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[personal profile] shallowness
A clear view, Dark Angel, PG.
Characters: Alec, Max, Mole, Dalton (Max/Alec implied). 880 words.
Summary: Alec rescues Dalton, Max is furious at how he did it and Terminal City gets entertained for free.
First posted: January 2006

Author's notes: This is set after 'Freak Nation'. Thanks to FridayAngel for the beta, all idiocies are mine. More notes and disclaimer at the bottom of the fic.


A clear view: shallowness


From Max's face, there were entertaining blood sports ahead. Always up for fun, Mole found himself the best possible spot at the entrance to Terminal City to view Alec's heroic return, shouldering an exhausted-looking Dalton, and no Ninja in sight.

"Where is it?" Max snapped, blocking Alec from carrying Dalton or himself any further. The gates behind them closed, and everyone's eyes adjusted to the loss of daylight.

Alec unhooked Dalton's arm from his shoulder - the kid managed to stand by himself, and if he didn't have typical X-series pride, Mole might have given someone the nod to help him, but what Dalton would take from hero Alec and from the rest of the world were two different things. Alec stepped forward toward Max, and though, like always, he moved with in-born confidence, as he stared at her directly, only the ghost of his smirk was on his face. Never let it be said that 494 couldn't carry out an accurate threat assessment when his hide was in question.

"Maxie." It was the beginnings of his coaxing, of his 'look, it went down like this, there was nothing else that could have happened' charm offensive. She cut him off with a slap.

Dalton winced.

"I don't think he deserved that," he mumbled.

"Shut up," Max retorted, not breaking her glare at Alec, who was maybe exaggerating the hurt that her strike had caused. Maybe. "If it weren't for you, dumbass over here wouldn't have stolen my bike to rescue you."

"Hey! Actually-" Alec got another slap. Mole could feel the rest of the audience wince too. "I borrowed it." Max still glowered, and her shoulder tensed up, ready for another whack. Alec started fast-talking. "Okay, without your permission, but it was a split-second call. Someone had to get Dalton out of that sector fast, I knew where your Ninja was, and I had every - every - intention of bringing it back to you."

"But you didn't." Max crossed her arms now, some sign of relenting.

"I'll get you another one." Alec said, before she got to think too hard about why he’d given her bike up as a mode of transport, or how she was gonna pay him back for it.

"Yeah?"

"He will. A better one!" Dalton stepped up to Alec's side, not knowing what a mistake that was. Alec's face, for a second, gave away that he knew exactly how much.

And Dalton soon found out, as fury and sound erupted, "You have no idea the history I have with that bike. None. Nothing's gonna take-"

"Latest model, fresh from the ship." Everyone turned to look at him, but Alec was on convincing form: the smiles, the swagger, the works. So they turned to look at how Temper Temper would take it.

"Yeah?" Max's voice was small, reluctant, but Mole knew from her kid at Christmas eyes that she was gonna fold, just as he would if someone promised to update his armory with a bazooka. He clutched his gun, not that anyone was gonna do any "borrowing" of anythin' of his.

"Yeah." Alec didn't patronize her by actually promising to do it out loud, but it was a promise all the same. "What do you say, Max?"

"Okay. But next time any idiot gets himself in the wrong sector at the wrong time, you use someone else's wheels to bring 'em back." The way she said it made Dalton, at least, cringe. "C'mon, Dalton, I'm taking you to the med center."

"Uh, but I'm okay," Dalton said, as Max approached him.

"Sure you are, big boy, and you've never given us any doubt to think your judgment could be impaired." She let her sarcasm settle.

"You're getting a check up. And on the way there, you and I can talk about what the hell you thought you were doing going to scope out that target with so little back up." As Max escorted a slightly cowering Dalton away, Mole could sense the audience dispersing. No need to tell them that the Max and Alec show was over.

For now.

"Are you crazy? The Harbor isn't easy pickings." Mole addressed Alec, who was staring unfocused at the sky, as if he was seeing a hoverdrone. Only, of course, he couldn't be. The norms had stopped trying to program them to fly over Terminal City, afraid the trannies would down ‘em faster than they could make ‘em.

"Nah, but what d'you think should frighten me more? The shipping companies' thugs protecting their containers or Max on a rampage? I think we both know who's the worst." Alec said, smiling.

"Woman like that who bites your head off for going off to save a hot-headed kid on her precious bike?" Mole mumbled. "Yeah, at least you know where you stand with the Harbor guys. They're just doing their job. Their behavior makes sense."

"Exactly." Alec said, and then added, for no reason that Mole could figure, "I like a challenge."

THE END

Notes: Yes, I did pastiche the 'That One' scene from Pirates of the Caribbean. Written for [livejournal.com profile] lusmeitli.

Disclaimer: These characters are not mine. I'm playing.

Feedback: Always love to get it.

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