Categories > TV > Dark Angel > Flower Child

Chapter 1

by AmandaK 1 Reviews

Alec experiences moments of temporary insanity. Are his genetics finally catching up with him and is he doomed to follow in Ben's footsteps? Or is something else the matter? Dr. Carr has his suspic...

Category: Dark Angel - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Angst - Characters: Alec, Joshua, Max - Published: 2006/02/18 - Updated: 2006/02/18 - 1795 words

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FLOWER CHILD

Summer finally arrived in Seattle in a string of long, warm days with little rain. A truce was reached with the Seattle authorities; running water was no longer an unattainable luxury for the transgenic enclave, and the fledgling Art Mall started to bring in some much-needed cash. Yes, life in Terminal City was about as good as it was going to get, Alec thought.

Joshua had been churning out paintings faster than Rita could sell them. She warned they should refrain from putting them up for sale as soon as the paint was dry, or they'd risk inundating the market. Fortunately, with the weather growing warm and gentle, the big guy had discovered another talent, one that took him away from his painting enough to slow the flood of numbered Joshuas to a trickle. But now Rita had suggested they enter a couple of paintings in an exhibition of new artists in San Francisco.

"Here, boy." Alec pushed the door at the top of the stairwell open and stepped outside onto the roof garden. Instantly, perspiration broke out on his brow. It was hot up here with the sun's glare reflecting off of the black tar roof. He wiped his face with the back of his hand and glanced around.

Some of the transhumans had started the garden on the roof of one of the laboratories, where the morning sun inundated the surface with its warm rays and the taller building next to it offered protection from the strong sea winds. They cultivated herbs and spices, tomatoes trained up on strings, onions, even sowed a few pumpkin seeds. Their efforts had greatly improved the communal kitchen's fare. Joshua seemed to enjoy the calm and solitude, and often spent his mornings among the seedlings, pruning, watering, repotting.

Which is why Alec hoped to find him on the rooftop so they could discuss Rita's suggestion.

He did not often go up here--greenery wasn't his thing--but Alec had to admit: the transhumans had worked wonders. Wood crates and earthen pots filled with fertile earth stood in long, neat rows. Many of the plants were in bloom and the scent of flowers hung heavy in the warm, still air.

Alec found Joshua at the end of the second row, his fingers dug deep in black soil, gently prodding the roots of a shrub into place.

"Josh." Alec blinked. The scents were starting to make him feel dizzy. He sucked in air, hoping that fresh oxygen would clear his brain

Joshua glanced over his shoulder. "Hello, Alec." A wide grin broke on his face. "Come to see the garden? Logan brought some new herbs. Thyme, rosemary--" he pointed at the plant he had just finished settling into the dirt, "--field balm. Good for fevers."

"Uh, sure. Whatever you say, dogboy." Alec tried to remember why he had come up here in the first place--something to do with Joshua's paintings--but the sweet aromas assaulting his nostrils and the glare of the summer sun made it hard to think.

Joshua pushed himself to his feet, towering over the smaller X5. Alec looked up at his friend. He smelled of freshly churned earth and mint; it reminded Alec of wide open, green meadows. Why does that make me wanna--

The next thing he knew, he had his arms wrapped around Joshua's torso and was chafing his cheek against the taller man. The cotton T-shirt rasped softly under his beard stubble.

"Uh, Alec?"

"Yeah, buddy?" Alec replied absently. God, I feel great. Better than he could remember having felt at any time in his life before. Ever. His eyes drifted shut involuntarily.

Hands as powerful as steel clamps wrapped around his biceps and pried him off that warm chest, rudely interrupting Alec's ecstasy. Alec whimpered in disappointment, wriggling to be let loose. Joshua held him firmly at arm's length. Though his fingers were digging into Alec's flesh until it bruised, he was strong enough to hold the squirming transgenic.

Joshua's brows were drawn down. "Alec okay?"

Alec gave a faint laugh. "Hey big guy, I'm always all right, you know that. In fact, I never been better." /But I really want--need to... /He struggled to free himself. "You smell nice." His skin was itching and he cocked his head, stretching his neck, managing to extend it far enough to brush his jaw against the back of Joshua's hand. "C'mon Josh. Let me go."

"No. Alec not all right."

"Am too!"

"We must see Max. She can help."

Max? Suddenly Alec's mind kicked back into gear. Panic surged his veins and ripped away the veil of bliss, making him see clearly. "What? No!"

He shoved at Joshua. The dog man, who had been striving to keep his friend away from him, wasn't prepared for this sudden change in direction and Alec tore himself free. He stumbled back. His heart was thudding in his throat and he was feeling faint again. What the hell...?

"Josh," he gasped. Despite the heat, he felt cold to the tips of his toes. Had he really just been rubbing himself all over his tall friend? What insanity was this? He found himself trembling. He had taken his daily dose of tryptophan last night--hadn't he? "This... this never happened. I was never here."

Joshua looked more confused. "Alec? You are here."

"No!" Alec shouted, frightening even himself with his vehemence. He forced himself to lower his voice, tried to stay calm. "It. Never. Happened. You hear? Never. You can't tell anyone. Least of all Max. Understand?" Max would kick his ass if she ever found out.

Joshua shrugged. "All right." He was never one to ponder long on things he could not understand, like the sometimes odd behavior of his X5 friend.

The reason for his visit to the roof garden forgotten, Alec's single desire was to get as far away from Joshua as possible. He fled, tumbling down the stairwell into the street, where he stalked out of Terminal City in search of the nearest bar. There wasn't enough Scotch in the world to drown the memories of what just happened, to make him forget, but he was certainly going to do his damnedest to try.

o0o

True to his word, Joshua never mentioned the episode again. And as the days passed Alec managed to convince himself the memory was nothing but a distant nightmare suffered a long time ago, something not worthy of his time. Life in Terminal City brought enough real problems that required his attention.

"Where's Max?" he asked one morning after he entered the command room and found she was not there.

Dix glanced up from the monitors. "Her place, I assume," he said. "She has a meeting in an hour. Why?"

"We need to get the license for the Art Mall's coffee shop on the agenda," Alec said. "The city's trying to shut Gem down."

Dix chortled dryly. "I suppose they didn't like the four stars they awarded her for her coffee and bagels in the Spectator last week."

"Yeah. Can't have the trannies outdo ordinaries in the caffeine business," Alec commented with a scowl. "If you see Mole, tell him I want to talk to him later. I'm going to see Max."

Though she spent most of her time outside Terminal City, at Logan's new digs, or in hours-long negotiations with Seattle's city council representatives, Max had taken up residence in an office building three blocks down from the command center. Hooked up to the electricity grid as well as the water pipes, she had turned the run-down office into a place truly her own. Alec figured she'd need such a refuge sometimes, when the pressures of running a community of Manticore refugees in a hostile world became too much. He looked around, whistling in appreciation. A comfortable-looking, though battered sofa took up the center of the room, a dark blue coverlet hiding the worst of the tattered upholstery. A small table and three mismatched chairs stood in the far corner and shaded lamps around the room would provide illumination on cold, dark winter nights. There was even a plant on the table, with small white and purple flowers.

Max caught his eye. "Joshua gave me that," she commented with a shrug. She tore off a leaf and rubbed it between her thumb and index finger. It gave up a faint minty scent. "He says the aroma should be soothing."

"Right." With an effort, Alec pulled his gaze back to Max.

"Was there anything you want?"

Was there? He attempted to recall why he had come.

"Alec?" She was growing impatient, he could tell from her tone. "I have a meeting with the city I need to prepare for," she added. "So, unless you've got something urgent to discuss..."

She was a most amazing woman when annoyed, Alec decided. And today she looked particularly gorgeous. Those dark eyes, full mouth... Unaware of what he was doing, he licked his lips. He wished he--

Without further thought, he pounced. A single leap took him across the few feet that separated him from Max, the momentum taking them to the sofa in a tangle of arms and legs. Max lay pinned beneath him, for an instant stunned into immobility. She felt wonderful, her breasts soft and yielding beneath his cheek.

"Alec, what the fuck--" She writhed beneath him but his greater weight held her down. His hands roamed over her, touching the satiny skin of her arms, fingers running through hair that felt like silk until she managed to wriggle a knee between them. Before Alec knew what happened, he was sailing through the air and landed against the brick wall with such force that his breath was driven from his lungs. He stared at her in dismay.

Max had hopped back to her feet as soon as she could. She stood tense, ready to defend herself. "What the hell do you think you're doing?" she hissed. Her eyes were large, dark, filled with shock and anger--and fear?

Revulsion chilled Alec's blood, terror turning it to ice in his veins. Had he just done what he swore to himself he never would do, that day Manticore gave the X5 soldiers orders to breed with their own? Had he tried to force himself onto a woman? Onto /Max? /What was wrong with him?

"Max, I'm sorry." It came out as a strangled croak, self-loathing squeezing his throat tight. "I'm /so /sorry." He bolted from the room, away from her, not wanting to give her the chance to voice her opinion. He barreled along the street, past an open-mouthed Mole, and kept running straight out Terminal City's front gate, ignoring the shouts of the policemen on guard.

TBC
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