Malicious love lingers
Dark Angel fic
Rating: MA 15+
There's no love here, people. Just violence and death.
Three years, three years he had watched as she fell deeper into her psychotic state, three years of hearing her name chanted by gullible freaks.
Three years of her beauty fading, marred by the scars she made. Alec hadn't realised how old she had made him. Each day had the weight of a lifetime attached to it.
And her maddness was infectious, or else why would they, those poor freakish fools be doing this? His nights and days were punctured by the endless chants of
"Saint Max! Saint Max! Our Lady!" Second verse, same as the first, and it had drilled its way into his brain.
The amount of time he had spent screaming at the walls in frustration was too much for him to count anymore. And all he did was watch her, her fine hair tangled with dirt, her teeth broken into snarling fangs, and those feather fine scars slinking their way across her naked body. She hasn't dressed for months now, and her once sleek, glorious form is ill kempt, filth encrusted. Her bones jut out underneath the fragile cage of her skin. Alec had not yet learnt to stop shuddering when she walked past, oblivious of his presence.
It was clear to him what had gone wrong, in a clinical sense. Who would have thought that prolonged exposure to toxic chemicals would effect even a genetically revved up girl? Who could have guessed? He laughed a little to himself, but he knew that it was just staving off the hysteria he felt welling in his brain. Alec had spent far too much time away from TC to be truly affected, but he had become paranoid about his mental state. He didn't want to be poor mad Max, or her crazed acolytes, the rest of the Manticore subjets.
He didn't want to be the one howling at the moon, clawing at his throat, running around screaming for his mother. Not for him, not now, and not ever.
He cursed himself every day that he was too afraid to abandon these sorry freaks, his people to their fate.
When Logan cautiously contacted him, Alec remembered what it meant to speak to someone in full control of their mind. He didn't have to pitch his voice in that low soothing tone. He didn't have to keep a watch out for sudden jerky body moves that could end in pain for him.
He almost wept with relief.
"Alec...what has she done?" Asked Logan, his voice strained with emotion.
"I can't even describe it, man. But what the hell do you care? You stopped coming around a long time ago." Alec tried to muster up the appropriate enraged tone, but it didn't seem fair. Why on earth would Logan spend time with an insane husk of his lover? Alec was bound to this place by boon of blood and genetics, but Logan wasn't. It wasn't the first time Alec had wished he was just human, but it hurt more than usual.
"You're right to be mad, Alec. I'll understand if you don't take my...help. It's just..." Logan trailed off and Alec watched him swallow convulsivly.
"I know." Said Alec, and he did. Logan was an intelligent man, and he had seen Max's gradual fall. And, like a sensible non-super person, he had left. Alec wished he had the same luxury.
"If I can help you, Alec, then I'd like to...and I think you should leave, leave Terminal City. You'll become...become like them. Like her." Logan couldn't even say Max's name, and Alec understood that too. It burnt him inside every time he remembered the woman she had been, before this.
"Thank you...and you can help. But I can't leave, not yet." Alec cursed himself, but it was true. He couldn't leave them, not when even the tiniest little part of him thought he could save them.
Alec grinned sadly, as Logan nodded his assent and left.
"Damn me, and my hope." Alec whispered, and then he fevently wished that he hadn't seen the ceiling melt a little as he left the room. The descent into the underwold of insanity was slippery, and wily. But he would not be trapped, not if he had anything to do with it. And he found himself hoping he still did.
The first time he saw Max kill with her bare hands Alec was frozen to the spot by the smell, the heat of the red, rich substance streaming onto her. The blood poured down her grimy arms, splashing her euphoric face, her beaten breasts, and Joshua lay under her feet, eyes glaring open in accusation. She danced and whirled in estatic motions, and Joshua took his last gasping, spluttering breaths. His exposed heart fluttered, then stilled, and Alec heard a low gutteral moan that he couldn't even begin to connect with himself. As she made to take the body, mutilate it further, Alec moved faster than he had ever before.
"NO!" He howled, and grabbed the body from Max's reaching, bloodied hands. She drew back, like a chastied child, and pouted. The group of assorted X's moved to enclose him, but he fought his way out, and ran, unheeding of the screams and calls that followed him. Alec didn't notice the tears that fell from his eyes.
The body was heavy, and when he stopped to gather his bearings, Alec couldn't stop touching the side of Josuha's face. He died snarling, and now poor gentle Josuha has a deathmask of hate. It was that that hurt Alec the most of all.
Alec looked moodily at the plain white headstone, engraved with one simple name, as Logan lit another cigarette. Both men waited in the painful silence, full of agony that could not be put into words.
"It will get worse, Alec." Logan said finally, and whilst his eyes were tracing the thick black letters imprinted into the stone, his face shuttered from sharing emotion, Alec could read Logan like a book. He knew where this conversation was headed. He found himself wishing that he didn't agree.
"How will we stop her, Logan?" But even as he said it, he saw the answer in the tense motion of Logan's hands, the way he clenched his teeth against saying the actual words.
"You know it as well as I do, Alec. I don't...I don't know if I can even give the foul idea a name." Logan said bitterly, and Alec forgave him the three years of absence. He had never loved Max the way Logan had. She was his sister, his friend, his saviour in a way. But she had been Logan's love. And it was eating the other man up.
"It's OK, Logan. It's OK. I will...I will put her down." He felt the tears begin again, unbidden, but he smiled. He hadn't realised that he had loved Max enough to agree to save her from herself. He hadn't known he could kill her.
He wondered what it would take to push him off the same edge she had fallen, and if it would be this, this betrayal, this act of love that did it.
Logan did not answer, and Alec saw him weeping silently.
He forgave Logan that, too.
Max was cold under his fingertips. The knife had sunk so very easily in between her bird like bones, and the blood that rushed out to christen him smelled like sacred things. She opened her luminous eyes one last time, as he brought the knife up against her throat, and as the blade bit deep, she burbled out a word.
It sounded like 'peace'.