She’s gonna kill him. She is going to wrap her hands around his throat and squeeze until she sees him stop breathing. Then she’s gonna keep on squeezing until his lips are blue and maybe until she snaps his neck. What is his problem? Max stomps towards him, arms crossed, eyes narrowed. She can practically feel steam rising from the top of her head.
“What is wrong with you?”
Of course he’s standing there, hands in his pockets, leaning against the outer wall surrounding Terminal City. Of course he’s relaxed and grinning and she can bet he hasn’t even begun to imagine that there will be consequences for his most recent actions. And of course Joshua is standing right beside him, looking far guiltier than Alec.
“Max,” Josh stutters.
“Hiya Max,” Alec says.
She crosses her arms, raises an eyebrow. “Are you both really this stupid?” She sees them both open their mouths and waves her hand. “On second thought? Don’t answer that.”
“Look,” Alec says with a glance towards Joshua, “it was entirely my idea.”
“Oh, I know it was entirely your idea. I just really thought Joshua here would be smart enough not to go along with one of your hare brained schemes.”
“Not all Alec’s idea,” Josh mumbles, and Max just doesn’t even want to know any more.
“No. You know what like I said before, just don’t tell me. You two deal with this. I don’t want to hear anything more about it. Ever.” She turns and walks away before either one of the idiots can speak again. She really is gonna kill him.
“Wait!” Alec runs towards her.
She turns and faces him. He’s still relaxed and smirking as he slides gracefully to a stop in front of her.
“Look,” she says, “I appreciate that you were trying to protect Joshua. But he doesn’t need it, okay?”
Alec starts. “No. I wasn’t protecting anyone. It’s just that he cares when you’re angry with him.”
“And you don’t?” Max stares at him. “Care when I’m angry, I mean.”
Alec grins widely. “It’s just that you’re perpetually angry at me. What’s one more little thing?”
“Little thing?” Max splutters. “You call this another ‘little thing’? You’ve put everyone in Terminal City at risk with your little stunt. You realize that don’t you?”
“And you realize that we can’t just stand back and take it when people attack, right?” Alec stands his ground, stares back at her.
“No one attacked!”
Alec snorts. “That news story was as good as any attack. Maybe better.”
“That doesn’t mean you rough up someone at the news station! You’re only proving their point!”
“Wait just a minute! You think that’s what we did?” Alec stares at her, clearly taken aback. “We didn’t hurt anyone!
“You know what? I can’t talk to you about this right now. You round up everyone that was involved your little raid, and then we’ll talk.”
“Yeah, because clearly you have no idea what happened,” he mutters as he turns and walks away. He stops when there is about fifteen feet between them. “I thought you didn’t want to know anymore about this?” he shouts.
Max shakes her head and walks away from him again. Maybe this time he’ll take a hint.
She’s in the room she’s claimed for her own. It’s not anything fancy, just four walls, a mattress, and a few things she’s picked up here and there. It’s lonelier than her old place without Original Cindy there all the time. Still, she has somewhere to sleep, somewhere she might one day call home. Things have been worse than this.
“Hey,” Alec barges in through her rickety doorway.
“Have you heard of this little social nicety called knocking?” Max demands.
“If you lived somewhere with a door worth knocking on,” Alec retorts, “maybe I’d consider it.”
Max settles onto an upturned bucket she’s using as a chair. “What do you what?”
Alec’s smirk fades and he puts on what she likes to think of as his serious face. He actually looks concerned. “We didn’t hurt anyone at the news station. Did we vandalize the hell out of the place? Yeah, sure. But some graffiti and broken equipment is not the end of the world.”
Max crosses her arms and raises an eyebrow. “Do you know what that equipment costs?” He opens his mouth to protest and she waves her hand. “Never mind that, you realize that transgenics are being blamed for the death of their newest anchor?"
“The really hot chick?”
Max sighs. “Yeah.”
“And you believed that I’d kill her? Or let someone else kill her? For the good of all man and transgenic-kind, any piece of ass that hot must be protected.”
“Well she’s already dead. So maybe you could be just a little more respectful.”
Alec is quiet for a few seconds. He rubs his neck. “Yeah. But we didn’t kill anyone, okay?”
Max sighs. “I know,” she says. “But you did make it easy for them to make it look like you did. And now we have to mop up this mess on top of everything else you know? Like food, water, electricity. Keeping transgenics from fighting with each other. This whole ‘starting our own country’ thing isn’t exactly a walk in the park without you being an idiot.”
Alec glares for a moment before his expression softens. “Yeah. I get it,” he answers. He walks behind her, places his hands her shoulders. She wants to pull away, but his touch feels really nice. It’s been a long time since anyone has touched her. She tells herself it has nothing to do with him. It’s just a set of hands kneading her shoulders, sending tingles up and down her spine.
“It’ll be okay,” he says and she wants to believe him. She wants to believe him. She wants to lose herself, her worries, and her stress in his touch. She doesn’t want to think about Terminal City or Manticore or Logan. He’s murmuring things, soothing words that mean very little but feel good and she wonders why she’s never considered actually sleeping with him before. He takes that moment to compare her ass to someone else’s and she remembers.
“This doesn’t mean anything,” she tells him as she gets up and pushes him onto her mattress. “Just so you’re clear. I don’t harbor any feelings for you. But you’re here and I’m here and we could both use a little fun, okay?”
Alec smirks and gives her a look, like he knows something she doesn’t. Max doesn’t dwell on that, simply shoves him against the wall and presses their lips together.