Title: Twisting the Knife
Characters: Alec, Logan, Max, OC, Mole
Summary: A Transgenic pumpkin carving goes horribly wrong.
Pairing: Gen but if you squint you can also read pre Alec/Logan or possibly Alec/Max/Logan because I just can’t write DA without thinking of Alec/Logan and it seeps out whether I want it to or not.
Warnings: None really except a major character gets injured.
A/N: For the Jam Pony Halloween Comment Fest. Also – no beta and I wrote this quickly so please forgive any goofs. Trying to get it in for Halloween!
“What the hell are we going to do with all these pumpkins after we carve them?” Max asked looking around. There were at least thirty pumpkins piled up in the corner.
Alec had stumbled onto an abandoned farm where there were piles of these things just ripe for the picking. He wasn’t going to pass up a good opportunity. He had loaded up the van and managed to sell quite a number of them to Ordinaries on the way back. It made for a nice stash of ready cash that was handy to have. But at the last minute, he had decided to keep a number of them.
“It’ll brighten up the place a bit,” Alec said with a smile as he looked around Terminal City. It was as dim and dreary as ever. The few attempts at livening up the place with Halloween decorations just made it seem emptier.
He wasn’t even sure why it seemed important except that he’d overheard Sketchy, Logan and Original Cindy talking at Crash one night about what Halloween was like when they were kids and he was envious. He had laughed as he overheard Logan reminisce about his dressing up at Batman when he was 7 years old. Alec would have liked to have seen Logan as a child. It was a rare moment indeed when Logan let his inner child out. Even Alec had to admit the man had an infectious smile when he relaxed and he enjoyed seeing him Logan cut loose. He could just picture a young Logan Cale giggling on a candy-high dressed in the costume of one of his heroes.
Alec himself never had that as a child. None of the other Transgenics had it either and Alec wanted it for all of them – particularly for the youngest of the outcasts stranded there with them. He wanted them to have fun and have a moment of childhood.
One thing he could do towards that end was to decorate with carved jack-‘o-lanterns.
Of course he’d had no idea how to do it. There was a large table on which several pumpkins now sat awaiting their fate by Transgenics armed with carving knives. None of the Transgenics had a clue what to do but Original Cindy demonstrated the techniques needed for carving a good jack-‘o-lantern. She wasn’t particularly good at it but she knew the basics.
Logan would have known; the man knew everything but Alec refused to ask him. Not because Logan would have rebuffed Alec or even asked for anything in return, but Alec would have felt like he owed him. If there was one thing he hated, it was owing that do-gooder anything. Logan’s pumpkins would have probably been carved as intricately as Michelangelo’s ‘David’ and he’d have also whipped up gourmet pumpkin pancakes, pies and muffins out of the innards then topped it off with slow roasting the seeds himself all while saving the world. Alec thought the man would make someone a good – but annoying – wife someday.
Didn’t matter anyhow – Logan had been tied up for days between his place and one of the back rooms trying to rebuild some kind of pre-Pulse supercomputer. He’d barely slept, spoke or ate in days. He was on some kind of deadline but Max and Logan were keeping whatever this ‘Eyes Only’ mission was quiet. Alec didn’t like being left out but Max deflected his questions and Logan barely had time to say hello.
Well – at least it looked liked whatever they had been working on must be wrapping up since Max was gamely willing to waste time carving pumpkins with the group. Alec kept looking around to see if Logan would be joining them as well.
In the meantime, OC had just showed everyone how to cut into the top and scoop out the innards before doing anything else. It was messy, slippery work but they all began enjoying themselves.
Alec, Mole, Max, Gem and several other Transgenics were starting into their first pumpkin. Alec was looking at one of the patterns OC provided and planned to add a couple of snaggly teeth to his jack-'o-lantern. Alec was enjoying himself. For the first time in a long while, he saw the group relaxing together. Several others came over to watch or join in. Alec wondered if this was what family was supposed to feel like.
Alec finally saw Logan rolling into the room towards the group. Clearly it was an off day for Logan if he was in the wheelchair. Alec looked at him closely and could see Logan’s fatigue. The long hours were evident. His eyes were red, his skin looked a tad sallow and his hair was ridiculously messy. Alec hated that Logan still managed to be handsome even while he was exhausted. Hated it even more when he heard Original Cindy whisper to Max about how adorable he looked. Logan was just an Ordinary for god sakes. He had no right to be that good-looking.
Mole had finished his first pumpkin and asked them why they were taking so long after he’d finished his in about three minutes. Of course, his idea of carving a pumpkin was to empty out the guts and carve one giant hole in the front of it. He said his pumpkin was yawning because it was bored just like he was.
Alec guessed he wasn’t too bored because he watched Mole go pick up a second one and bring it back to the table.
Max, Alec, Gem and the others were carving more detailed patterns so they were still working on their first pumpkin as Mole began hacking into his second. He was cutting away at it fast and furiously when Logan rolled by and had warned jokingly, “Whoa, Mole, someone’s going to lose an eye if you’re not careful.”
“Okay, mother,” Mole said, sarcastically and continued his carving. There was pumpkin, pulp, seeds and slime all over the table.
Alec noticed that Logan was indeed collecting the pumpkin innards and scraping it into a large bowl.
“Logan, what are you doing?” Max asked, watching him studiously fill the bowl.
“We shouldn’t waste it. This will make great pumpkin pies or maybe bread. We can roast the seeds – that makes a great snack. I think I might even be able to remember my grandmother’s pumpkin butter recipe.” Logan smiled wistfully as if he were remembering Halloweens past where he spent time with his grandmother in the kitchen.
Alec snorted in laughter. He really knew Logan better than anyone thought he did.
“What are you laughing at, pumpkin head?” Logan said, pointing at Alec’s hair.
Alec reached up to feel a large goop of pumpkin in his hair he hadn’t noticed earlier. He wiped it from his hair and smiled mischievously at Logan.
“No – don’t you dare…” Logan started but stopped as the large glop of pumpkin landed on his face. It mostly covered his glasses.
Logan reached up to wipe the slimy stuff off then pulled his glasses off to clean them.
“Look out!” Mole yelled.
Alec turned to see a carving knife fly past him and right towards Logan’s chest. His training and genetics kicked in as he twisted and leapt to deflect the knife. Alec caught the back tip of the handle and knocked it off course. The knife angled upwards as Logan’s wheelchair was pushed backwards by Alec’s foot catching on the edge of the footrest. Alec twisted and spun to land on his feet several yards away. He heard Logan grunt as he crashed to the floor.
There were a number of people were yelling.
Alec’s heart was pounding. He’d saved Logan’s life but the man must have slammed his head onto the cement floor. He spun around to check on Logan.
That’s when he realized Logan was screaming.
Max was standing over him, almost crying. She was fidgeting nervously over Logan, unable to help because of the virus.
“Boo, look at me,” OC was urging Logan to respond. “Honey, can you hear me?”
Logan was clutching his left eye. Alec could see blood on the floor. He thought the man cracked his head open.
OC pulled Logan’s hand away from his eye. Alec saw blood was pouring out from it. Without another thought, Alec scooped Logan up in his arms and started heading towards the van. “Ice! In a bag!” he yelled to the room in general.
Max turned to run but Alec stopped her. “No! OC – you get it. Can’t risk infection.” Max frowned at him but Alec didn’t have time to placate her. Logan could die if he wasn’t treated promptly.
“Where are you taking him?” Max asked, biting her lip. He knew she hated being unable to help but Alec’s focus was on Logan.
“He needs a hospital.” Alec looked around and yelled, “Someone get me the damn keys to the van – now!”
Alec raced to get Logan to the ER since no ambulance would service Terminal City. Of all of them, Logan was probably the only that still had access to the finest medical care Seattle could provide. Alec was going to get him there in time in the hopes they could do something.
He waited a damned long time, but a doctor finally came to tell him his ‘brother’ would live but would probably lose the sight in that eye. Logan also had a concussion, but at least there were no neck or additional spinal injuries. The doctor allowed him in to see Logan for a few minutes but Logan was fast asleep, still recovering from surgery.
Alec hated being the one to go back to tell everyone. More than that, he hated leaving Logan alone.
For two days, Logan hadn’t said much other than, “I’m fine, I just need to be alone for a bit.”
His left eye was completely covered in bandages. The blade had cut a chunk out of the cornea and Logan would never see out of it again.
Nothing they could do could cheer him up. Flowers had been sent, cards dropped off and visitors had been overly attentive and caring, including Alec who had come for every visiting hour there was. Logan barely acknowledged any of them. No one could get through to him.
Mole had even stopped by to apologize which should have been an omen of the coming apocalypse. Alec had stayed with Mole to make sure he observed the nicety that was expected in civilization. Alec watched as Logan acknowledged he ‘understood’ that Mole had lost control of the knife because his hands and the handle were slippery. And Logan ‘knew’ it had been an accident and there was nothing to ‘forgive’ though he accepted Mole’s apology graciously. Alec knew it was good breeding more than true acceptance on Logan’s part that enabled him to be so courteous.
Logan was polite enough to all of them but Alec could tell he was tired of their platitudes, their pity and their presence. The only person Logan spoke to for any length of time was Sam Carr, who was overseeing his treatment now that the specialist was done.
On the third day of his stay, Logan was ready to be released. Alec, Max and OC went to get him. While Max and OC were parking the van, Alec went on towards Logan’s room with a bag of clean clothes for Logan to change into. He just turned the corner to see Dr. Carr go into Logan’s room.
Alec overheard him give Logan some last minute instructions. After he finished giving Logan a bag of medications, Dr. Carr added, “Logan, I think it’s time. You’ve given them enough, haven’t you? One of these days they’re going to get you killed.” Carr sounded very concerned. “Maybe you should leave Seattle for a while. I have friends in New England I think you would like.”
Alec crossed his fingers and waited for the defiant Logan Cale he knew so well to refuse to give up. Alec’s heart sunk when he heard Logan respond softly, “Yeah, maybe you’re right. They don’t need me anymore. I just get in the way.” He sounded defeated.
Alec wanted to shout, “I need you! Max needs you!” The thought scared him. Alec had never needed anyone but he’d just had a sudden epiphany that he needed Logan in his life. Logan had stood by him after everything – even after Alec given him the virus that still kept Max and he apart. Alec had never met someone who could be that loyal and it meant something to him.
Alec realized Logan really had lost so much just by standing by them, just by trying to do the right thing. He knew he was being selfish but he wasn’t ready to let Logan leave them all. He also realized that how they had been acting wasn’t going to keep Logan near them. Logan needed friends not caretakers.
He took a deep breath before entering Logan’s room after Dr. Carr left. “Hey, Logan, ready to bust out of here?” Alec threw the bag at him. Logan tried to catch it but missed.
"Whoops – sorry. Forgot about the new depth perception issue,” Alec said with a wide grin.
Logan glared at him with his good eye but turned to open the bag. He began to remove his hospital gown. He finally realized Alec was still watching him.
“Hey, a little privacy, if you don’t mind.”
“Sure.” Alec stood and pulled the curtain closed around the bed and sat back down.
“I mean you too, Alec,” Logan said.
Alec moved to Logan’s side. “Just thought you might need help matching your shirt and pants.” He pointed to the hideously ugly striped shirt and plaid pants Logan just pulled out. Alec had tucked them in the bag as a joke.
“I’m not color blind,” Logan said. Alec swore there was a hint of amusement lacing his voice as he looked at the horrible clothes.
Alec reached in and pulled out a pair of jeans and handed them to Logan. “No – just blind-blind,” Alec replied firmly.
“Only in one eye,” Logan said, grabbing the garment from Alec angrily. “I’m not helpless.”
“I’m glad you realize that,” Alec answered before stepping outside of the curtain.
“And I can still see you’re an ass,” Logan yelled out.
“Why yes, I do have a fine ass. Thanks for noticing,” Alec replied back. “Oh, hi Max," Alec pretended she had just walked in. "Sorry – don’t be jealous that your boyfriend is eyeing my ass.”
“I’m not looking at Alec’s ass!” Logan shouted.
“Aw – you don’t have to deny it,” Alec said. “I’m sure Max won’t care.”
“Care about what?” Max said as she really walked into the room with a nurse and a wheelchair beside her.
“Nothing!” Both Alec and Logan said at the same time.
Logan stepped out from behind the curtain, his bag packed. He saw the wheelchair waiting. He grimaced.
“I can actually walk today and I have to sit in that?” Logan asked, disgustedly.
The nurse smiled sweetly. “Just to the front doors – then you can crawl away as far as I’m concerned.” Alec thought she must hear complaints every day and didn’t have much patience for them.
Logan reluctantly sat down and Alec thought he could actually see Logan’s mood turning downwards again at the reminder of what he’d lost.
The nurse left them in the parking lot as promised and OC brought the van around. Alec was helping Logan into it as Max crawled into the passenger seat.
“I guess we have to call you ‘Eye Only’ now.” Alec said, as he sat down next to Logan in the back.
“ALEC!!” Max shrieked. She and OC turned and stared at Alec, aghast. Logan lightly backhanded him in the chest.
“What - too soon?” Alec asked innocently, fluttering his eyelashes at Logan.
Logan actually laughed.