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Dark Angel ReverseBang: Alright
dark angel, Normal

Title: Alright
Artist: tattooeddevil
Genre: Gen
Wordcount: 3280
Summary: Contrary to what he says, Alec is not always alright. And sometimes he needs a bit help.
Notes: Thank you to tattooeddevil for the prompt idea and banner and ladyarcherfan3 for her fast Beta skills ;)
Alternative link: AO3 | FFnet

Dark Angel Reverse bang 1 - Alright
[Click for fic]
Alec wondered for a moment how he ended up as the second in command of Terminal City.

X5's were designed for versatility and leadership, but they still had certain differences that made them better in one field or another. His own special talents included assassination and intelligence work. Yet, even if they knew exactly who and what he was, for some reason people tended to underestimate him. Even Max was guilty of it, and to a certain extent he was even glad for that.

Unlike Max and her unit, he had been trained to work alone, or at most with a single partner. To suddenly have such a responsibility over a few hundred people was both strange and new. But now that he had that responsibility he would do the best work he could.

They had a diverse crowd in Terminal City: Transhumans to Anomalies to Transgenics; from IT Series to a small hive of X7's, from Joshua as the first to newborns. And they needed to make TC habitable for all of them. Luckily they had enough people to do the necessary work, even with Alec's to do list being so long. At least the diverse list gave enough choices that everybody could chose an assignment they would be relatively happy with.

At the same time, it gave him the opportunity to speak with all of the denizens of TC, and also check for any special dietary or habitual needs. It was a welcome and needed information. They had a number of people who preferred to dwell underground, who were also perfect for securing the underground tunnels and their access to water. They also had a few who had been designed for different climates, so both the heat and the cold and correct storage temperatures for any perishables had to be done.

And then there was the question that nobody was willing to ask: What to do about the first inhabitants of TC? When the transgenics came to Terminal City it had already been inhabited. The people who lived there had no other choice, and not everyone had gone in light of the new people invading their territory. There were only a handful of regular humans but transgenics still had to address and answer the question. It was a problem of moral superiority: They couldn't send these people out and tell the other side they had a right to stay.

Alec sighed. He wanted to shove the problem over to Max. But no, she had her own stack of work. Max was the official leader of their group, the de-facto face of the denizens of TC for the normal people outside. She was entrenched in politics. His natural cynicism didn't believe that it would bring them anything, but the pragmatist in him made precautions just in case.

He made the short trip to Central and gave his plans and data to Yibiao, the IT Series that worked there. She wasn't a battle processor like Brain and with her short 4 foot 8 really harmless looking but like all others of their series it wasn't a good idea to judge according to her looks.

"How is the other plan going?" Alec knew that Max was doing the diplomatic thing and it had helped in some ways. Anyone who wanted to come to Terminal City wasn't stopped anymore and they were still coming. For the ones that had survived the fall of Manticore, either by vanishing or by being on a mission at that time, TC was the Promised Land. There were a few that stayed outside and worked regular jobs, both to get funds to keep TC running and keep an eye on the situation from outside. There were even a few groups and churches that were on their side and they provided food and a few other necessities.

There were still protestors out there but not as many as before, the standstill proving to be too boring for most.

Alec still planned for the worst as well as for them to be as independent of the rest of Seattle as possible. They didn't just need their electricity and water secured, they needed to produce as much food as they could themselves, places for the people to live, communal rooms like a kitchen and a functioning med bay, a safe area for the children. And then they needed to organize the people who cooked their meals and staffed the canteen, and somebody who looked after the children, people to guard TC both underground and above ground, people to look around for anything they could scavenge, and finally people to keep all of the equipment working and running.

And all of this planning fell to him.

Alec had sat down with Max to sort their responsibilities. Max was their face, their spokesperson. She was the one who had the most experience with normal humans, who had lived amongst them for years. She did the political part, the schmoozing with all the normal people who preferred them dead. Alec did the day to day part, the organization of TC and the procurement of resources. It was a natural talent he had, and one that Max was only too willing to acknowledge and use for their benefit.

It was also a good thing because not every Transgenic, Transhuman or Anomaly was willing to follow a '09ner, somebody who never even had the full experience at Manticore and hadn't seen how bad it really could get. The training Max had gone through had been nothing compared to later.

Yibiao showed him the picture of Terminal City on the computer and what they needed to change and which buildings could be converted to what. His plan was doable and he had the people he needed to do the work. He called Mole so the other man could look over the plan. Mole organized their guards to check all of it over from the security perspective, which was always a good idea.

Original Cindy came from her visit with Joshua and saw Alec sitting in their makeshift canteen, reading something or the other he needed to read. He looked... done. Tired.

She didn't really have any idea how much work was needed to run a place like Terminal City but she could guess. X-5 or not, it was a wonder he hadn't keeled over from lack of sleep and exhaustion.

She sat on his table and waited for him to register her presence.
Seven seconds later he looked up. Seven seconds. She didn't even want to know how long it had been since he had slept.

"Do you need something? You were at Joshua's, weren't you?"

She ignored him, just inspected him. "How are you feeling, Alec?"

And there it was, the half smile that she had expected. "I'm alright."

Sure, he was alright. The only thing that kept him up and working was sheer stubbornness and the fear that he did something wrong. How could she forget, Alec was always "alright".

She took some of the nearest papers and scanned them. "You want to have an indoor area for livestock. And insects?" The chickens, sure, they were good for meat and for eggs, but what did he want with insects?

"Insects are high in protein, we can produce them fast, easy and cheap on our own and they are more resistent to the toxic levels of Terminal City. We can think about bigger livestock when we know we are staying here and managed to bring the levels down."

OC knew that it was just a cultural thing that let her shudder at the idea, but from a logical perspective it was a good choice.

She read the rest of the papers in her hand. Vegetables, fruits, herbs, flowers and bees, with estimations how much space they needed and how many people would work there. He was trying to build up a working commune. It certainly explained why he was so tired.

It was time that he got a break, but Original Cindy was sure that he wouldn't do that if she just asked him nicely.

"Original Cindy sees you forgot an important point, one that really can't wait longer."

His unfocussed green eyes showed traces of panic. "I forgot something?"

She smiled to bring him down a bit. "You can do it now, its fine. Original Cindy will help you through it." She grabbed his papers in one hand and his arm in another. "Let's just bring your things to Central for the time, Pretty Boy. You won’t need them till tomorrow.”

Central was always busy and open as was necessary in their situation. Dix and Yibiao were the only ones still there, both preferring the silence and solitude of night shift.

Original Cindy let Alec stand at the door, trying to remember anything he could have forgotten. He was stumped.

OC brought the papers to Dix. "Pretty boy needs some rest and sleep. If he get's out, don't give him his papers till tomorrow."

Dix smiled and saw back to his Commander. Now that he was looking for it he could see that Alec needed a break. The anomaly took what the ordinary offered and nodded.

Cindy took in the vision of the small woman she didn't know and let out a flirty smile, enjoying the fact that it was reciprocated. Sadly she didn't have the time at the moment, she reminded herself that she would see her again. Hell, she would make sure she saw her again.

If she had the ability of a transgenic she would have heard the IT series asking Dix after the other woman.

It was harder to get Alec up in his dwelling then she had expected. She had been aware that she wouldn't manage to get him to her home or his place outside of Terminal City, not in his current condition, but he had a room here where he could sleep. They still needed to rebuild more rooms for everybody but with his rank Alec already had one. It was one of the smaller rooms, nothing more than a former single office, but it was his alone.

He looked a bit out of it when he saw his TC room with a mattress and the few things he kept there, such as extra clothes and a few odds and ends.

He made a mental addition to his notes to plan for a communal laundry.

OC broke his concentration. "You didn't plan time for yourself to sleep."

That was it? Just for that she had taken his work away from him? "I have work to do, OC. I don't really have the time... I can't fuck this up."

She nodded. "Sure. And you won't, Pretty Boy. Just one break, that's all."

She manhandled him out of his shirt and pushed him face down on his bed. "You don't have a tub so this will have to do. You are lucky, Original Cindy normally doesn't do that for guys." She began massaging him, felt for all the hard knots in his shoulders. His sigh went from slightly pained to relaxing, his body went limp.

"Being surrounded by all these pretty have you already found somebody? Or are you and Max still pretending?" That was something Max hadn't really talked about.

"I don't know about Max, but I don't want something as complicated as a relationship. Which doesn't mean that there isn't somebody I have an arrangement with."

Interesting. "Somebody I know?"

"Kinley. Perhaps you’ve seen her: Guard duty, long red hair, really white skin?"

Oh yeah, she had seen her, she looked like a dream and had this sexy smoky voice. Not an X series but looked mostly human with an ethereal quality to her. OC would have tapped that, no question. Alec may be the wrong gender but he had taste.

"Tell me about the woman we just saw in Central. What's her name?"

Alec was surrounded in the bliss of a really great massage, it took him a while to sort his memory enough to know who she was talking about. "Yibiao, and I expect a blow by blow account if you get together with her."

OC laughed and pushed a bit harder in his shoulders then she had to. He didn't react to it, he was already deeply asleep.

It had been a long time ago since she woke up to find a man in her bed, not since she had been younger and experimented. This was nothing like that; this was two friends who were just too tired and cuddled together in their sleep. It had been warm and comfortable. OC wondered for a second when Alec felt that last, if he ever even had it.

When he started to talk it didn't surprise her that he knew she was awake.

Alec cuddled against the body next to him and sighed. He was still half asleep and didn't want to leave his comfortable cocoon of warmth and the feeling and smell of soft female around him.

His memory came back, OC tricking him back to his room and falling asleep during his massage.

He had to admit that he hadn't felt that good for a while, and never since working in TC. But then, he didn't really have a lot of breaks. OC’s breathing made clear that she was awake but resting, enjoying this little moment the same way he did.

"Thank you."

"You’re welcome."

He shifted around so he could see her face. "What do you think of the commune idea?" He trusted her to tell him if she thought it stupid or had other arguments against it. She was an honest person and wouldn't lie to his face just to make him feel better. It was one of the things he liked about her.

"I like it. I get why you want to do that." It was not that unusual, not after The Pulse. Sure, it was not common in the middle of Seattle, but it wasn't as if the city was really all that interested in Terminal City.

"There is actually something you can help me with."

Alec looked up to see Max coming in and they both sat at the table. They needed these meetings to inform each other of any new happenings. Yes, he was officially the second in command, but Terminal City was his job and Max knew better than to question his decisions. And he knew better than to get involved in the political part of this. They asked each other for specifics they were interested in, but they both had a general outline they were following. This wasn't the classical military hierarchy they were used to anymore; they trusted each other to work on their goal. Both of them hadn't wanted the job they finally got and perhaps that was even a good thing. It certainly made sure that both of them weren't in this for the power play but to help their people.

She talked about the political work she was doing, managing to bring more attention to them, making international players watch the happenings. The States weren't in a good position to ignore the nations who still helped the struggling economy since The Pulse. They couldn't allow themselves to just order soldiers to go in and try to slaughter people they had not only created, but who went out of their way to prevent violence, who had children and babies with them. What happened with Terminal City was closely watched and they didn't want to end up as the bad guys. At the same time, all these transgenics and transhumans (or to use the PC term: Manticorians) were the results of so much time and research, they couldn't allow some other country to offer them to come there and have a nice life. All the valuable knowledge and military strength would go to somebody else for free.

From a political standpoint the best thing to do was to agree on co-existing and they were aware of that. There was a debate in Washington about declaring Terminal City an U.S. insular area comparable to Puerto Rico.

Hearing all that, Alec was happy that Max was the one who had to do that part; he preferred the work he did by far. He still had to admit that Maxie’s schmoozing had another great effect: with the current political climate the Conclave had called White off. Alec would have paid money to be a fly on the wall for that order; he could just imagine White's angry face.

Since Max was aware of the general plan for Terminal City he just updated her on the timetables of the various projects. Alec had to admit that when it came to building everything up, having a group of people as physically capable and trained to do their work as the Manticorians was very helpful. The sheer number of people and talent had guaranteed that all needed work would be done and done well.

Alec looked down at the X-4 who had taken over med bay, listening to his explanations what they had and what was needed.

They had already gotten all the material Dr. Carr could get them as well as some contacts with medical suppliers. They still had births and newborns at the moment and Alec wanted them to be as prepared as they could. They never knew when they would need it.

Alec was aware that he had a few minutes of freedom, and went to the place currently assigned to child care. Joshua would be there and he hadn't seen the other man for awhile. It was time to check on his friend and resident artist.
The information that the talented art newcomer Joshua was one of the transhumans meant a run on his pictures. The art world didn't care how the artist looked but he represented an interesting story and he was able to speak to them in a medium they understood. When Joshua wasn't painting he was one of the people looking after the babies and it fit his gentle nature. Alec could picture Joshua surrounded by toddlers and painting with them.

Before his little breakdown he would have never allowed himself this little break, knowing how much he still had to do. So yeah, sleeping was something that was really needed, and he was thankful to OC for doing what she did.

Original Cindy looked up when she heard somebody enter. Alec looked a lot more relaxed then before and she congratulated herself on a job well done. She stood up carefully and stepped around the sleeping puppy pile of Joshua and babies on the various pillows. She saw that at least somebody was awake and took in the nod of the other adult anomaly currently in the room.

Alec smiled at the picture in front of him and greeted her with a small nod.

"How do you feel about doing what we talked about?

She remembered what he meant. "Offering the resident ordinaries an integrated life in the commune of Terminal City as long as they live and work by the same rules? You want to do that now?” He nodded.

Of course this discussion would be easier when these humans saw that they had contact with other ordinaries. It would not only answer the problem with the former residents, it would also make these Manticorians who weren't used to ordinary humans more familiar with them. One step at a time.

Walking next to him OC looked over to Alec. "How do you feel?"

This time the smile was wider than before. "I'm alright."

Unlike the last time, she believed him.

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This is great. I like how we see the organizational details that go into the community building and even things like what to do about the humans who live there, etc.

This is really awesome. I liked the world you created with all the background details of TC. It's so hard to find good DA fic and this is definitely one of the rare few. You write Alec's voice so well and I love OC's characterization in this piece too. Please keep writing DA. I love it.

Thanks. And yes, I will revisit Dark Angel from time to time to play a bit

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