asked numbly. “Is he dead?”
Max sighed. “I don’t know.”
The wind picked up and blew harder up against them. The sudden deafening thud of helicopter blades made them both turn. Rising up from some distance behind them, a black police surveillance chopper flanked by hover drones roared overhead, its floodlights flickering and exposing the streets and back alleys below in its routine nightly inspection.
"Ames will never leave us alone." Alec whispered.
Far away a dog was barking, the sodium street lamps glimmering on one by one by one as the twilight started to fall and lock the city down for the night.
Max moved over a little until their shoulders touched.
“It’ll be okay Alec.” She told him. “I mean, the guy can’t live for freakin’ ever can he?”
His mind slowly cleared with her words. A true smile coming to his face at the incredulous and offended tone in her voice. With a deep inhale he found that her close proximity did nothing but bring him the scent of her hair, and the thick of her leather. It really was over. The madness was gone. His body was his to control once again.
Alec shut his eyes and let the wind take over his senses instead.
Max was right. Nothing lasted forever.
Not even them.
This fic now has a sequel: Traces part 1 - ?
This fic has been in the works for about a year, and it was one that I really never lost interest in or not had fun writing. It was always that story sitting on the back burner that I could go back to to when I was sick of writing just about everything else.
I'm more than a little sad to see it conclude, but I know all stories have their endings and this one was even a little over due. ;) But I'm not ready to put away this story and what it did to Alec just quite yet. I have a sequel in mind that won't mirror 'Heat' but kinda take up sometime down the road where it left off. Ames White is still out and about in the world and so are the transgenics... and that means just about anything could happen.
Thanks to everyone who has been readiing and commenting, I am glad what I enjoyed writing gave someone else some enjoyment in reading it....
Also! For any of you that are interested, there was a het/sex scene I removed from part two, because well, I just didn't think it fit into the story. If yer curious, it is a scene between when Max called Logan to Alec's apartment and what happened before Logan got there, it is rated NC-17 and it's over here.
Cross posted to jam_pony_fic
Cross posted to darkangelfic
Cross posted to x5_darkangel_x5