Space They Cannot Touch (CC, M/L, Mature) AN 21st Jan [WIP]

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Space They Cannot Touch (CC, M/L, Mature) AN 21st Jan [WIP]

Post by Rowedog » Sat Apr 07, 2007 11:29 pm

Title: Space They Cannot Touch

Author: Moi. Alison or Rowedog, whichever you prefer.

Rating: Mature

Genre: M/L, I’m beginning to get a bit predictable…

Summary: Liz ran away after Destiny leaving a broken and emotionally closed off Max behind her. Years later, she is on the run fleeing for her life, but from what? And does Liz have a secret that forced her to flee into the night that wasn't related to the aliens? And who is the little girl she's protecting?

Disclaimer: I do not own the characters of Roswell. I am only borrowing them. I also don’t own the song “Space They Cannot Touch” by Kate Miller-Heidke from which I filched the title’s name from. I don’t own “Grace” by Kate Havnevik (I think that’s how you spell it…) and I won’t own any of the songs that will precede the chapters to come.

A/N: This is my first attempt at CC. That’s right, I’m stepping out of my comfortable little hidey hole at AU With Out Aliens. Hopefully, the characters as I see them are believable and fit your view of them too. It’s very intimidating posting here. There’s just so many great authors and fics in here.
I’ve had this idea in my head since I went to Italy in December-January and I came across my writing pad from the trip the other week and this fic was in it, so I reread what I had and now I’m re-obsessed with it.
For those of you who have read/are reading my two other fics, this will be very different. There’s very little fluff and definitely not in the early sections. This is mainly angst, but hopefully not too heavy. You have been warned. Oh, and swearing too. Max gets a little upset...
Please tell me what you think. This chapter will raise more questions than it answers, but hopefully you’ll stick with me.
Thankyou to my beta Steph (thetvgeneral) for putting up with my ramblings on both fics that she is beta’ing for me and for convincing me to post this. I sent her a “brief” synopsis of this fic which was a tad on the long side, poor girl. What can I say? I like little details.
***

Space They Cannot Touch

***

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Wonderful Banner by Behrsgirl77
Thanks Tanya!

***

I'm on my knees
only memories
are left for me to hold

Dont know how
but I’ll get by
Slowly pull myself together

There’s no escape
So keep me safe
This feels so unreal

Nothing comes easily
Fill this empty space
Nothing is like it seems
Turn my grief to grace

I feel the cold
Loneliness unfold
Like from another world

Come what may
I wont fade away
But I know I might change

Nothing comes easily
Fill this empty space
Nothing is like it was
Turn my grief to grace

Nothing comes easily
Where do I begin?
Nothing can bring me peace
I’ve lost everything
I just want to feel your embrace

*Grace by Kate Havnevik*


***

Prologue

***
~March 30th 2004~
~12:34 am~


Liz scrubbed at the tears gathering on her cheeks and reprimanded herself silently. There wasn’t time for her to breakdown. She needed to keep them alive, to keep them moving. Their survival depended on her keeping a level of togetherness that she didn’t possess.

She hadn’t slept in a week. She hadn’t been able to. The fear kept her going. It couldn’t let her stop. Couldn’t let her deal with her grief. For the first time since this whole mess had started, she was thankful for the all consuming terror. It made forgetting her pain all too easy. Liz knew that if she stopped to think about it, she’d crumble under the weight of her sorrow.

Liz glanced into the back of her battered, but still functional, car to reassure herself that everything was ok. She smiled tensely, her heart clenching painfully at sight of the tiny girl sleeping fitfully across the back seat. She was so young… so pure… too young to be forced to live through something like this. Liz’s gaze flicked back to the road and then back to the girl. Her face, her hair, even some of her facial expressions… she reminded her so much of… Liz’s eyes blurred again as she shut herself of from that train of thought. The pain was too raw… too much. She had to keep going.

The girl tossed in her sleep and Liz bit back the urge to scream in rage and helplessness. She knew that she was suffering another nightmare. Ever since she’d been able to communicate she’d been having them. Liz’s mind railed at the unfairness of it all. Children should be given a chance to be children, to grow up free from fear. Glancing at the tossing head of the precious girl behind her, Liz knew that she would never have that. Even if they somehow escaped and settled down free from all they’d been running from these past couple of years, she’d never have these moments back. She’d always suffer the memory of her lost childhood. She’d always remember what it was like to fear for your life. She’d always suffer the loss of…

Liz turned her mind away from that thought once again and pulled into a cruddy little pay by the hour motel. She remembered when she thought that Michael and Maria had booked a motel room for themselves on the road to Marathon, Texas. Things had been so different then. She had been so different then. Liz glanced around in the darkness and futilely tried to quell the rising panic in her chest.

If Liz had thought that the dark was imposing and dangerous when she’d found out that Max was an alien that was nothing compared to how she felt now. The darkness was most definitely not her friend. While it concealed her, it also concealed him. And there was nothing more terrifying than that thought to her. The possibility that he could be out there, watching her… waiting… biding his time until she was vulnerable...

Biting back at the hysterical panic that gripped her chest, Liz calculated the number of steps from the car to the well lit reception area. All she’d need to do was grab the girl from the backseat, lock the car and dash the ten yards to the door. Easy. Simple. Liz grasped her fraying bag and dilapidated wallet in her hand and then proceeded to count the money in there. She’d been lucky lately; everyone seemed to be unsuspecting of her. A young slip of a girl accompanied by a young child with desperation etched across her face shouted “pickpocket” to Liz, but the business man who she had run into at the mall had thought nothing more of her. By the time he had reached his car, Liz had stripped the wallet of its cash and placed it in lost property.

Liz grimaced at the dexterity with which she’d picked the man’s pocket. She was disgusted with herself for being so skilled at such a deceitful crime. She’d infinitely prefer working all day at the Crashdown than to actually steal from another person. But desperate times called for desperate measures and there was no way she’d be able to stop long enough to find a job. She had to keep going, she had to continue on.

Liz climbed cautiously out of the car, constantly glancing around in the darkness for a sign of movement. She hadn’t seen any cars behind her but she was far too exhausted to realise that he probably wasn’t there. Even if she had realised, she still wouldn’t feel safe. There was no safe anymore, that had died, along with her dreams, a long time ago. Liz opened the door to the back seat and pulled the fatigued little girl into her arms, bumping her head on the top of the door frame in her haste to straighten up.

Soothing the girl’s complaints and simultaneously locking her car, Liz started to move towards the reception area, her head aching from both lack of sleep and the nasty bump she’d received from the door, her eyes blurring and blind terror eating its way up into her chest. Liz began to walk faster towards the door in her haste and nearly tripped over her feet. She was so tense, expecting a hand to grab her out of the darkness or for something to happen. She almost wished something would happen. She just wanted everything to stop. She wanted to stop feeling like this. To stop the never ending fear. To stop the overwhelming feeling of helplessness. To stop the heartbreak. It was all too much.

Liz glanced down at the little girl clinging to her neck as if she was her last salvation and she remembered why she was doing this. For love. Liz clutched the girl tighter to her chest and mentally urged herself through the thick black unknown. She wanted to run, wanted to sprint to the door and throw herself at the mercy of whoever was inside and beg for their protection. But she couldn’t. No one could help her now. Liz sighed in relief when she made it to the front counter and almost collapsed as the tension she’d been holding onto dropped slightly. She hadn’t been stress free for years; she could barely remember what it was like to be carefree and happy.

The guy at the desk snapped awake and grunted in response when Liz asked for a room for the night. She paid in advance and made her way down the line of rooms towards hers. She shoved the key into the lock after much fumbling and glanced around before walking inside and pulling the door shut and locking it tight. She then made her way to the window and locked it tight as well before placing the girl on the bed and rummaging through her bag for their dwindling supply of toiletries.

Liz smiled tersely in a vain effort to ease the girl’s anxieties. Surely this much tension and worry in a child was detrimental to their health and mental well-being. Liz couldn’t help but feel guilty about that, even though, technically, their situation was not her fault. She couldn’t stop the feeling of failure sinking like a lead weight stone in her stomach. She was all she had now. She was the one the girl depended on to keep her safe. And what a mess she’d made of it so far. She wasn’t adept enough to handle these situations, she still felt like a child herself. But, fear kept her moving, kept her going, kept her from breaking down. It was all she had left. All she knew to trust.

Liz waved a tube of toothpaste at her and held up two toothbrushes. “Come on Sweetie, I’ll draw you a bath and we’ll play bubble monsters,” Liz bit back her tears at the memories that she had just unwittingly conjured up at the mention of the bath time game. The girl’s head drooped in sadness and the tiny voice that replied had Liz so angry at herself she felt like bursting into hot tears of frustration and heartbreak.

“No fanks. I don’t weally feewl wike pwaying wight now.”

Liz licked her cracked lips and waited until she could be sure her voice wouldn’t crack before she replied, “Ok, we’ll just draw you a bath then. Come on; let’s brush your teeth and get you all clean for bed.”

Liz led the girl into the bathroom and sat her on the sink so she could brush her teeth, idly rolling her eyes at the notion of getting clean in this place. It had to be dirtier than a toilet bowl in here. But, she would instil good grooming habits on her even if they were a total waste of an effort in here.

Liz drew the bath and joined her. The bath was cramped and Liz knew that she wasn’t going to get very clean from it, but she could see no other alternative. She couldn’t leave the girl alone while she had a shower, and she needed to wash off the grime and residue.

Bath time was a sombre, silent affair. There was no lingering, no playful banter despite the tension as there might have been a few weeks ago. Everything was different now and neither girl nor woman had any idea where to go from here.

Liz dried them off using one of the ridiculously thin towels from the rack and brushed the girl’s hair meticulously before haphazardly running it through her own and settling the girl to bed. Liz climbed in beside her and watched her sleeping. A strange sense of déjà vu crept over her and she suddenly felt a difference within her. It seemed as though time had jumped suddenly. Liz shook off the feeling and succumbed to the weariness now streaking through her body reminding her that she hadn’t slept in a week, not since it happened…

Liz’s eyes flicked to the girl sleeping next to her and pulled her restless form into her arms as she snuggled down in the lumpy bed to sleep. Liz gazed at her and idly wondered as she felt herself shutting down into slumber, when her life had gotten so complicated.

The response flicked through her mind and Liz shied away from it. It was the day that Max had found out his destiny, the day that Liz had ran away…
***
TBC?

EDIT: Next Update 15th April
Last edited by Rowedog on Fri Jan 25, 2008 7:37 am, edited 17 times in total.
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Post by Rowedog » Sat Apr 14, 2007 10:15 am

A/N: Wow… here’s me: slack jawed. I’ve never had this big of a response before, let alone for a first chapter! I’m so glad so many people seem to like it so far. Thankyou all so much for your feedback, I truly appreciate it, considering how nervous I was about posting it.

Thankyou to my beta, Steph, for listening to me when I hyperventilated and for calming me down, you know how much you rule.

In this part we’ll pick up right where destiny left off, so a couple of years before the prologue and we’ll follow Max’s progress for a while.

I hope you like it!

Spray- Hey, you came first! Feeling proud?
Spray, The Fastest Of Them All wrote: I'm so excited to see you doing the polar opposite of what you normally write
Yeah, I thought I’d mix it up a bit, see if I could do something with a bit of substance. I think I’m becoming (to borrow your word) an angst whore. I even wrote an emotional scene in NID with emotional scars and much pain. And it was a candy scene too. Bizarre doesn’t even cover it.
Spray The Optimistic wrote: It's going to be excellent!
Wow, so much faith in me, which is funny because I have little to none in myself. I think I freaked my beta out a bit by nearly hyperventilating on her when I thought that Max had an our of character reaction in Chapter 3. CC is hard…
Laure-
Laurebanger The Brilliant wrote: boy....weren't you the one who told me "I can only do fluff."
Yeah, I did… (scuffles feet) guess you don’t know till you try, huh? Anyway, I’ll go to bed now, maybe think about safehouse while I’m there…
Tinie38
Alien_Friend-
Thanks! I was worried about getting the tone right. About getting everything right, actually! Glad you like it so far!
Polar vixen
Rie482
Emz80m
Natalie36
83 AlienAngel
Flamehair
Clue
Eve
Asabetha
Liz2Infinity

Gnomie- Yay! A fellow Aussie and Kate M-H fan! I love her! I was flicking through my song list (around 6000 songs) searching for a song to fit my fic so I could filch a title from it (I’m incapable of making up my own) when randomly, Space They Cannot Touch came on and I knew I had found “the one”.
Thetvgeneral- I’m a breathing, it was just the whole starting thing. I’m at ease now. All is well in the realm of Alison. Thanks for your help, Steph! Love ya!
Timelord31
Rai
Loviedovie
Raemac
LizNdAlec4eva


***

When the day is long and the night, the night is yours alone,
When you're sure you've had enough of this life, well hang on
Don't let yourself go, 'cause everybody cries and everybody hurts sometimes

Sometimes everything is wrong. Now it's time to sing along
When your day is night alone, (hold on, hold on)
If you feel like letting go, (hold on)
When you think you've had too much of this life, well hang on

'Cause everybody hurts. Take comfort in your friends
Everybody hurts. Don't throw your hand. Oh, no. Don't throw your hand
If you feel like you're alone, no, no, no, you are not alone

If you're on your own in this life, the days and nights are long,
When you think you've had too much of this life to hang on

Well, everybody hurts sometimes,
Everybody cries. And everybody hurts sometimes
And everybody hurts sometimes. So, hold on, hold on
Hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on
Everybody hurts. You are not alone

*Everybody Hurts by R.E.M.*


***

Part 1

***



~May 15th 2000~

Max pulled on his shoes and ran his fingers through his hair. He hadn’t slept at all last night and it showed. He’d had to deal with the fallout of the past couple of days. Needless to say, his parents weren’t very impressed with the excuse he offered as to why he had disappeared two days ago. Burying Pierce and dealing with Michael’s emotional distancing hadn’t been a walk in the park either. Especially after watching the love of his life walk away from him because of some message made over fifty years ago about some past life he couldn’t even remember.

After everything he’d been through, his torture, Pierce’s death, fleeing from the FBI, watching Liz walk away from him in some misguided notion of duty had been the hardest thing he’d ever had to deal with. It was why after such exhaustion, he still couldn’t sleep. He needed to fix things with her. He needed to make things right. Dammit, he just needed… her. Everything was escalating, his problems just kept getting bigger and bigger and he couldn’t act, couldn’t think properly without her.

Max pulled his jeep up outside the Crashdown and climbed the ladder to her window. He stopped once he reached the top and frowned as he heard the distinct strains of an argument coming through Liz’s window. He slid to the wall and hid from view as he listened with curiosity. Why were Liz’s Mom and Dad fighting in her bedroom?

“… You did this! If you don’t find a way to bring her back home I swear to God Jeff, I’ll-”

“-You’ll what, Nancy? If you hadn’t been so damn adamant about the whole issue in the first place, we probably wouldn’t be in this mess! It’s not my fault Liz ran away; you’re the one who couldn’t handle it!”

Max’s mind reeled with the new information and he slumped to the wall and slid down it, his breath coming in short gasps. Liz had run away. Run away. Liz had run away. Liz wasn’t here. She’d gone. She’d left him. Max’s mind repeated the same thing over and over again, not even taking in the fierce argument that was blazing a few feet away from him.

Max felt his eyes brim with tears and he sank his head between his knees and fisted his hands in his hair feeling his heart break anew. She had left him when he needed her the most.

He wasn’t sure how long he stayed there for. He didn’t notice when Jeff and Nancy left and he didn’t notice when the sun went down. He didn’t notice when somebody else scaled the ladder. He was just concentrating on not collapsing. The ache in his chest had risen to such an extreme that it was a challenge to breathe. He wanted to scream. He wanted to break down and howl, but he couldn’t. All he could do was sit next to the brick wall and hope against hope that she’d come back.

‘Inhale, exhale. Inhale, exhale. Ignore the tightening in your chest. Ignore the unbearable pain. Just breathe… just breathe…’

A gentle hand on his shoulder broke him out of his reverie. He glanced up through tear spiked lashes to meet the sympathetic gaze of Maria. Brushing back tears of her own, Maria extended her hand and managed to crack out, “Max, it’s time to go home. Your parents are worried.”

Max shook his head and fled Maria’s gaze. Maria bit her lip in a vain attempt to battle back the tears that his desperation was causing her. It hurt her to see him like this.

“If I stay here… maybe… maybe she’ll come home.”

Maria cringed and brushed away her tears again before stating softly, “I don’t think she’s coming back Max…”

His response shocked her with the violence of his yelled denial, “No! She’s coming back!” Max’s chest heaved with repressed pain and his voice then dropped to a whisper, “She has to… I need her…”

Maria dropped to her knees and drew Max into a hug as he sobbed out the anguish of not just the past few days, but the loneliness and isolation of his entire life. He sobbed for the girl who had given a taste of what it was to be accepted and loved, only to take it away again.

Maria rocked him as his muffled howls of pain broke her, her broken cries mixed with his as she allowed herself to feel the pain that her best friend’s running away had caused. As Maria held a broken Max, she thought to herself, ‘I hope to God Liz knows what she’s doing.’
***


“Apparently, according to my Dad, Liz had a huge fight with her parents the night before and that’s why she ran,” explained Kyle as he rubbed wearily at his eyes. Not only did he have to come to grips with a new hybrid life form, he also had to deal with his goody-two-shoes ex-girlfriend’s emotionally damaged, homosapienly challenged ex-boyfriend and his other alien counterparts who were demanding to speak to his Dad who wasn’t home.

God he needed a drink.

Or twelve.

“Do you know what they fought about?” queried Isabel, still reeling from the shock of discovering that Liz “Straight A, Destined To Be Valedictorian” Parker had split without even saying goodbye to anyone.

“I got the impression that good ole Nance and Jeffers weren’t too forthcoming about that. They did mention that they had fought about Liz staying out all night though,” replied Kyle flippantly, not understanding the damage that he was inflicting on Max with his words.

“It’s my fault,” Max whispered, not even listening when both Isabel and Maria tried to deny his claim, “she stayed out all night because of me and now she’s gone.”

Maria grasped Max’s face and forced him to look at her, “No! You listen to me Max, whatever Liz and her parents fought about, it had to be bigger than that for her to run. If anyone’s to blame it’s Liz and her parents. Not you.”

Max shook his head softly and lowered his eyes back to the ground. Because of his fucked up existence Liz had run. God knows she had every right to after all the crazy shit that had gone down in the past year. FBI agents posing as guidance counsellors, crazy alien sickness, freaky orb things, The Special Unit, murderous shape shifting aliens, a home planet in conflict and not to mention ex-wives from a past life coming back to bite them in the ass. Max couldn’t blame her for running. Every time they’d tried to settle back into a semblance of normalcy, something had come along to shake up their world.

Maria looked to Alex, her eyes begging for support. Alex stood up and placed his hand on Max’s shoulder. Max barely registered his presence.

“Max, Liz loves you. She may have run, but that doesn’t change that. Her reason for running probably had nothing to do with you.”

Max snorted incredulously and shook Alex’s hand off. Of course it had to do with him; he’d fucked up her life so badly she’d had to flee in the night to escape him.

Alex shrugged apologetically towards Maria and Michael took the silence as an opportunity to ask Kyle what his Dad was doing to find her.

Kyle’s eyes snapped away from Max’s face and replied, “Um, there’s a missing person’s report out and an APB, they’re checking every homeless shelter and bus depot in the surrounds and keeping an eye on her credit card transactions, but apart from that, there’s not much else they can do.” Kyle’s eyes returned to their perusal of Max’s face. The guy looked completely… crushed. While he’d been hurt and upset when Liz had dumped him, he certainly hadn’t been broken hearted and desperate like Evans was right now. He knew he had suffered more from wounded pride more than anything else. He knew from his Dad that Max had been captured by the FBI and submitted to torture, but he’d seen him after that and he’d appeared fine. Kyle was amazed at the depth of feeling Liz could evoke in Max Evans for him to look this destroyed when being captured by the FBI apparently made hardly a dent.

“Great, so what can we do?” asked Michael in frustration. As much as he didn’t want to admit it, Liz’s leaving had affected him too. Not only because she had crushed Max, but because she had an effect on him. When he’d stolen her diary, he’d expected to find pages of unexpressed fears about the three of them. Instead he’d found pages upon pages of Max Evans and how she felt about him. It had given him peace of mind to realise that Liz truly didn’t care that they were aliens and that she cared so deeply for the boy he had always seen as a brother. And now she was gone. He thought he knew and understood Liz Parker after seeing so deeply into her thoughts, but now he was very confused. This was not like Liz at all, she knew the hurt and damage she would be causing and yet she still went through with it. He was pissed off at her, but more than that Michael just wanted her back. She was hurting the two of the people he cared most about.

Max was obviously devastated by the blow. He’d never seen him take anything this hard before in his life. And Maria… she was obviously hurt, but she seemed to be taking it all rather well. Too well, if he really thought about it... Michael shook his head as he watched a lone tear trail down her cheek as she tried in vain to console Max. She was being strong for him, strong for Max who had taken it the hardest. Michael’s heart pulsed with love and pride for his Maria.

Michael stamped down on that thought. She wasn’t his. Not anymore. If he was going to be honest about it, she was never his. He couldn’t be there for her in the way that she deserved. He was in every sense of the word, an evil, alien killer. He had wanted Pierce dead so badly and he’d just done it. For once in his life, he wished that Max’s warnings to think about the consequences of his actions had seeped in. He was glad Pierce was gone, but how on earth was he meant to deal with the aftermath of killing someone, no matter how evil he was or how justified the death might have been.

He couldn’t be with Maria, he was far too dangerous and she was far too important to him to let her be put in a position of danger.

“Later tonight I’ll dreamwalk her and convince her to come home or at least find out where she is,” replied Isabel with fear in her voice. She didn’t like the thought of Liz being out on her own on the run, especially not with their enemies coming. She just wanted her back, not only for her brother’s sake but for her sake as well. Alex had barely looked at her since she’d met up with him an hour before and she couldn’t help but feel that he blamed her for this. That her alien life had screwed up Liz’s.

“Wait! What the hell is dreamwalking?” asked Kyle with confusion, not really certain that he wanted to know what it was.

“I go into people’s dreams and can see what they’re dreaming, sometimes I can even talk to them,” replied Isabel wearily. She couldn’t deal with Kyle’s freak out over their powers right now. She was too preoccupied with Liz. Liz had given up so much for them; she prayed that it wasn’t them that had driven her to do this.

“Oh,” replied Kyle, trying to take that in. His face stiffened and drained of colour as he considered what she’d said, “Wait! You haven’t looked in my dreams have you?!” he asked with an edge of hysteria colouring his voice.

Isabel rolled her eyes and rose to leave Kyle’s house, “We’ll see you later Kyle. Coming guys?”

They all rose to leave and as Isabel walked a wooden Max out the front door, she heard Kyle call behind her, “I’m serious Isabel! You haven’t been in my dreams have you?” silence was his only reply so he added on, “I’ll have you know it’s perfectly healthy for a boy my age to have sexual fantasies! You should be worried if I wasn’t!”

Isabel exchanged glances with Michael as she got into the front of the jeep and started the engine.

“Remind me never ever to go into Kyle’s dreams.”
***

Next Update The 22nd of April
Last edited by Rowedog on Fri Jan 25, 2008 7:44 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Post by Rowedog » Sat Apr 21, 2007 10:10 am

A/N: For those of you who are wondering about Tess, be aware that the last update was all in the same day, Max found out and they asked Kyle about Liz in the space of a few hours. Tess is not living with the Valenti’s and why would any of the gang call her to tell her? She’d be the last person who would want Liz back, hardly helpful. Plus, Max wouldn’t want her near him. If you look at Season Two, you’ll see that they didn’t really see her as part of the group, for instance when the Brody incident happened and they thought he was their enemy, they didn’t even bring her into the equation. I like that. It stands to reason that they wouldn’t inform her of what was happening unless they saw her, which Isabel did just prior to this part.

Some of your conjectures are quite astute, but some of them are quite far off the mark. Keep them coming, I love to hear what you think is actually going on and what is going to happen next. I’d really, really like to address your questions and concerns, but I promised myself that I’d keep pretty much everything a mystery. About Liz that is, Max I’m willing to talk about. He doesn’t have a secret.

Oh, and this jumps off right after the first season finishes and I’m making no changes to the previous episodes. It’s going to get a lot worse for the gang before it gets better.

Spray- Gosh you’re astute! Stop reading my mind!
Xmag-
xmag wrote:terrific portrayal of Maria
Thankyou, I think that too often Maria is portrayed as the crazy comic relief, but she’s so much more than that. She has feelings and issues of her own that are just as valid as any other character’s. You raise very valid points, sorry that I can’t answer them.
Laure
Timelord31
Alien_Friend
Eve-
No, you understood. Sorry, Liz’s reasons for running are going to remain a mystery for a while yet.
Clue
Flamehair
Natalie36-
Deep breaths… Sorry, only Steph and I know what’s really going on and it’ll take a while to get there. I’m glad you’re so involved with my story. Oh… and patience? It’s a virtue :wink:
Emz80m
Vaderian
Erinkatie-
Yeah, you’re a total romantic, lol. Their first time in a dirty, overturned bus on a musty, dusty, grotty, old couch? Who needs silk sheets and candlelight when you could have that? I wish I could yes/no your theories and thoughts, but… I can’t.
Tinie38
Loviedovie
Steph-
Poor Steph… we feel for you!
***

Have you ever got that downwards sinking feeling?
And just a touch of human hands make for healing?
He's watered down,
Amongst the crowd,
Always lost and searching for his own sound.

These concrete boots he wears,
Make it hard to reach the air.
These concrete boots he wears.

And now all the eyes are facing towards the south.
Just as narrow words try to escape his mouth.
The plastered faces,
Are painted white,
Just to keep the inside out of his sight.

These concrete boots he wears,
Make it hard to reach the air.
These concrete boots he wears.

He wears ...
He wears ..

*Concrete Boots by After The Fall*


***

Part 2

***



~May 16th 2000~
~2:32 am~


Isabel lay down on the bed clutching the thin photo strip that contained pictures of Liz and Max. She smiled pensively at the sad reminder of better times. While she didn’t want to blame Tess for everything that had happened lately to screw up their lives… she couldn’t help but feel like Nacedo and Tess had done everything in their power to destroy the tentative control they had over their lives.

They seemed to reject everything that made them human; family, friends, emotions, Nacedo even considered school to be a waste of time. And Tess…she couldn’t trust her. While she seemed intent on helping them and gaining their trust, Isabel couldn’t help but feel unease over how she’d manipulated them and played with them so easily and hadn’t shown any remorse over it. It showed a distinct lack of respect for Max that she was trying to force him into a relationship that he clearly had no desire for. She’d forced him to have disturbing images about the two of them together and then had even used her mind powers to force him to kiss her. It was close to sexual harassment.

She’d been so thrilled when Isabel had told her that Liz had run away, but then had quickly hid her reaction from Isabel by hiding her glee under a mask of concern for Max. Isabel had nearly rolled her eyes at the girl’s excitement, if she thought that now that Liz was out of the picture that Max would be easy pickings, then she had a big surprise coming.

If anything, Max would probably blame her for Liz’s disappearance and she’d be forced to live with his incivility, anger and frequent rejections. Isabel laughed lightly, good luck with that Tess.

Isabel closed her eyes, aware that everyone was waiting for her to begin. She pulled at the centre of her powers locked deep within her brain and sent out a pulse to Liz. It was two thirty in the morning; surely Liz would be asleep by now.

Isabel felt the familiar pull to Liz, feeling the familiar essence of who Liz was approaching nearer and nearer. Isabel smiled at the development, she was going to get in and hopefully get Liz back to help heal her brother. Isabel felt shock and disbelief course through her as she rammed up a solid immovable object blocking her from entering Liz’s consciousness. Recovering from the initial surprise, mentally Isabel pushed at it, willing it away. She was so close to getting in; she could feel Liz and her dreams just out of her reach on the other side. She couldn’t give up now, she was so close.

When it wouldn’t budge, Isabel inspected it carefully, wondering what on earth it could be. She wasn’t a corporeal form; she had to be in someone’s dream to take up a physical shape. Right now she was swimming in darkness; she was simply an awareness being blocked by something that held her from her target. Pushing out, Isabel probed at the wall with the tendrils of her mind and pulled back abruptly in dismay as she realised what the wall was made up of. Rejection, in its purest form. Liz was rejecting her. Liz didn’t want her in her head and had found a way to block her using her strong desire of wanting to keep Isabel out.

Isabel blinked awake with a sudden jolt as the wall that she had just pushed at again, pushed back. Isabel would later wonder if Liz’s blockage was something she was aware of or just a subconscious reaction to a strong desire Liz had of keeping Isabel out. She wasn’t sure which was worse.

“Is? What happened? Where is she? Is she ok?” Isabel wanted to cry at the eagerness in Max’s voice. She was going to crush him with this new development. Their only alien resource capable of helping with the search for Liz, and it had failed them. No, Isabel shook her head, she hadn’t failed them, Liz had.

“I don’t know,” replied Isabel softly, wanting to cry at the disappointment etched into Max’s face.

“What do you mean you don’t know? Wasn’t she asleep? Couldn’t you get in?” asked Max with impatience and frustration. It was the most he’d talked since she’d left.

“No,” replied Isabel slowly, not wanting to answer Max’s questions. Oh God Max, you don’t want to know, “She was sleeping, but I couldn’t get in.”

“What? Why couldn’t you get in? Has that ever happened before?” asked Max with bewilderment and helplessness. He just needed to fix things with her. He needed to see her. Just once more…

“No. it’s never happened before. Somehow, she’s able to… she’s developed the ability to…” Isabel trailed off, cursing at being put in this position. Why couldn’t Michael have gotten this power? He’d be able to tell Max the bad news quickly without drawing it out. She knew she shouldn’t but she just didn’t know how to tell him that Liz had completely blocked herself off from them, that she had rejected them.

“The ability to what?” asked Max with only a small hint of the frustration he was feeling.

“To block me. She stopped me from getting in her dreams,” answered Isabel uneasily knowing the next question to come and dreading it.

“She blocked you? How?” asked Max with confusion. This did not make any sense at all.

“I don’t even know if she knows how she did it, but she blocked me from her subconscious by putting up a wall of…” Isabel trailed off, not wanting to finish her sentence.

“Of what?” asked Max slowly, afraid of the answer.

“Of rejection,” said Isabel softly, gauging Max’s response. She watched him freeze and inwardly shuddered at the look that crossed his face. Max’s reaction to her statement was so hard to watch. Every ounce of his pain was poured into his features for a split second and in that split second, Isabel was terrified. It was then that she knew just how much Max loved Liz. From that day on, Isabel would have no doubt that Max loved Liz with every fibre of his being. And if Liz didn’t come back… Isabel shied away from the thought. They’d find her, they just had to.

“She didn’t want me in there. She doesn’t want me to find her, so she’s rejecting me,” Isabel further explained, trying to soften the blow for Max. She failed as he turned slowly and left the room, ignoring the calls for him to stay.

They were all so wrapped up in Max that they missed the look that passed between Alex and Maria. The look that spoke of guilt and culpability. For not the first time that day, they wondered if they had done the right thing in helping Liz leave.
***


~May 16th 2000~
~10:34 am~


Max locked the door to the bathroom and turned the water on; he knew that a locked door wouldn’t hold Isabel out, but the threat of seeing him naked would. She’d been hounding him ever since he’d left her room after the attempted dreamwalk. She was convinced he wanted to talk, whereas he was convinced that he didn’t. This put them in an awkward stand off and he’d been avoiding her ever since. Luckily he’d had the excuse of going to bed, even though they both knew he wouldn’t sleep. He wondered how long it would take before he would again. He was so very tired.

He turned the taps and waited for the water to heat up. He stared unseeingly at the wall before turning the radio on loudly and stripping off his shirt. He mechanically unbuttoned his jeans and slid his boxers off as well and stood there naked until steam started to rise from the shower. He slipped into the scalding hot water and let the sensation burn through him, forcing him to feel something, anything rather than this numbness that Liz’s leaving had caused.

As if prompted by similar situations, Max’s body quivered with a flash as he went to grab the soap.

Liz stood facing the shower wall in the girls’ locker room, the water from the shower running in rivulets down her body as she turned to face him. He could feel her heat of desire and strength of love for him. It was enough to bring him to his knees. The knowledge that this perfect girl could feel that way about him was a heady, empowering feeling that simultaneously left him breathless and weak. He couldn’t get enough of the feeling, couldn’t get enough of her…

Max gasped out of the flash as the pain of loss tore through his heart and buckled his knees. He fell gasping for air, hot tears mingling with the water cascading on to his face. Max huddled into the corner of the shower and cried, his heart breaking anew. Just when he thought he couldn’t cry anymore, flashes of the white room assailed him, taunting him, mocking him for his inability to lead a normal life. It was why Liz had left and why they had tortured him, because he was a freak. He was dangerous… weird… unlovable. The flashes came faster and faster, images of Liz and the white room intermingled and intertwined until he couldn’t tell what was reality any more. It was too hot, too stifling in here, he had to get out. Max flung up a hand and the taps swivelled off as he gasped for air. The flashes still came in wave after wave and his mind tried to rear away from the images of Liz leaving, laughing in relief as she went because she had escaped the evil alien.

It was too much, he couldn’t take it. Not now, not ever. He couldn’t take it… he wouldn’t… Max’s thoughts slowed as oxygen escaped his brain. He collapsed into an untidy heap in the corner of the shower, unconscious and still. The water pooled and cooled on his body and slowly dripped down the drain. The music played on loudly in the motionless room, as Max Evans lay cold and inert on the tiled shower floor. It was how Michael and Isabel found him an hour later when they broke into the bathroom.
***


Next Update 29th of April
Last edited by Rowedog on Fri Jan 25, 2008 7:48 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Post by Rowedog » Sun Apr 29, 2007 4:16 am

Steph x2- Well you’re certainly making up for your illness! I’ll PM you about the whole blocking Isabel thing because you’re my lovely beta.
Laure- I know, I’m not sure if I wanna be an angst muffin, it’s infectious and leaking into NID. Do you understand what that means? My fluff is being infiltrated! I’m not sure the angry masses will stand for it, it’s meant to be “refreshing”.
Flamehair
Timelord31
Alien_Friend-
Thanks! Hmm, I wondered if anyone would catch onto to my oh-so-subtle hints about Maria and the whole running away bit in the part before last. You’re so astute (I love the word astute).
Eve
Tinie38
Gater101
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Spray
Confusedfool
Natalie36
Clue
Emz80m
Behrluv32-
That made my day. That was so funny.
Vaderian- Thank you! Oh, and welcome to the angst club. I seem to be its newest recruit.
Michelle In Yonkers
Natz


***

Look to the clock on the wall,
Hands hardly moving at all.
I can't stand the state that I'm in
Sometimes it feels like the walls closing in

Oh lord what can I say
I’m so sad since you went away
Time, time ticking on me
Alone is the last place I wanted to be
Lord what can I say

Tried burying my troubles away
Drowns my sorrows the same way
Seems that no matter how hard I try
It feel like there’s something just missing inside

Oh lord what can I say
I’m so sad since you went away
Time, time ticking on me
Alone is the last place I wanted to be
Lord what can I say
Oh lord what can I say

How rules can I break
How many lies can I make
How many roads can I turn
To find me a place where the bridge hasn't burned

Oh lord what can I say
I’m so sad since you went away
Time, time ticking on me
Alone is the last place I wanted to be
Lord what can I say

Oh lord what can I say
I’m so sad since you went away
Time, time ticking on me
Alone is the last place I wanted to be
Lord what can I say
Oh lord what can I say

*What Can I Say by Brandi Carlisle*


***

Part 3

***
~May 16th 2000~
~11:52 am~


“Max… come on, Max… wake up…” begged a female voice through the fog of Max’s brain. His heart beat faster and he managed to co-ordinate his mouth to mumble out, “Liz?”

He heard a sad sigh and the despondent response of, “No, Max. It’s me, Isabel. Max, what happened?”

Max groaned and garnered enough strength to open his eyes. He opened them to find Michael and Isabel leaning down over him worriedly. He felt his body wrack with shivers as his body tried to fight the cold that had settled into his bones. Isabel leant over and wrapped a towel across his chest to accompany the towel that Michael had thrown haphazardly over Max’s lap to protect his dignity.

Max groaned at the feel of the slimy, cold, wet tiles beneath his back and went to sit up, his head spinning and his stomach rolling at the sudden motion. He squeezed his eyes shut to combat the feeling and pushed against the floor. He felt hands support his lower back and he pushed himself up into sitting position as someone wrapped another towel around his back to combat the tremors running through his body. He leant against the wall taking deep breaths until the queasy feeling disappeared. ‘How did humans cope with sickness’, he wondered idly.

He opened his eyes again to find Isabel and Michael gazing at him piercingly and he knew that he was going to face an inquisition.

“What the hell was that, Maxwell?” asked Michael brusquely, his fear causing him to lash out in anger.

Max searched his brain for an appropriate excuse. He couldn’t tell them that it had all got too much for him and he’d blacked out. They had always depended on him to be “the big, fearless leader”, and now that he was a king, that expectation had tripled and Max felt himself suffocating from the pressure they unknowingly put on him.

“I fell asleep,” he muttered sullenly, uncomfortable from the scrutiny he was enduring. He just wanted to go and put some clothes on and get warm.

Isabel’s mouth dropped open and she repeated his statement with disbelief dripping liberally from each word, “You ‘fell asleep’?!” her tone rose as she continued, “You honestly don’t expect us to swallow that crap do you Max?”

Max turned his gaze away from her and stared at the wall of the shower. It was tiled white… so white…

‘I can take you apart piece by piece… you’re inhuman… Max, you do have a destiny… Goodbye, Max…’

Max blinked out of the fractured flash with a start, his heart beating doubly fast as he turned and looked steadfastly at the soft yellow of the bathroom wall. Yellow was warm. Yellow was safe. Max noticed that Isabel had been saying something while his mind had transported him back to that nightmare and tuned in to catch the tail end of her question.

“…you think it’s a side effect of the drugs they gave you?” she asked gazing at his pale brow that now held a thin sheen of sweat.

Max nearly rolled his eyes at the stupidity of the question. How the hell would he know that? How was he supposed to know anything at all? It wasn’t as if Pierce had been exactly forthcoming about what they’d injected him with.

“I don’t know, ok?” snapped Max roughly, causing Isabel to sit back in surprise over his anger. He sighed and adopted a lighter, apologetic tone.

“Izzy… I just don’t know. I don’t know anything anymore.”

Isabel nodded, her eyes still downcast. Max shivered once more and Michael stood abruptly, unable to watch Max suffer anymore.

“Come on Max,” he extended his hand and pulled Max slowly to his feet allowing him time to wrap the towel across his lap firmly around his middle, “Just get into bed and try to go to sleep, ok? You need it.”

Max nodded and shuffled across the hall to his room. He clambered into his bed and pulled the towels off once he was under the covers. He shivered again at the cool feel of the bed until Isabel placed her hands in between the sheets and heated them via some alien magic. Max mumbled a thank you and Isabel slipped silently out of his room as he fell into a restless sleep.
***
~May 16th 2000~
~1:28 pm~

Max was lost. He was wandering aimlessly in the sea of his mind. He was calling out to Liz, but her reply was muffled and echoed all around him till he couldn’t tell where it had originally come from. He was wandering through murky darkness and he could hear Liz’s voice whispering to him, taunting him and devastating him with her heartless words.

“I’m sorry Max…”

“I just wanted a normal life…”

“You belong with Tess…”

“You could never give me what I need"…”

“I had to get away from you…”

“You’re a freak…”

The word freak resonated in his mind and repeated over and over again in a rhythmic chant. This was familiar, it was a dream he had had ever since he had discovered that he wasn’t normal. He was suddenly transported to the middle of Roswell West’s elementary school as a group of eight year old children circled him, their cries destroying his soul and tearing at his emotions.

“Freak… freak… freak,” was their cry as they circled Max, pointing their fingers and laughing at the fear blazoned across his face. Max cowered from the hatred and malice on their young faces and then gasped as he saw a young, brunette, teenage girl standing outside the circle. She had her arms crossed and looked bored. She yawned once and rolled her eyes when she saw him staring at her. Her apathy tore at the pieces of his heart and he was just about to call out to her, to beg her to help him when Pierce appeared.

Max froze, unable to yell a warning to Liz as Pierce crept up behind her. His horror multiplied as he wrapped his arms around Liz’s waist, spun her around and then kissed her softly, turning her so that Max had a side on view. Max watched in agony as Liz crept her arms up Pierce’s shoulders and around his neck, pulling him closer to her. His eyes were glued to the image, unable to look away as she moaned and gently teased her tongue into the mouth of the man who had tortured him with such careless ease. Just when he thought he couldn’t bear it anymore, Liz pulled away and turned to look at him with an apologetic shrug.

“Sorry Max. But let’s face it, you’re a freak. Daniel’s normal, he can give me what I need.”

Pierce smiled and pulled Liz into his side crudely cupping her small breast and squeezing it in a taunting gesture towards Max. Max could feel the tears streaming down his face but he no longer cared, he just wanted this crushing pain to stop. He couldn’t breathe, he could barely stand.

Pierce pulled her away and started to lead her out of the school. With a sneering backwards glance, Pierce spat out, “Come on Liz, let’s leave the freak to what he deserves.”

Max gasped in pain and finally found his voice. He called out to Liz in desperation, needing her to deny it all, to come back to him.

“Liz… please…” he called, barely audible over the cries of the children. She didn’t look back.

“Liz!” he called louder. In the distance he could hear a vague cry of
“Max!”, but he knew it wasn’t from the person he most wanted to hear.

“Liz! Come back! Please!” he yelled, unable to stand the ache in his chest as Pierce grasped her ass and nibbled on her ear. He couldn’t watch this, he couldn’t stand it. She couldn’t do this to him. Please, no.

He felt the shadow of a shake on his shoulder and the vague voice call his name even more urgently, but he couldn’t tear his eyes away from the sickening scene.

He called her name once more, but her only response was to slide her right hand down into the front of Pierce’s pants.

Max felt positively sick and he spun from the repulsive sight, only to see it wherever he turned. He couldn’t escape it, he closed his eyes and it was burned on the inside of his lids. There was no escape. He felt a mad cry bubble from between his lips and he fell to his knees, his heart bestowing on him pain like he’d never felt before. With one last breath before he collapsed, he screamed her name at the top of his lungs…


… and sat up abruptly in bed, sweat pouring down his face, back, neck, arms and legs sticking the tangled sheets more firmly to his slicked limbs. He felt hands grasp his face and he found himself staring into the face of his worried sister. He gasped and nearly collapsed as the force of his relief left him rubbery. It was just a dream. Liz would never do that to him and Pierce was dead.

“Max! It was just a dream. You’re ok. I promise, it wasn’t real,” Isabel murmured soothingly, hoping to calm him down before their Mom and Dad came to investigate Max’s yell of “Liz!” that had reverberated throughout the house. She hoped that they weren’t home.

Max regained his breathing and sighed. It was just a dream, Liz wasn’t with Pierce and she was…

Max’s heart dropped to his stomach and abruptly shattered as the memory flooded back to him. Liz wasn’t here. She had left him. His eyes welled with helpless tears and his sister’s image blurred.

“She’s really gone, isn’t she?” whispered Max, accepting it for the first time since he’d found out.

Isabel couldn’t trust herself to answer, her own eyes already welling with tears of sympathy for her wounded brother, so she simply pulled him into a hug, holding him tightly as he wept on her shoulder.
***
~May 18th 2000~
~4:54pm~


“Hey, Max. How did it go? Are you ok?”

Max almost groaned at his bad luck. Somehow Tess had finagled it so that she was sitting on his bed in his room awaiting his return. He’d gone to the police station to give a statement about Liz’s disappearance and convince those involved that he didn’t know where she was or why she’d run away. It was mainly a load of crap, but the Sheriff hadn’t pushed him too hard. He knew that Max had given him all the useful information that he would ever get from him and that he’d give anything to have Liz back. Both Jeff and Nancy had shot daggers at him as he’d walked into the police station and he’d wondered just how much of it was deserved, just how much of Liz’s departure was his fault. He suspected a large amount of it was.

“Max, you know that if you ever need to talk, I’m here ok?”

Max stared at Tess with incredulity and disbelief. He knew she didn’t care about Liz; in fact he was pretty sure she was ecstatic about the whole development. He also knew that she didn’t care about how much he was hurting, she just wanted to take advantage of his pain and worm her way into his affections. Max railed bitterly against her fake sincerity and her concerned expression dropped to a look of confusion as she watched his emotions play out on his face. Anger and disgust were two of the most prominent expressions.

Max’s sadness over Liz’s departure was swiftly replaced with an all-consuming rage as he gazed at Tess’ icy blue eyes which weren’t successful in concealing her excitement and anticipation of what she thought would happen with him now that Liz was out of the way. Ever since Tess had shown up, things had gone from bad to worse. If Tess hadn’t shown up then Nacedo wouldn’t have taken Liz, he wouldn’t have been captured by the FBI and he wouldn’t have any idea that he was supposed to be a king. Things would be normal and, more importantly, Liz wouldn’t have left him. It was all Tess’ fault. Max knew he was being irrational, but he didn’t care. The embodiment of all of his problems was sitting impatiently on his bed, ecstatic that the one thing that made Max’s life worthwhile had run away. Max decided to get out before his anger caused him to do something he’d regret.

Max stood up and walked towards the door as Tess, in a panicked attempt to make him stay, called out, “Max? Where are you go-”

“Save it, Tess,” snarled Max uncharacteristically, his nature was not a vicious one, but she seemed to bring out the worst in him, “I know you don’t give a shit about Liz or me. All you care about is your stupid fucking destiny and woe betide anyone who stands in your way. You know what? I don’t want to be a king, I don’t want to be an alien and I definitely don’t want to be anything as sickening as your husband. So you and Nacedo can take your plans for me and stick them, ok? I’m out. I want out of this mess and I want you gone. Do me a favour and go fuck up somebody else’s life, ok?”

Tess stood there shocked and unable to speak momentarily as the quiet, gentle boy whom she thought would be easy to bend to her will, attacked and accused her with a vehemence and callousness she’d never experienced before. Max rolled his eyes at her silence and turned back to the door, prompting Tess to action again.

“I’m not the one who walked away Max!” she cried out, terrified of this new unexpected reaction. He was meant to be grateful for her support, not resentful of it, “I’m not your enemy.”

Max snorted, rolling his eyes, “Really? So what are you? My friend? I wasn’t aware that friends manipulated and deceived each other. I really should read the friends handbook more carefully. I had no idea that friends ruined each other’s lives.”

“I didn’t ruin your life, Max!”

“You forced Liz - the girl that I love more than anything else in the entire world - to watch her boyfriend kiss another girl. You made her feel like an outsider, like she was unwanted and unwelcome. You made her question our relationship,” he stated quietly, with a deadly quality to his voice that sent shivers of unease down her spine, “you turned up unwanted and turned my life fucking upside down. If it weren’t for Nacedo, I would never have been captured by the FBI. If it weren’t for you, Liz never would have left. You made me hate myself and feel disgusted with myself. You made me question innate truths about myself. I never thought I could cheat, I never wanted to. But you took my choice away when you mind warped me that day in the rain. You sexually assaulted me, you forced yourself on me and you expect me to want to be with you? Open your fucking eyes, Tess! None of us want you here! All you’ve done since you’ve turned up is screw things up for everyone. We were happy, all of us, before you arrived. So do me a favour and crawl back into your little hole and leave me the fuck alone!”

Max watched Tess run past him with tears in her eyes and felt better than he had in a few days. He didn’t believe for a second that Tess was upset, she was just pissed that he didn’t fall in line with her plans. Well to hell with her, he was done with that. From now on, he did what he wanted. He’d done enough of doing exactly what everyone else wanted. He’d hidden for years because of Michael and Isabel’s wishes. The day he’d gone against them and saved Liz had been the start of a new era from him. Liz Parker, his dreamgirl, the one he’d watched from afar for years had started looking back. But yet again, he’d let himself be swayed by others and had lost the one thing that meant the most to him. He’d let Liz go because Michael had held him back that day at the cave. If he’d just been able to go after her… he knew in his heart that all of this would never have happened.

He’d been forced to distance himself from everyone and everything. For too long he’d been standing on the sidelines of life watching as people around him grew and progressed as he sat stagnant wondering what he was and who he was. It wasn’t until Liz that he’d been allowed to live. It wasn’t until he’d known what it was like to hold Liz Parker in his arms that he’d even allowed himself to dream of those unattainable aspects of life. He’d thought about marriage, having children, settling down, God… just leading a normal life. He knew the day that he’d told Liz that he loved her that he’d given up all thoughts of returning home. It was in that moment that he’d rejected his alien heritage, that he’d rejected that part of his life. His life was here now… or at least it was. Now he had no idea where it was, but he did know that he wouldn’t rest until he got it back. He just had to find her.

His world, his planet was here now. And nothing would change that, not an enemy, not his sister, not Michael, no one. He was done with all that crap. The whole alien business had cost him so much over the years. He’d barely lived, he’d been denied experience after experience and now it wanted to take the love of his life away from him and replace her with an inferior model? The price was too high and Max was done paying. From now on, it was his way or the highway.

Max smiled tightly, his determination growing with intensity. All of this alien shit stopped today. Max began to laugh softly and didn’t even worry when he couldn’t stop. His laughter grew to maniacal proportions and Max idly wondered if you could go mad from grief. He didn’t care. His sense of purpose grew; he had to find Liz and he had to do whatever he had to, to protect his new alien free existence. Max Evans was a man with a mission.
***
Last edited by Rowedog on Fri Jan 25, 2008 7:53 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Post by Rowedog » Sat May 05, 2007 1:32 pm

A/N: Everyone seems fairly happy that Max ripped into Tess, however, you have to look at the rest of his actions to put that into context. I didn't just do it because I thought it should happen in the show (although I sincerely wish it did :twisted: ). This part should show the grief and the damaging effect it has had on him. Max isn't just reserving his anger for Tess and that should be slightly worrying. On a lighter note, I love you feedbackers! Kisses and hugs to you all!

Xmag- Yes, you should worry about Max, but he’s not going to turn evil or anything. He’s just grieving and that can turn the best of us into nutjobs. Too much has happened too quickly and it’s just too much for him to handle.
Natalie36
NZ_Roswell
Emz80m
Raemac
Eve
Rie482
Clue
Laure-
Oh, let angst infiltrate NID, you know you want to
Hey, stop trying to corrupt the innocent! Oh, wait… I’m hardly innocent, but you know this after the whole laptop incident (chuckles evilly at inside joke)
Flamehair
Loviedovie
Alien_Friend-
You’re right. The harder Max tries to grip onto his humanity, the faster it slips away. Gold star for you!
HBGO
LizNdAlec4eva
Steph
Tinie38
Natz
Timelord31

***

I find the map and draw a straight line
Over rivers, farms, and state lines
The distance from 'A' to where you'd be
It's only finger-lengths that I see
I touch the place where I'd find your face
My finger in creases of distant dark places

I hang my coat up in the first bar
There is no peace that I've found so far
The laughter penetrates my silence
As drunken men find flaws in science

Their words mostly noises
Ghosts with just voices
Your words in my memory
Are like music to me

I'm miles from where you are,
I lay down on the cold ground
I, I pray that something picks me up
And sets me down in your warm arms

After I have travelled so far
We'd set the fire to the third bar
We'd share each other like an island
Until exhausted, close our eyelids
And dreaming, pick up from
The last place we left off
Your soft skin is weeping
A joy you can't keep in

I'm miles from where you are,
I lay down on the cold ground
And I, I pray that something picks me up
and sets me down in your warm arms

I'm miles from where you are,
I lay down on the cold ground
and I, I pray that something picks me up
and sets me down in your warm arms


*Set The Fire To The Third Bar by Snow Patrol ft Martha Wainwright*


***

Part 4

***


~June 5th 2000~
~4:32 pm~


Max slammed his fist into the desk. Weeks of looking, and nothing. It was like she’d disappeared off the face of the earth. Max ran his hands down his face and groaned, this was not meant to happen. He and Liz were so solid, so real. How could it have all gone so wrong?

Max’s scowl deepened as the answer flashed through his mind. Two names came to mind. Tess and Nacedo. Their arrival had set off a chain reaction of events that had put him in this predicament. They had roared into town, screwed with his head, screwed with Liz’s emotions, kidnapped her, got him captured and then drove her out of her home by touting some destiny shit that he didn’t even want. Thankfully Nacedo had left to take care of The Special Unit. If he’d stayed, Max wasn’t sure if there was any power on earth that would stop him from taking his rage out on him. As it was he was barely civil to Tess. He had done his best to avoid her, and so far he’d been fairly successful. She had on many occasions tried to start up a conversation with him, but he’d snubbed her. He couldn’t trust himself to speak to her and not tear shreds off of her. While he hadn’t heard from Nacedo for a while, he had a feeling it wouldn’t be long until he was back to enforce the whole destiny shtick again. He was certain that Tess was giving him daily updates on her progress with him and that Nacedo would soon ride him about his “duty”.

Screw his duty. Screw his destiny. He’d never asked for this. All he’d ever wanted was to be normal. To lead a normal life with Liz. It was all just so unfair. Max had put up with so much crap from life, why did it feel the need to take the most important thing away from him?

A doorbell interrupted his angry musing and he made his way over to the door, ignoring his mother’s questions as he walked through the kitchen. They’d all been so damn annoying ever since Liz had left. Asking so many questions and pissing him off by trying to make him talk about his feelings. He didn’t want to talk, he didn’t need to. All he needed was Liz back, which was why he’d invited Alex over. Alex had broken into the FBI database. Surely he could locate a teenage girl?

“Hey Max, how are you doing?” Max nearly rolled his eyes at the familiar tone that came with Alex’s question. Did they really expect him to answer truthfully to that question just because they added a bit of concern to their voices? Max didn’t even know what he felt; let alone how to express it.

“Fine,” he snapped brusquely before turning and walking down the hall, leaving Alex to follow behind. They reached Max’s room and Alex shut the door before asking Max, “So, what’s up? What can I do for you?”

“I want you to find Liz,” stated Max with no preamble, Alex stared at him in stunned silence, unable to speak, before Max continued, “you’ve broken into the FBI database before, finding a girl shouldn’t be that hard.”

Alex shook his head with a weary sigh, he’d been afraid of this.

“Max, I can’t just find Liz, you know that.”

Max began to interrupt, but Alex held up his hand to stop him, “Listen Max, Liz is smart, the only way I could track her electronically is if she used her bank account, but she drained it before she left. She’s not using her ID, she’s obviously disguised fairly well because no one has spotted her and frankly… it’s not like she’s wearing a homing device. Let the police do what they can Max, they’re better at this than us.”

Alex’s insides squirmed with guilt as he watched Max’s face fall with the force of his crushed hope. He hated being in this position, he couldn’t bear the level of pain he’d helped to create in Max. By giving Liz a new identity, he’d caused a world of pain to one of his friends and he couldn’t even pretend to help him. He had to dash his hope early before it grew. It was kinder towards him.

“Fine, don’t help me then. I’ll do this alone,” barked Max roughly, turning his back on Alex as he aimlessly began trawling through the paperwork on his desk.

“Max… she doesn’t want to be found…” began Alex gently, only to stop once he saw Max’s shoulders stiffen and his hands clench tightly on the piece of paper he was holding.

“Get out. Now.” commanded Max, his voice dark and low.

Alex didn’t need to be told twice. He swiftly turned and exited the room leaning against the back of Max’s door once he’d closed it. That was so painful to watch. Alex rubbed his palms into his eyes and then hit his head against the back of the door in fright when Isabel spoke.

“He’s not coping with this at all, is he?” she asked softly, her expression saddened as she stood a couple of metres down the hall from Alex. The distance between them had never been so large before.

“No,” replied Alex, wishing desperately for an excuse to leave. He couldn’t face Isabel knowing that he’d indirectly done this to her brother. And yet, he couldn’t turn Liz in, what she needed to do was far too important to her, but he couldn’t handle the guilt that he felt knowing that he was allowing Max, and by association, his family to suffer.

Isabel felt his withdrawal and stepped even closer, trying to close the gap between them. She felt like crying when all she noticed was the lessening of the physical distance. He was still so closed off to her.

“Do-do you think she’ll come back?” she whispered hopefully, her hope dropping when Alex shook his head and looked away uncomfortably. She could tell he didn’t want to be near her.

‘Why would he when we’re the reason his best friend ran away,’ Isabel thought sadly, ‘God knows we screwed him around enough before this, God knows I screwed him around.’

“Look, Isabel… I’ve got to go, I’ll see you later,” muttered Alex as he turned to walk down the hall.

“Alex…” Isabel called out to him, but by then, he was too far gone.

She sighed and disconsolately wandered back into her room. She couldn’t get through to Max, couldn’t get through to Alex, she couldn’t even dreamwalk Liz. She could do nothing right.

Alex couldn’t even bear to look at her, because of what she was and what that had caused.

‘Everything is just so screwed up.’

Isabel lay on her back, staring at the white paint above her bed and contemplated her life before Liz Parker had entered it. She hadn’t really had one, if she was bluntly honest with herself. It had been the same thing every day, pretending to be someone she wasn’t, while fearing and envying the people around her. Their biggest issues tended to revolve around homework, the opposite sex and their families, not what species they were and rarely did they question their purpose in life. They had it easy, and Isabel both envied and hated them for that. She despised them for the ease with which they let people into their lives, to let people into their hearts. Isabel had been so shut off from everyone for so long, her parents, her so-called friends, even Max and Michael on occasion.

Isabel had pretended to be perfect because she knew that deep down, she was anything but. It was easier to pretend than to actually be, and the vapid nature of her friends meant that deep and meaningful conversations and probing questions never occurred.

It was a safe life.

It was a suffocating life.

Isabel had been truly alone until Alex Whitman had come and accepted her, alien status and all. He hadn’t cared about her alien status, he hadn’t cared that she was different.

But she had.

It was why after he had done everything in his power to show her that he was there for her that she had still pushed him away. Isabel felt that she didn’t deserve his affection, that she didn’t deserve his support because of what she was. She couldn’t accept her alien side, so how could he? But now that he was pulling away from her, she felt that loss keenly and wondered how she would live without it now.

At first, Isabel had been resentful of Liz and her friends’ presence in her secluded life, but now…

‘Joni Mitchell was right,’ she mused, ‘you really don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.’
***


~June 5th 2000~
~10:45 pm~


“Maria, we can’t keep doing this.”

Maria turned to face Alex and with a long suffering sigh reiterated her arguments from the past weeks to him again.

“What do you suggest we do, Alex? Tell him where Liz is so he can drag her home? Betray her? We can’t.”

Alex grimaced and reigned in the urge to punch something. He didn’t want to be in the middle of this, but he was caught. Either way he went he was betraying someone and it weighed heavily on his conscience.

“But look at what this is doing to everyone! The group is separated, Max is a total nut job, Isabel blames her very existence and I’m finding it very hard to sleep at night with the knowledge that I’m able to fix it all but can’t.”

“Alex,” Maria began with another sigh, she knew where he was coming from, she really did, but they couldn’t betray Liz. Everyday Maria had to battle with herself not to just come clean. But with that would come repercussions and she didn’t want to unleash them on Liz. Liz, whether she was right or wrong, felt that she had to do this and Maria would support her in her decision, because it was one she could understand.

“You can’t do it to Liz. You just can’t. As much as I want her back, you know how important this is to Liz. She’ll never forgive us-”

“-And Max will never forgive us!” rejoined Alex angrily towards Maria. He knew it was unfair to take it out on Maria, but he was just so sick of the entire situation. This situation was unfair on everyone.

“Alex, think about what’ll happen if we do get her back. Liz will resent Max, he won’t be able to change the fact that he’s meant to go back to his planet, Liz’s parents and her will fight and we’ll all be just as unhappy as we are now.”

Alex’s eyes closed in reluctant acceptance and conceded her point. In a last desperate attempt to salvage his argument, he grasped at the first thing that came into his mind. He was fighting a battle that he already knew he’d lost, but that didn’t stop him from trying.

“What makes you so sure that he’ll follow her if we told him where she was and what she’s doing?”

Maria looked at him, pity in her eyes as she realised his desperation in bringing up what she deemed a quite obvious point.

“Alex… he’s Max. Of course he’s going to follow her. And even if he didn’t tell her parents where she was so that she’d come home, he would be easily traced and Liz would be found because he was careless in his journey to find her. I know it sucks and I know that we will probably lose everything we’ve fought to gain with the Czechs if they find out that we’ve been hiding Liz from them, but we’re doing the right thing here.”

Alex shook his head, his doubts still firmly in place and replied sadly, “I hope to God you’re right Maria, otherwise…” Alex let the sentence hang and exhaled loudly through his nostrils.

Maria watched Alex silently battle with himself and felt his confusion as clearly as if it were her own. Extending her arms, Maria moved in and hugged him tightly around his waist, almost sighing with relief as he held her just as tightly. Now that Liz was gone, she needed Alex twice as much as before, especially with this secret that bound them together.

“Do you miss her?” mumbled Alex into Maria’s hair.

Maria couldn’t trust herself to speak and simply nodded into his chest. Alex cradled her gently until she pulled away abruptly, wiping discretely at the tears that had overflowed against her will.

“I’d better go before my mother thinks that running away is contagious,” Maria said lightly, a sad attempt at a joke. Alex nodded and watched her walk to the door before calling out, “Maria?”

Maria stopped mid exit and turned to him, “Yeah?”

“Promise me, no matter what happens, with Liz, the Czechs, all of this crazy mess, that we’ll still have each other? I’ve already lost a best friend, I can’t lose another.”

Maria smiled weakly at him, affection shining in her eyes. He was family, her surrogate brother; there was never any question as to them still having each other to rely on.

“I promise.”
***
Last edited by Rowedog on Fri Jan 25, 2008 8:00 am, edited 3 times in total.
Alison’s Fics

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Post by Rowedog » Wed Jun 20, 2007 6:35 am

A/N: Ooh! The tension between those who don’t think Maria and Alex should have helped Liz run away versus those who do. I think you should all form teams and bash on. No? Oh well.

I realize that I’ve left you hanging for a while update wise and I apologise. First it was study and time problems and now it’s computer issues. I hate technology. But once my power cord for my laptop comes in, we’ll be back in business again. Thank you to all feedbackers and I hope to return to this properly in the upcoming weeks. So here’s a part to tide you over until then.

Steph- Oh my wonderful beta. I promise to come back properly and update regularly again and totally bombard you with stuff. Won’t that be fun?
Tinie38
Trude
Natalie36
Alien_Friend-
You’re spot on with what I’m trying to get through here. Thanks for the feedback!
Clue
Spray-
Paraphrase all you want. :) Poor ole’ Max, huh? Guess you’ll have to wait and see what happens… ;)
Loviedovie
Emz80m
Eve
Lauren-
I can’t believe you called Liz dodgy! Ha, that made me laugh!
Flamehair
EK-
You may not be finding out for a while… eep.
Kittens- What does Liz know that we don’t? Um… the periodic table? Sorry, stupid joke. I’m afraid Liz’s reasons will remain a mystery for a while yet…
Raemac
Bigears-
Thank you! I’m pleased that you like it. Glad you liked the ‘homosapienly challenged’ bit. I was semi proud of that line… :roll: Well it made me laugh
***

Everything's so blurry
And everyone's so fake
And everybody's empty
And everything is so messed up
Pre-occupied without you
I cannot live at all
My whole world surrounds you
Stumble then I crawl

You could be my someone
You could be my sea
You know that I'll protect you
From all of the obscene
I wonder what you're doing
Imagine where you are
There's oceans in between us
But that's not very far


Can you take it all away?
Can you take it all away?
When you shoved it in my face
This pain you gave to me
Can you take it all away?
Can you take it all away?
Well you shoved it in my face

Everyone is changing
There's no one left that's real
To make up your own ending
And let me know just how you feel
'Cause I am lost without you
I cannot live at all
My whole world surrounds you
Stumble then I crawl

You could be my someone
You could be my sea
You know that I will save you
From all of the unclean
I wonder what you're doing
I wonder where you are
There's oceans in between us
But that's not very far

Can you take it all away?
Can you take it all away?
When you shoved it in my face
This pain you gave to me
Can you take it all away?
Can you take it all away?
Well, you shoved it in my face
This pain you gave to me


Oh,
Nobody told me what you thought
Nobody told me what to say
Everyone showed you where to turn
Told you where to run away
Nobody told you where to hide
Nobody told you what to say
Everyone showed you where to turn
Showed you where to run away

Can you take it all away?
Can you take it all away?
Well you shoved it in my face
This pain you gave to me

Can you take it all away?
Can you take it all away?
Well you shoved it in my face
This pain you gave to me

NOOOOOO!

This pain you gave to me
This pain you gave to me
Take it all away
Take it all away
This pain you gave to me
This pain you gave to me
Take it all away
This pain you gave to me

*Blurry by Puddle Of Mudd*


***

Part 5

***
~June 7th 2000~
~12:42 pm~


“Max? Max!”

Max blinked out of his daydream with reluctance and annoyance. He’d been thinking of Liz and dreaming of her reaction when he found her. She’d be overwhelmed with joy upon seeing him, but a little hesitant, fearing that he’d be angry with her. He’d take her in his arms and reason all her fears away. There was no reason they couldn’t be together now that he’d gotten rid of the one major obstacle blocking their path. Max Evans the alien was no more, he’d make sure of it.

“What?” he snapped in annoyance as Tess asked him a question.

Shrinking back slightly from his tone, Tess reiterated her question, “What are we going to do about our enemies? They’ll be here soon and we need a plan of action.”

Max smirked at her, making her feel decidedly uneasy. “How about this for a plan of action? They come, we surrender and explain to them that we don’t want anything to do with Antar or ruling it, that this is our home now. They leave us in peace.”

Silence filled the empty classroom momentarily before Tess shrieked, “What?! You- you can’t do that!” she stuttered in impotent rage. “You have to take the throne! It’s your destiny!”

“Huh, really? I think I’ve already told you what you can do with your destiny, you can take it and cram it up your-”

“Maxwell! Have you lost your fucking mind?” barked Michael angrily as he stared at Max in disbelief. This wasn’t the Max he knew, the Max he knew took everything on his shoulders, he was in charge, he was in control. He didn’t blow off or run away from responsibility and he certainly never talked to anyone like that.

“No Michael, I’ve found it. None of this alien shit has ever made us happy, so I’m ending it. Isabel, has knowing that you’re an alien ever brought you contentment?”

“That’s not the point Max,” stated Isabel with a shake of her head, wishing she were anywhere but here right now. “Considering what Nacedo told us, I don’t think our enemies would be all that ready to cooperate. They’d probably kill is just to make sure.”

“Since when can we trust what Nacedo says?” asked Max, looking at Isabel like she’d lost her mind.

“Nacedo’s our protector of course we can trust him!” cried Tess, unable to fathom what he was saying.

Max began to clap slowly, his smile brittle and sarcastic. “And what a job he’s done of protecting us,” he bit out with dramatic flair. “Hasn’t even been here for three months and already he’s gotten one of his charges captured by the FBI. Oh, and he managed to lose three of us, straight from the pod. Heck of a job he’s doing.”

Isabel watched Tess’s face fall once again and felt compelled to step in before things got too heated.

“Max, that’s enough. I think you’ve made your point. How about we talk about this at a later date when things have settled down.”

“No, how about we talk about it now? My decision is not going to change Isabel. I am not a king and I don’t want the responsibility.”

Michael ran a hand through his hair and groaned, “Max, you can’t just make this decision on your own. It affects all of us.”

Max turned on Michael and snarled, “You know what, you can have the responsibility Michael, cause I’m sick of having you ride me about everything. This time you can make the decisions. But be warned; when everything screws up, you won’t have me to blame anymore. Congratulations second in command, you’ve just been elected fearless leader.”

Max turned and wordlessly walked out of the room.

Michael and Isabel slumped into nearby chairs while Tess paced, muttering to herself.

“This is not meant to be happening, I need Nacedo here. This can’t be happening.”

Michael rolled his eyes and over Tess’s background mutter asked Isabel, “Have you been able to get into Liz’s dreams yet?”

Isabel shook her head and rubbed her hand over her mouth, her failure stinging her. Liz’s shield or whatever it was, was still up and no matter what she tried, she couldn’t get through. She had tried every single night to get through, to no avail. But at least she could be comforted by the fact that Liz was still alive. If she was still alive then there was still hope.

“Keep trying.”

Isabel nodded and Michael watched as tears welled in her eyes. He reached out a hand to her and pulled her into a hug.

“Hey, he’ll be ok, alright? He just needs…” Michael faltered as he considered what Max needed. He needed Liz, but the longer she stayed away, the less likely it seemed she was coming back.

“He needs what?” mumbled Isabel into his shoulder, knowing full well the answer.

“Time.” Michael concluded lamely, hoping like hell that time would help. It had to because he was running out of ideas.

Michael released her and turned towards the door and Isabel followed wordlessly, leaving a preoccupied Tess to pace across the deserted floor of the classroom. She stopped abruptly and pulled out her cell phone from her pocket and dexterously punched in the number she needed.

The phone rang for a moment before a brusque voice spat out an emotionless, “Speak.”

“Nacedo, it’s me. We’ve got a massive problem.”
***
~June 7th 2000~
~12:44 pm~


Maria and Alex watched an angered Max stalk from the classroom and turn down the hall away from them. Their curiosity piqued, they peered into the classroom just in time to catch Isabel and Michael embrace. Simultaneously, they both drew back from door and slumped against the hallway wall.

Alex let out a pained breath as Maria stood silent for a moment before storming off down the hall. Alex ran to catch up with her as she ploughed along, and caught the tail end of her angered rant.

“-Didn’t take him long to accept his destiny, ‘loves me’ my ass, not even two months later he’s making time with his destined bride who’s screwing my best friend over as well, I don’t care, he can screw whoever he wants, guess I’m just easy to get over, hope he chokes on the peroxide she chucks in her hair-”

“Maria!” Alex broke into the long, fractured rant and squashed the mild urge to laugh. Maria’s pain wasn’t funny, neither was his, but he didn’t think they should jump to conclusions.

“They were just hugging. Like we hug. It could be nothing,” argued Alex reasonably even though his heart was tugging at him painfully.

“Since when is it ever just ‘nothing’ with the Czechs Alex? It’s always something getting in the way of our relationship. If not crazy phantom, alien pregnancies and prearranged marriages, then Michael himself is spouting some crap about it “not being safe”. Well you know what? I’m out. I can’t just sit around while Michael dicks around with Isabel. I can’t just waste the rest of my life waiting for Michael to choose me over his alien side. You know it isn’t going to happen.”

Alex tried not to let the truth of Maria’s words hit him, but they did regardless. He couldn’t help but apply them to his own tentative relationship with Isabel.

“Maria… Michael loves you,” reasoned Alex weakly but stopped short when he caught sight of the resignation on Maria’s face.

“Not enough, Alex. Just not enough,” she replied sadly, her attention focussed down the hall as both Michael and Isabel exited the room. She caught Michael’s gaze momentarily before turning and heading out the exit.

***
~June 8th 2000~
~3:37 am~


“I thought I could trust you to do this,” snapped Nacedo angrily as he stalked around their house, trying to grasp the information Tess had just relayed to him.

“I thought so too, but he’s just so hung up on little Liz Parker, he doesn’t even see me,” Tess muttered bitterly, her ire raised by the fact that Max was blinded by a human who had left him without even the decency to leave him a note. She would never treat Max that way. If he’d only give her a chance…

“Well, make him see you. Mindwarp him, invade his dreams, make him think of nothing but you. You’ve done it before.”

Tess faltered and then stuttered out a protest, “Nacedo, I-I can’t! He still doesn’t trust me from last time I did that.”

“What does trust have to do with anything?”

“Some say relationships are built on them,” muttered Tess with a hint of resentment colouring her voice. Nacedo raised his hand and slapped her fully across the side of her face. She clutched her cheek in pain, but not in shock. She should have known he’d react that way, but being around Isabel, Michael and Max had lowered her defences slightly. She was in no danger of being hit by them, no matter how crazed Max got.

“Don’t talk to me that way. I’m your protector and I know what’s right for you. This is not a huggy, kissy, happy families situation you’re getting into here, Tess. It’s a business deal and you have got to be ruthless. It’s the only way you and I are ever going to get off this miserable God forsaken planet. Or do you want to stay here for the rest of your life?”

The usual answer of ‘No!’ didn’t come swiftly enough for Tess’ liking. After spending time observing and living closely with the other aliens, she could see the benefits of living like a human. She could see the joy, the happiness that came with being incorporated in this world, something she’d been unable to see with Nacedo around, poisoning her views. It frightened her, but what now frightened her even more was the prospect of living on a planet with more soulless beings that were exactly like Nacedo. Would she fit in there? Did she even really know anything about the place she’d been calling home her entire existence? Nacedo had told her barely anything about it, but had insisted that it was the place for her. Come to think about it, he’d barely told her anything. For the first time in her life, Tess began to doubt her protector.

Tess shook her head wordlessly and Nacedo made a semblance of a smile.

“Good. You must remain focused on the task at hand. And as for Max, we’ll deal with him. I already have a plan for His Reluctant Majesty.”

Tess shuddered at the appreciative gleam in Nacedo’s eyes. She’d seen it too many times not to fear it, she knew what it meant. It meant that Max was in a lot of trouble.
***
Last edited by Rowedog on Fri Jan 25, 2008 8:07 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by Rowedog » Mon Jul 16, 2007 3:53 pm

A/N: Sorry, sorry, sorry! I had writer’s block which just sucked a massive waz. But I’m here now...

Alien_Friend
Trude
Eve
Clue
Steph
83 AlienAngel-
Fear not, this is a M/L fic. I’ll try not to kill him.
tinie38
Spray-
I’ve told you once, I’ll tell you again Spray, no one is allowed future telling abilities but I. But I guess you can use them just this once. Wow… you and Liz need counselling, all this anger you carry towards her isn’t healthy Spray. You read the prologue, its not like she’s partying it up in the Bahamas, she’s actually having a fairly shitty time, or will be for a quite of bit my fic.
Natalie36
Emz80m
Flamehair
Lauren-
Who hasn’t got Nacedo on speed dial? I do. I call him once a week and we chat about the old days and the like. Such a great bloke.
Raemac
Bigears-
Who is the little girl? I dunno. Actually I do, I just can’t tell you yet. I’m mean like that.
Carter13
***

See the stone set in your eyes
See the thorn twist in your side
I wait for you

Sleight of hand and twist of fate
On a bed of nails she makes me wait
And I wait without you

With or without you
With or without you

Through the storm we reach the shore
You give it all but I want more
And I'm waiting for you

With or without you
With or without you
I can't live
With or without you

And you give yourself away
And you give yourself away
And you give
And you give
And you give yourself away

My hands are tied
My body bruised, she's got me with
Nothing to win and
Nothing left to lose

And you give yourself away
And you give yourself away
And you give
And you give
And you give yourself away

With or without you
With or without you
I can't live
With or without you

With or without you
With or without you
I can't live
With or without you
With or without you

*With Or Without You by U2*


***

Part Six

***


~June 28th 2000~
~6:32 pm~


“Order’s up,” called Michael from behind the kitchen counter.

Maria glanced over at him before reluctantly making her way over to the bench and grabbing the plate in front of him. When she went to turn without saying anything to him, Michael frowned and called out, “That’s it? No ‘Thank you Michael for being so prompt?’”

Maria shot back a hurried “Thanks,” without turning around and headed towards the table she was serving. She’d had to pick up Liz’s slack despite the fact that Mr. Parker had brought in two new waitresses as ‘temporary replacements’ for Liz. Maria had squashed the urge to roll her eyes when she had heard that, her parents were ten types of fool if they thought that she was coming back after what had happened. It wasn’t as if the new girls were any help anyway. One of them was so incompetent she was bordering on useless and the other was too lazy to do anything unless expressly told. An Agnes in the making that one.

Michael watched Maria’s retreating back, his frown increasing. Over the course of the past couple of months or so he’d come to expect Maria’s persistent presence in his life. He expected her to try and break through his stone wall. He was prepared for that. What he wasn’t prepared for was her indifferent acceptance of the distance he was putting between them. Maria Deluca did not just roll over and die. She fought for what she wanted. And she fought hard. But ever since a couple of weeks ago she’d appeared to have completely disappeared from his life. The only time he saw her these days was at work when they were rostered on together.

This determined avoidance of him had Michael re-evaluating how important he was to her. Maria fought for the things she wanted. Maybe she just didn’t want him anymore. Maybe she was sick of all the alien crap that had driven her best friend away. Maybe she resented him for bringing his chaos into her perfect, human world.

He shook his head free of those thoughts and turned back to the grill to stop the charring of his burgers. As he flipped them over he reasoned with himself. He had told Maria that he couldn’t get involved with her and for once she had listened. He shouldn’t have a problem with this development. He should be thankful that she had made this easier for him.

But as his eyes followed her form around the room, he couldn’t help but feel as if he’d been abandoned.
***


~June 28th 2000~
~9:02 pm~


Michael groaned as he tossed the last of the garbage bags into the dumpster and arched his back, trying to stretch away the stiffness that had accumulated from bending over a hot stove for hours at a time.

It was nine o’clock, which meant closing time for the grill and relief time for Michael who now only had to clean up the kitchen.

Michael’s pained stretching halted as he sensed someone come up behind him in the alleyway. His mind was on full alert as he prepared himself for confrontation. Max’s mother and Nacedo had warned that their enemies would come after them; he only hoped that he was overreacting.

He whirled, primed for action, but faltered when he came face to face with the man who had haunted his dreams for the past month.

Pierce.

Just the name was enough to make his blood run cold. Michael’s ears rang and his head felt light. He couldn’t be alive. He’d made sure of that the day that he’d blasted him to kingdom come. Michael gaped in horror as the appalling spectre made his way closer to him. He could feel horror and guilt tear through his system as he swayed on his feet.

“Michael,” snapped Pierce in an officious manner that pulled Michael out of his terrified stupor. “I need you to get Isabel, Tess and Max together at your apartment for a meeting. Tonight.”

Michael nearly collapsed with relief as he realised that the Pierce in front of him was Nacedo and not the man that he’d killed a month before.

“Do you have to look like him?” he asked swallowing back the queasy feeling that the combination of his adrenaline and guilt had caused in him.

“Emotions are a weakness, Michael. They hold you back from being the best you can be.”

“What? An unstoppable killing machine that shows no remorse? What’s the point of living if you can’t feel?” Michael asked, feeling the irony as he replayed his “stonewall” conversation to Maria in his head. He never thought he’d be forced to take this side, but Nacedo seemed to bring out the devil’s advocate in him.

“The point is to do your duty, Michael. And part of your duty as second-in-command is to get them all together tonight,” barked Nacedo, displeased by the turn the conversation had taken. He thought he could count on Michael to sway Max for him. Michael was lost, impressionable, looking for guidance and a place to call home. Nacedo had thought that because of those reasons he’d be the easiest to gather to his side. Judging by the disdain in the boy’s voice, he now knew he’d assumed incorrectly. The boy too had been turned by the namby pamby, touchy feely morals of the human world. He’d correct that, right after he took care of Max.

“Might be a little hard. Max isn’t really up for talking these days,” answered Michael, leaning against the dumpster, trying not to look at Nacedo in Pierce’s form. It was easier for him that way.

“Well, he’d better get up for it. I see that leaving here was a mistake. You’re all in terrible need of guidance.”

“And I suppose you’d be the one to guide us?” asked Michael edgily, trying not to let his anger loose at Nacedo’s tone. While he might not be the biggest fan of humans having spent his formative years with Hank, Nacedo’s blatant disregard and disdain for the way they’d been raised was biting at his last nerve.

“Considering how disappointing you’ve all turned out to be, you’ve left me no choice,” hissed Nacedo, as he got closer to Michael, trying not to garner the attention of those passing by on the street. “You’re meant to be the royal four, the saviour of an entire planet. And look at you; you’re not even fit to take care of yourself.”

Nacedo pulled back and smoothed out invisible wrinkles from his jacket. Without even looking up, he spoke. “You get them there tonight, Michael, or there’ll be dire consequences. Of that I can assure you.”

Michael stood before him, his fist clenched and his eyes narrowed in an attempt to chain in his rage.

“Are you threatening me?”

Nacedo turned towards the street and without a backwards glance at Michael began to walk away. Just as he was about to exit the alley, his voice floated back to Michael, causing chills to creep up his spine.

“Oh no Michael, that’s a promise.”
***


~June 28th 2000~
~9:38 pm~


“What?”

Michael rolled his eyes at Max’s greeting. Max had become even more antisocial than he himself had been before Maria, and that was an extremely hard thing to accomplish.

“Gee Maxwell, great to hear from you too,” stated Michael sarcastically over the phone.

“What do you want, Michael? I’m busy.”

“Nacedo’s holding a meeting tonight at my place,” replied Michael, anxiously waiting for Max’s reply. He didn’t know what Nacedo meant by ‘dire consequences,’ but he sure as shit did not want to find out.

“Not interested.”

Michael sighed. “I thought you might say that. But just consider it Max. Please.”

“Why?” grunted Max, obviously not receptive to Michael’s request at all.

“Because,” Michael ran his hand through his hair and organised his thoughts, this had to be worded just right. “You can make it clear to everyone that you give up your rights to the throne and that you want nothing more to do with this ‘alien crap.’ And maybe Nacedo will leave you alone.” Michael snorted at his reasoning. There was no way Nacedo would leave him alone. But he had to try.

“Still not going.”

“Max, just come. I feel like we haven’t seen you in weeks. Isabel lives with you and she feels like that too. We miss you Max,” Michael paused, closed his eyes momentarily and then added quietly, “I miss you. You’re my best friend. I know that you’re hurting, but you need to get over Liz. She’s not coming back.”

“You have no idea what I need, Michael,” growled Max. “You never knew and you never wanted to know. You’ve only ever cared about finding a way back to some cruddy planet a million miles away that you think is home. You know what Michael? I hope you get to go home, because I have no idea where mine is. All of this alien crap that you love so much drove her away. And now I’ve got to find her.”

Michael rubbed his palm into his eye socket wearily as the dial tone sounded in his ear. He sighed and placed the phone down slowly into its cradle. Gee, that went well.
***


~June 28th 2000~
~10:36 pm~


“Where’s Max?” asked Nacedo as Michael opened the door to let him into his apartment. Isabel had just arrived two minutes ago with Tess in tow, because Tess had begged a lift off of her, much to her annoyance.

“He’s sorry, but he couldn’t make it. He sends his sincerest apologies,” replied Michael snidely, his hackles raised by the brusque shapeshifter. There was just something about him that put Michael on his guard. Even without the thinly veiled threat in the alley, his disregard for human life had Michael mistrusting of him, despite his supposed ‘protector status.’

Protector my ass, thought Michael bitterly, where was he when Hank got violent? Where was he period?

“I told you to get him here,” spat Nacedo angrily, his ire raised by Michael’s flippant attitude.

“And I told you that he wouldn’t come. I can’t just drag him here against his will. If you want to talk to him so much, you go see him.”

Nacedo’s eyes narrowed and he seemed to be contemplating something. Something that sent chills down Michael’s spine.

He turned towards the door and went to leave; he stood in the doorway momentarily and called for Tess.

“Tess. You’re coming with me.” Tess rose and scurried over to the door quickly, knowing that if she did anything to displease Nacedo, his anger at Michael would be taken out on her.

As Tess left the apartment, Nacedo turned his glare onto Michael.

“I’ll deal with you later.” And with that, he left.

Silence sat like a lead weight in the room as Michael and Isabel tried to understand what had just happened.

“Do you think they’re all like that, or just Nacedo?” asked Isabel quietly after a long moment of reflection.

“Who? Aliens? I dunno,” answered Michael pensively, reassessing his desire to leave Earth. The prospect of travelling to an unknown planet where a whole race of Nacedos might reside wasn’t tempting in the least. His dream was turning more and more into a nightmare, but as horrific as it was turning, he still couldn’t let go of it because of the unknown factor. Who was he if he wasn’t on this mission to get home? What would he do if his life didn’t revolve around his quest?

“Michael, what are we going to do?”

Michael bowed his head in defeat. Now he knew what it felt like to be Max, to be relied upon for answers and guidance. He desperately wished that Max was around to answer the question, but it seemed that the Max they knew had gone AWOL. There were enemy aliens coming, their protector was scaring the bejezus out of him, he didn’t know whether or not he could trust the fourth member in their pod squad, they apparently had to go home and fix some war torn planet and in amongst all the chaos, Max seemed to have gone slightly mad with grief. Michael wished he could join him. Just throw everything away and do what he wanted.

Unlike Max and Isabel, he’d never dreamt of a normal life as a normal person. Hank had beaten that desire out of him at an early age. All he’d ever wanted was to just go home.

That was until he had met Maria DeLuca. And now he was torn. He knew subconsciously that he wanted to stay, but his stubborn refusal to admit that he might have changed his mind was holding him back. Not to mention that a whole planet was relying on their return.

Michael was completely in over his head.

“I dunno, Izzy. I honestly don’t know.”
***


~June 29th 2000~
~2:32 am~


Max rose from his desk, having gone over every piece of information he’d been able to gather over the last few weeks. Tonight he’d been scanning bus timetables from the day Liz had run away trying to figure out which direction she might have gone considering the available services. He’d narrowed it down but the range was still wide, she could have headed any direction after taking a bus. That is, if she even took a bus. She was too smart to hitchhike, wasn’t she? Just how badly did she need to get out, to get away from him?

Outside, the wind howled and shook the trees as the clouds obscured any light from the stars. It was completely pitch black. So dark that it would be impossible for Max to see the two figures camped beneath his window, even if he’d looked.

Max groaned and felt his head grow heavy with the weight of fatigue. He was too tired to continue, but generally speaking, sleep was hard to come by for him. When he lay in bed those thoughts that he pushed to the back of his mind came roaring back to haunt him.

Max felt his eyelids grow heavy and sighed in relief. He usually didn’t get to sleep very quickly these days, but as soon as he’d slipped into bed, he’d felt his exhaustion keenly and his body had embraced the escape of sleep.

Max was too grateful to even question the peculiar compulsion he felt to sleep and how quickly it had hit him.

Within seconds he was out. And a few seconds later the two shadowy figures silently opened his window and slipped into his bedroom.

They carefully approached the bed, making no noise as they slunk through his room. They approached him with caution, making sure that he truly was asleep. That the mindwarp had worked.

“He didn’t fight it,” sighed one in relief as she viewed his face which was peaceful in slumber. So different from how he was awake, she mused as she traced his cheek with her finger. He was always so serious…

“His exhaustion would have made that impossible,” replied the other, pulling the covers back. “I’ll carry him, you hold the window open.”

Max didn’t even shift in his sleep as Nacedo roughly hauled him out of bed and slung him over his shoulder. Tess opened the window for him and the wind blew across his desk, scattering the articles and reports Max had so meticulously sorted the night before.

Nacedo heaved Max through and Tess snapped the window shut behind them before stealing off into the night.

As the last paper fluttered to the ground in Max’s bedroom, Diane, Phillip and Isabel slept on, and all was still in the Evans household.
***
Last edited by Rowedog on Fri Jan 25, 2008 8:11 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by Rowedog » Sun Aug 19, 2007 11:22 pm

A/N: I make no promises for when I'll be able to update next. My grandmother had two massive strokes a couple of days after I finished this part and unfortunately passed away and I have three assignments due and I'm going on placement. Things have just snowballed for me, so I don't know when I'll be free again to write. Thank you to everyone who left feedback, it is muchly appreciated.

Steph- A can of whoop-ass you say? Hmm, I’ll see what I can do about that. I’ll try to chuck in some A/I action for you in the next part. Thanks for your support.
Carter13
Clue
Tinie38
Behrluv32
Xmag
Alizaleven-
You’ll find out what’s going on with Liz, just not for a while. Sorry!
Alien_Friend
Flamehair
Eve
BigEars-
My meanness is one of my more endearing qualities.
What’s going on with Liz now?
do you honestly think I’ll answer that? :roll:
Spray- You + Liz = Therapy
That’s all I have to say on that subject.
Emz80m
Dusk
Raemac
ADreamerDestiny-
So, hopefully, the story is alot more complex and neither Max/Liz will be cast in the role of the "bad guy."
Your hope is not a vain one. I’m not really all that in to bashing characters. Liz is not the bad guy here. That would be Nacedo.
***

It's sitting by the overcoat,
The second shelf, the note she wrote
That I can't bring myself to throw away
And also
Reach she said for no one else but you,
Cuz you won't turn away
When someone else is gone

I'm sorry 'bout the attitude
I need to give when I'm with you
But no one else would take this shit from me
And I'm so
Terrified of no one else but me
I'm here all the time
I won't go away
It's me, yeah I can't get myself to go away
It's me, and I can't get myself to go away
Oh God I shouldn't feel this way

Reach down your hand in your pocket
Pull out some hope for me
It's been a long day, always ain't that right
And no Lord your hand won't stop it
Just keep you trembling
It's been a long day, always ain't that right

Well I'm surprised that you'd believe
In any thing that comes from me
I didn't hear from you or from someone else
And you're so
Set in life man, a pisser they're waiting
Too damn bad you get so far so fast
So what, so long

Reach down your hand in your pocket
Pull out some hope for me
It's been a long day, always ain't that right
And no Lord your hand won't stop it
Just keep you trembling
It's been a long day, always ain't that right

It's me, yeah and I can't get myself to go away
It's me, yeah and I can't get myself to go away
Oh God I shouldn't feel this way

Reach down your hand in your pocket
Pull out some hope for me
It's been a long day, always ain't that right
And no Lord your hand won't stop it
Just keep you trembling
It's been a long day, always ain't that right

*Long Day by Matchbox 20*


***

Part Seven

***


~June 29th 2000~
~10:30 am~


“Hey, you guys seen Max?” asked Michael as he approached both Maria and Alex. Isabel hadn’t seen him when she had gotten up and while this wasn’t such an unusual occurrence in the past few weeks, he generally came to school. His absence was slightly unusual and considering Nacedo’s threat and unhealthy interest in Max, he was more than a little worried by this sudden disappearance.

“Nope.” Maria turned her back to him and began sorting through her locker, trying extremely hard not to look at him. If he wanted to be with Isabel, then he could go ahead. See if she cared. He could do whatever and whoever he wanted.

Her lip trembled and she battled back tears as her heart screamed its denial of her unaffected state. She did care. She didn’t want him dating Isabel. She didn’t want him dating anybody but herself.

She swallowed hard and focussed on the aimless rearrangement of her locker. She might miss him, but she’ll be damned if she was going to chase him while he was with another girl. She had a little more dignity than that. Even if it was killing her to keep up this pretence of indifference day after day.

Alex coughed, embarrassed by Maria’s abrupt rudeness and tried to ignore Maria’s blunt dismissal of Michael by answering Michael’s question more fully.

“I haven’t seen him either. Why? Is he missing?”

Michael’s gaze was trained on Maria’s back as he spoke. “We don’t know. Max isn’t so predictable anymore. He could just be out trying to find information about Liz’s whereabouts or he could have run away or…” Michael’s voice trailed off as he considered the third possibility.

“Or…?” prompted Alex as Michael’s face grew worried and grim.

“Or…” he sighed and ran his hand through his hair. “I dunno. Nacedo’s been acting weird lately.”

“And you think he could have something to do with Max’s disappearance?” Alex was confused. Nacedo was the alien’s protector. What could he possibly be doing abducting Max?

“It’s just something he said last night… he was kinda threatening. And it wouldn’t be the first time he’s done something like this.”

Alex exhaled loudly thinking of the abduction of Liz. That had been truly bizarre. Nacedo was supposed to be drawing attention away from the pod squad, but instead he poses as Max and abducts a girl and draws the special unit right to him? What sort of idiocy was that? Nacedo seemed to have a screw loose, not to mention his predilection for killing people made him one dangerous guy in Alex’s eyes.

“Ok. Well, I’ll call you when I see him.” And with that, Alex left. He knew Maria would be seething that he had left her alone with Michael, especially considering that they had the next class together, but he knew they needed to talk. Hopefully Michael would take the initiative. He was sick of seeing Maria hurting.

Maria was fuming. Alex had left her alone with Michael. The one person she was trying to avoid and he had purposefully left her alone with him. She was going to have to kill him. Maria’s mind was still consumed by thoughts of murdering Alex when Michael spoke.

“So… what are you looking for?”

Maria stopped mid-rummage and tried to think of a plausible excuse.

“My, uh… chemistry homework.” Maria nearly sighed in relief, that sounded reasonable. Michael knew the state her locker was generally in, so searching for missing homework in amongst the mess of papers was hardly a stretch of the imagination.

“You mean…this?” Michael stepped forward and reached into her locker pulling out a piece of paper that had been quite clearly on display on the top shelf of her locker. Maria swallowed as she felt the heat from Michael’s body radiate through her clothing as he stood close to her. She cursed silently as her flimsy excuse fell apart and then cursed silently again when Michael didn’t move from his position behind her.

“Whoops. Didn’t see that there,” she muttered as she pulled the piece of paper from his hands.

“Why did you need it anyway? Don’t you have chemistry after lunch?” Michael tried to keep his voice nonchalant as he stood behind her, getting vague wafts of scent from the florally scented shampoo she used. His heart beat faster as he recalled the way he was once able to run his hands through it when they were together for that all too brief period of time. But he had closed that door when he had walked away from her that day in the UFO centre. He didn’t have any right to feel that way about her now, he reasoned to himself. But even with that realisation, Michael still didn’t move away from her.

Maria froze as his questions sounded perilously and mind numbingly close to her ear. She quickly racked her fuzzy brain for a reason.

“Uh… I wanted to make sure it was there, so I didn’t have to freak out right before chemistry looking for it.”

Maria’s explanation didn’t sound plausible to either her or Michael.

“Riiight,” he drawled disbelievingly in her ear, his soft rumble sending a shiver down her spine.

She took what she hoped would be a steadying breath and promptly inhaled his familiar scent. He smelt of a combination of soap and something so undefinably masculine it made her mind promptly blank out.

He was too close.

Too tempting.

She sidestepped away from him, accidentally colliding with someone as she went.

“Sorry,” she cried as the person glared at her before walking away. She turned back to Michael as he hid a smile at her flustered appearance. Maria might pretend to be unaffected by him, but that flush on her cheeks said otherwise.

“Ok, thanks for uh, helping me find my homework Michael,” Maria nearly wept with relief as the bell sounded to go to class, “But I have to go to class now. I’ll see you later.”

Maria began to stride down the hall, but stopped when Michael called out to her.

“Uh, Maria?”

“Yes?” she span on her feet and faced him with what she hoped was a politely disinterested look.

“You seem to have forgotten your books for next class. And you’ve left your locker door open.” Michael bit his bottom lip and tried not to laugh at her reaction.

Maria’s face went pale then reddened abruptly as she quivered with rage. He was laughing at her. The bastard was toying with her emotions when he had an alien fiancée waiting in the wings. Was she a game to him? Maria had had it; he and the rest of his alien friends could fuck right back off to whichever crappy planet they came from.

Maria walked back towards her locker with an air of affected calmness, viciously pulled her books out and then slammed her locker door shut and turned to stalk away.

“Hey, wait,” Michael noticed her anger and placed his hand on her arm, wanting to apologise. He was taken aback when she violently yanked her arm out of his reach.

“Just what the hell is your problem?” he called down the hall to her retreating back. She stopped momentarily, allowing him time to catch up with her. He dropped his voice to a low whisper when he reached her, all the time wary of passing students. “You’ve been avoiding me and now you’re pissed off with me for no reason. Is it that time of the month or something?”

“THAT TIME OF THE MONTH??!!!” Maria was not so concerned with keeping her voice down. She hit him a couple of times with her books then stopped to glare at him alerting him to the fact that maybe he shouldn’t have been so flippant about whatever was bothering her. She stood face to face with him and poked him in his chest. “I’ve put up with a lot of shit from you Michael Guerin. No, you know what? I’ve put up with well over my fair share of shit from you. But nothing, and I mean nothing has been as cruel as what you just did. You are with someone else, so why the hell don’t you just leave me alone!”

Maria turned on her heel and stalked away, oblivious to the stares she was receiving. Michael stared after her, completely confused. “What the hell are you talking about?”

“Confused are you, Michael? That’ll be a common theme for you in life I suspect. Why don’t you go ask your fiancée?” she retorted snidely without turning around.

She reached the safety of her chemistry class and sat down next to Alex without speaking.

Her grim set face alerted him immediately to the fact that maybe his plan to help Maria didn’t work so well.

“Hey… Maria. How’s it… uh, how’s it going?” he asked hesitantly hoping that maybe she’d exclude him from her bad mood on account of his best friend status.

He was very wrong.

“You. An axe. A shallow grave out in the woods.”

Alex hissed in a breath and winced. “That bad, huh?”

Maria turned to stare at him and he could begin to see that grave coming closer to fruition. “Um… sorry?” Maria’s glare hardened and Alex felt it incumbent on him to take his Dad’s sage advice about angry women. ‘When in doubt, shut the hell up.’
***
~June 29th 2000~
~7:13 am~


Max felt a distinctly feminine hand caress his face, still half ensconced in the dream world he sighed and pushed into the warm contact.

“Liz,” he muttered sleepily, enjoying the first skin to skin contact he’d had in weeks.

The hand pulled sharply away from his face with a suddenness that pulled him from the rest of his slumber.

He peered up through sleep deprived eyes to find Tess staring down at him, with saddened, half irritated eyes.

“Tess? What the fuck are you doing in my room?” he spat out as he tried to rise. It was then that he noticed the metal clasps holding his wrists to the floor. He then felt the coldness of stone floor on his back and noticed the rounded room he was ensconced in held a darkened upside down cone. Unless his mom had redecorated whilst he was sleeping, this was definitely not his bedroom.

“Where the fuck am I? What are you doing to me?” Max struggled wildly against his restraints, his mind flickering back to his time in the white room. His wrists soon became reddened and raw from the cold metal biting into his skin but that didn’t detract from the extreme panic that rose up in his chest and threatened to overwhelm him.

Tess stood and turned away from him, staying completely silent.

“Tess! Answer me!”

Max felt the nausea spread as flashes of the white room assailed him. He could smell the sterile chemicals, see the blinding white of the walls and feel the restraints cut into him as he was subjected to test after test. He panted in fear as he watched Pierce approach him from the corner of his eye, his chest heaving and his muscles trembling as he got closer and closer to him.

Max flinched away in terror as Pierce knelt beside him. As Max cowered, Pierce gave a mocking laugh and exclaimed loudly, “The king has awoken. How was your nap, sleeping beauty?”

Max blinked as the walls reverted back to their normal colour and the smell of chemicals faded from his nostrils. Pierce, however, still remained.

“Pierce? You… you can’t be here. You’re dead! I saw you die!”

Pierce seemed pensive for a moment, before reaching into his pocket to draw out a long crystal. “He scares you, doesn’t he? Even after death his image still terrifies you.”

Max gasped as realisation hit him. “Nacedo! Why am I here?”

Ignoring Max’s question, Nacedo continued on with his train of thought. “That is unacceptable behaviour for a king. A king needs to be strong and fearless.”

Max struggled against his bonds again as he roared, “I’m not a king!”

Nacedo smirked at him, rising from his crouch to place the crystal into a slot in the base of the cone structure.

“Not yet. But after today you will be.”

Nacedo turned to Tess who was standing in the corner of the room, her arms crossed protectively across her body as she awaited Nacedo’s instruction.

“Tess! Get the healing stones!”

Tess hurried over to the side of the room and pulled open a drawstring bag and pulled out the odd crystals. She turned and reluctantly headed back to hand them over to him.

“Let me go! What are you doing? Tess! Help!”

Tess closed her eyes and exhaled at the sound of Max’s desperate plea. Nacedo laughed and nudged Max with his boot.

“She won’t help you, Max. She knows this needs to happen.” Nacedo began to place crystals in a circular fashion around Max’s body. “We all know it just won’t do to have a whiny, lovelorn teen as king. You know, I never knew what you saw in that girl.” Stopping to gauge Max’s reaction, Nacedo remarked, “Sure, she was a great kisser, but-”

Max’s roar of rage filled the room and Nacedo laughed. “Well, that got you all fired up, didn’t it, Max? I was just going to say that she seemed a little frigid. Whereas Tess here… she’d probably let you stick it to her any time, anywhere.”

Tess inhaled sharply as Nacedo punctuated his speech with a sharp slap on her behind. Closing her eyes once again, she tried to block out what was happening.

“Let me go Nacedo! That’s an order!” ground out Max as Nacedo placed the last stone near his head.

“Sorry Max, I only take orders from my king and you aren’t him. Yet…”

Nacedo crossed to the base of the dome and deftly punched a sequence of buttons and watched with near maniacal glee as the cone began to glow and pulse blue and purple.

“The granolith strikes again! You ready for this Max?” crowed Nacedo as the light began to increase in intensity.

“Is this going to hurt him?” asked Tess fearfully as she watched the blue lights crackle inside the dome. She had thought this would be simple and quick, but watching the fear on Max’s face, she realised that this was far from simple or easy.

“I dunno,” shrugged Nacedo with frightening ease. “Probably.”

“Stop! Let me go!”

When Nacedo rolled his eyes at Max’s pleading, Max turned his attention to Tess.

“Tess, please…”

Tess bit her lip and shot a sideways glance at Nacedo before mouthing “I’m sorry.”

“Nearly there!” cried Nacedo as the lights grew so bright that they turned white. Max struggled in vain, his fear multiplied by the threat of the unknown and the extent of Nacedo’s madness. Max knew instinctively that whatever was going to happen to him was not going to be good.

An explosion ripped through the cave as the light burst from inside the granolith and hit the circle of healing stones. For a moment, there was stillness and all Max could see was a sheet of white light circling him before it leapt from the stones and struck him with a resounding crack.

The last lucid thought that went through Max’s brain before the pain tore through him was of a brown haired, doe eyed girl who had taken his heart with her when she left.
***
Last edited by Rowedog on Fri Jan 25, 2008 8:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Rowedog » Sun Sep 30, 2007 9:56 pm

Thank you to everyone for you commiserations about my grandmother. And thank you to all the feedbackers and a hearty hello to the lurkers! This part has been a massive pain in the arse, especially Max’s scene. Writing action used to be something I enjoyed, but I couldn’t really get Max’s scene in the granolith chamber right. Oh well, she’ll have to do. This is unbeta'ed because I'm excited about posting it (even if I don't particularly like some parts of it).

Novolette-
Let me know if you need someone to give that muse of yours a good talking to, to tell it that's not how you treat a lady!
Since when have I ever been a lady? I’m told I’m the most unladylike person imaginable from both of my parents. But then I retort by telling them that they raised me so every flaw of mine is their fault. Good times. :D
Trude-
wow, Michael survived that comment?
Amazingly enough he did, the Gods must have been smiling down on him that day :wink:
Eve
Emz80m
Steph
Clueless
Tears_of_Mercury-
I have to say that each update I scan for the date waiting to see us revisit either "present" or prologue Liz
You’re probably not alone on that front. Sorry I’m such a mean writer :) , Liz isn’t coming back for a while yet... But I promise she is coming back.
Tinie38
Bigears-
And yes, I will admit, you are quite endearing, mean and all.
Yes! Score one for me! :lol:
Flamehair
Vaderian-
I realize that I've been a lurker for a while, but I've just got to say that I probably won't be able to sleep until you've updated again
Umm… so you haven’t slept for about a month and bit? How’s that working out for you? :lol:
Raychelxluxcious- Thanks Raychel! You’ve warmed my heart with your feedback! Especially given that I love “Absence Makes The Heart Grow Bitter”.
83 AlienAngel- I’m here! You can come off the edge of your seat, only to get right back on!
ADreamerDestiny- Damn… Some of the thoughts you’ve written about what’s going to happen are just spot on. Some of them aren’t, but that’s the stuff I wanted you to think so, yay for me and yay for you! And no, I won’t tell you what you got right and what you’ve gotten wrong. Glad you’re enjoying this. I like writing it (when it isn’t giving me grief that is)
Raemac
Carter13
Timelord31

***

Judging by the look on the organ-grinder,
He'll judge me by the fact that my face don't fit.
It's touching that the monkey sits on my shoulder.
He's waiting for the day when he gets me,
But I don't need no alibi - I'm a puppet on a string.
I just need this stage to be seen.
We all need a pantomime to remind us what is real.
Hold my eye and know what it means.

I'm out of my mind.

Judging by the look on the organ-grinder,
He'll judge me by the fact that my face don't fit.
It's touching that the monkey sits on my shoulder.
He's waiting for the day when he gets me,
But I won't be your concubine - I'm a puppet not a whore.
I just need this stage to be seen.
Will you be a friend of mine to remind me what is real?
Hold my heart and see that it bleeds.

I'm out of my mind.

*Out Of My Mind by James Blunt*


***

Part Eight

***
~June 29th 2000~
~7:13 am~


The light dimmed from around Max and Nacedo watched anxiously for any sign of life from Max’s inert body. The anticipatory silence hung thick throughout the air as he waited to see if his king would be reborn or if a very pissed off Max Evans would regain consciousness.

While Nacedo didn’t want to wait any longer, he wasn’t fussed if it didn’t work the first time. He could just try again.

His gaze drifted to the right as he looked at the smooth surface of the now dormant granolith. He ran his hands down the side of the cone, relishing the buzz of remnant power that emanated there. He idly wondered how long the granolith would take to recharge if he were to try to awaken Max’s latent memories again.

Nacedo’s eyes flew back to Max’s prone form as he heard a groan slip from Max’s mouth. He hurried over to him and nearly punched the air in victory as he saw Max’s eyes peer back at him.

His once honey coloured eyes were now completely black.

Nacedo had succeeded. Zan was back and nothing could stop him and his plans.

“Zan.” Nacedo waved his hands over the restraints, releasing him from them and Max rose stiffly, his eyes wary and confused.

“Nacedo. Where am-” Max’s question fell short as flashes slashed through him, driving him to his knees, his head clutched in his hands as the pain in his mind reached unbearable proportions. It felt like his head was being rent apart.

Tess rushed forward with a cry as he fell and tried to hold him up as screamed in agony.

“Nacedo! What’s happening? Do something!” she implored as Max’s yell of pain echoed throughout the chamber of the granolith.

“It’s perfectly normal Tess,” replied Nacedo breezily, watching his young king writhe on the floor in anguish. “He’ll be perfectly okay in a few seconds. He’ll have these moments until his brain adjusts to the modifications that have been made.”

“Modifications?” asked Tess, her gaze still fixed on Max as he tried to endure the torture being placed on him. Surely nothing could be worth this… could it?

“Yes Tess, you see,” Nacedo moved towards her and stepped over Max, not even giving him a second glance. Nacedo grasped her arm and drew her to her feet and away from the incapacitated Max, raising his voice above the level of Max’s cries. “Max has been given a whole life time’s worth of memories. Alongside that we also gave him old Zan’s powers. Had we only given him one of those two things, he’d probably be in a lot less pain. But,” Nacedo gave a careless shrug that sent chills down Tess’ spine. “It’s all for the good of the cause.”

Tess turned away from Nacedo back towards Max and bit her lip. She closed her eyes and let out a relieved breath when Max’s screaming suddenly stopped and he tried to stagger to his feet.

Tess crossed to him and placed a supporting arm on his shoulder and his eyes snapped to hers. “Ava…” he whispered, his eyes raking her face. A glimmer of hope ignited in Tess’ eyes and she raised her free hand, lightly brushing his cheek. “Max,” she breathed, her heart beating a wild tattoo as he looked at her intensely.

“No. Tess.” Max slapped her hand away and shook his head trying to clear the confusion from his head. He stepped away from her and his breathing grew heavy. His confusion grew greater and he shook his head, trying to clear the mess inside of his head.

“Who are you?” he demanded as he glared at the petite blonde. “Are you Tess, or Ava? Or someone else?” He stepped forward threateningly, growling the last part.

“It’s me, Max. It’s Tess.” Tess glanced at Nacedo for support. Max seemed to be having trouble adjusting to his newfound memories and she was at a loss as to how to deal with it.

Max ground his palm into his forehead trying to stop the confusion that was whirling inside of his skull. “But… I have memories.” Max’s desperation to understand grew, his breathing grew even rougher and his fist clenched in his hair. “Memories of you as Ava. As a different person.”

He advanced even more on her and Tess drew back, Max’s behaviour beginning to frighten her.

“Are they a lie?” he demanded in a harsh yell, causing Tess to shrink back against the wall of the chamber.

“Answer me!” he yelled, grasping her arm harshly and yanking her up to face level.

“Zan,” Nacedo interceded. “Tess isn’t your enemy here. You’re just confused, in time, it’ll pass.”

Max whirled on Nacedo and his eyes widened as a flash assailed him.

“I’m not a king… Not yet. But after today you will be… Stop! Let me go!”

“I was here.” He muttered, just loud enough so that Nacedo and Tess, who was whimpering behind him, could hear.

“You had me chained to the floor. You did this to me.” He murmured as Nacedo rushed forward, eager to placate his king.

“It was necessary, Zan. It was for your own good.”

“My own good?” Max’s voice was deathly quiet, and Tess could just feel the storm brewing underneath his calm façade.

“Yes, Zan, you see-”

“MY OWN GOOD?” roared Max, the confusion in his head adding to his incoherent rage. He could only grasp that something was wrong with him, and it was because of the person standing in front of him.

In a rush of movement, Max had Nacedo pinned to the wall, his right hand hovering above Nacedo’s chest.

“Zan, let me go,” requested Nacedo, his voice less steady than usual. He was only beginning to grasp just how dangerous Max was.

“Did you listen to me when I told you to let me go before? DID YOU?” Max pressed his hand against Nacedo’s chest, a dark delight growing in him from the quick build up of power that flowed into his palm and fingertips.

Nacedo watched in horror as he felt the heat of Max’s hand increase until his shirt started to smoke and char in the intense heat. It was then that he tried to send Max flying with a blast of energy. Max’s body absorbed the blow as if it was nothing and Max’s concentration barely faltered.

Nacedo gasped and tried to wrench away Max’s hand as it boiled and seared through his flesh. “Zan! Stop!” he screamed as pain slammed into him.

“You did this to me,” growled Max, his breath coming in large uneven pants. “You fucked with my head!”

Nacedo sent blast after blast of power at Max, but nothing fazed him from his task. Through the cacophonous jumble of images, thoughts and confused ramblings going on in Max’s head, he could only recognize one solid fact. Nacedo had done this to him. And now, Nacedo would pay for it.

“I don’t know who I am,” he laughed hysterically as Nacedo’s screams echoed through the chamber, mingling with Tess cries and pleas to stop. “I don’t know what I am.”

With one last unearthly scream, Nacedo’s body crumbled to ash and Max sank to his knees with a relieved sigh, the mad confusion and noise in his mind lightened by the draining of power.

Tess sat with her back against the wall, her knees tucked up close to her chest and tears tumbling down her face as she gazed at the pile of smouldering ash that was once her protector. He was once her entire world when she was younger, the only person she could count on to protect her at any cost. What was she supposed to do without him?

Max groaned as he felt the roar of noise increase in his head. His power had returned to full strength in amazing recovery time and had brought the swirling jumble back to a roaring crescendo inside his head. The confusion threatened to overwhelm him and Max fought desperately to control it. He was so tired and just wanted his over-crammed brain to provide him with some peace. Max tried to recall the last time he had felt peace.

He clutched at his head and tried to order some of the mess in there, images and thoughts floating out of his grasp as quickly as they would arise. Quick flashes of memory exploded in his brain leaving him more confused than ever before as he tried to sort out who he was and why he was here. His heart jumped as his brain flashed an image of Liz Parker at him. With that image came a residual memory of the peace and happiness he had felt in her presence. Max was almost overwhelmed with longing as Liz’s image remained in his head, the jumble in his head becoming background noise as she took up a steady position in his mind. Max quickly made the connection that Liz Parker created peace and tranquillity and held onto her image even tighter, lest it be ripped away from him by the hurricane inside of his brain. He let out a sigh as she remained steadily in the forefront, seemingly reducing the insanity in his brain to a manageable level.

He rose up off the ground and ignored the quietly crying Tess behind him. Max now had a purpose.

The solution to his problem was obvious.

He needed Liz Parker.

And he was going to find her.

No matter what the cost.
***
~June 29th 2000~
~1:30 pm~


“Maria! Maria, wait up!”

Maria turned in the corridor to see who was calling out to her and faltered when she saw Kyle Valenti running towards her. She hadn’t spoken to him since the day after Liz had run away and had basically avoided him to give him time to adjust to aliens living on earth.

“Hey… Kyle.” Maria said hesitantly as Kyle stopped in front of her. “What’s, uh, going on?”

Kyle glanced around at the busy hallway and lowered his voice. “Can we talk? I kinda wanted to…talk about the uh, ‘visitors’, if you catch my drift.”

Maria sighed and linked her arm through Kyle’s. “We call them Czechoslovakians, Kyle. C’mon, we’ll go under the bleachers.”

As they headed off, neither of them noticed Michael watching them from the other end of the hall. Michael didn’t like that Kyle knew their secret, and he definitely didn’t like the way he was touching Maria, but he knew he couldn’t interrupt. If anyone could make Kyle understand how important their secret was, it was Maria.

In a startling epiphany, Michael realised that he could trust Maria, that he already did. He couldn’t pinpoint the exact moment when that monumental change happened, when he had actually given his trust to a human being. It had happened so gradually, that he hadn’t noticed. Michael tested out this new found knowledge to see how he felt about it and smiled slowly.

Michael found that he didn’t mind at all.
***
~June 29th 2000~
~1:34 pm~


“So…” began Kyle, unsure of where to start. He looked around the bleachers for inspiration, but found none. He had so many questions that he didn’t know how to ask.

“How about we start with what you think you know about them and I’ll fill in the blanks,” suggested Maria, as Kyle struggled for words.

Kyle nodded and exhaled briefly before starting. “Ok, I know that Max, Michael and Isabel are aliens.”

He stopped there and Maria looked at him expectantly.

“That’s it?” she asked incredulously when he didn’t continue.

“Oh, and they have special powers.”

Maria exhaled in annoyance and rolled her eyes. This was going to take longer than she thought.

“Ok, here’s the deal. There’s this planet in another galaxy, right?”

Maria paused to make sure that Kyle was with her so far. Kyle nodded. “Right. Gotcha.”

“Way back in the day, there was this king and his royal family and whatnot. His advisor or whatever was engaged to his sister and the king was married to a little blonde bitch with a whiny voice. Still with me?”

Kyle’s eyebrows went up at Maria’s choice of description for the Queen but he nodded all the same. “Yep.”

“So anyway, there’s some sort or overthrow and the king and his three peeps get whacked.”

“Uh huh.” Kyle was only mildly freaked out that he could understand what she was talking about.

“Now comes the weird part,” Maria paused and rolled her eyes at Kyle’s incredulous stare. “I realise how ironic that statement was. The king’s mom decides that the king deserves another go and has his” Maria made her quotation fingers. “Essence duplicated. She does the same for the other three in his court and implants their essences into human slash alien hybrids that are floating in pods.”

Kyle held out his hand and stopped her there. “Whoa, whoa! What?”

Maria heaved out another sigh. “They somehow created human bodies with alien powers and stuffed their souls or whatever into them. They then sent them to earth in a dud flying saucer that crashes in the middle of nowhere, creating an alien themed tourist trap.”

“The crash was real?” Kyle was taken aback. He had thought all those UFO nuts were insane to believe it, but now…

Maria nodded and continued on, “The alien slash human hybrids hatch out of the pods looking like six year olds with no idea who they are, who they were and what they’re meant to do and grow up like normal kids right smack dab here in Roswell.”

Kyle nodded slowly, his mind still trying to grasp everything she had said. “And that’s what Michael, Max and Isabel are?”

Maria nodded. “And Tess.”

Kyle stiffened and his eyes widened. “Tess? As in I went out on a date with her? That Tess?”

“Yeah, she’s the whiny blonde queen bitch that I mentioned before,” Maria stated, her dislike of Tess coming through quite clearly.

“I went out on a date with her!” cried Kyle, horrified beyond all belief. He had tried to kiss some slimy pod creature!

“Liz did try to warn you, dude.” Maria stated as calmly as she could, whilst trying to hold back the giggles that were threatening to break through. The look on Kyle’s face was priceless.

“She should have tried harder!” exclaimed Kyle, trying to come to terms with the fact his dating credentials now included a certified alien.

Maria watched him struggle with this newfound information and decided to cut him some slack. She went up to him and grabbed him by the shoulders, halting his progress and forcing him to look her in the eye.

“Dude, you’re not the only one who has dated an alien. Liz fell in love with Max, Alex briefly dated Isabel and Michael and I…” Maria stopped and tried to describe what she and Michael had and found that it was beyond words. Instead she went for the easier option. “We had a thing.”

Kyle stepped out of reach of her arms and looked at her, incredulity and disbelief etched across his face. “And this was… after you knew what they were?”

Maria nodded, causing Kyle’s mouth to drop open. “How could you do that? How could you make out with an alien?”

Maria closed her eyes and exhaled, annoyance building up in her. She knew she’d been like this when she’d first found out about the aliens, but now, she realised that this automatic response was what had kept Michael from being able to appreciate or trust any human being.

“Kyle, when you look at them, what do you see?”

Kyle shrugged, taken aback by the question. “I dunno, they just look like normal kids.”

“Exactly! They are what you see. They’ve been raised in this world, this is all they know. They have feelings and emotions just like you. But most of all, they’re just scared. Scared of being different, scared of what they are, scared of what they’re going to have to do. Can you imagine growing up in a world where what you are is portrayed as a thing to fear? Can you imagine the self loathing that would produce?”

Kyle shook his head lost in thought as Maria’s words hit home. He’d never considered it from that light before.

Maria approached Kyle and held his hand between hers. “Kyle, they’re not asking you to be their best friend. In fact, you never have to talk to them again if you don’t want to. All that they’re asking is that you keep their secret for them.” Maria flipped Kyle’s hand over and studied it. “Their lives are in your hands”

Kyle closed his fist and glanced back at Maria. “I suppose I’d be the most ungrateful bastard in the world if I told anyone, considering that Max saved my life.”

Maria beamed at him and clapped him on the back. “That’s the spirit!”

“Speaking of Max, what’s going on with him lately?”

Maria groaned and felt a spike of guilt in her stomach. “How about we go back to the beginning and I let you in on everything that’s happened since Liz was shot?”

“Liz was shot!?”
***
~June 29th 2000~
~2:02 pm~


Isabel waited impatiently in the hallway outside the biology lab. She tapped her foot as she waited for the bell to sound. Max was missing and they needed all the help they could get to find him. Her eagerness to find him was the only reason she was impatiently waiting outside of Alex’s biology class. At least, that was what she told herself.

She stopped mid-pace and breathed a heart felt sigh of relief as the bell sounded letting the mass of bored students file out. She waited impatiently until she spotted Alex and then caught him by the arm.

“Alex,” she whispered urgently. “I need your help.”

Alex groaned, his stomach twisting as he felt the heat from her hand as if she were a beacon of flame. Her touch was like liquid electricity.

Guilt slashed into him as he realised what she needed his help with. Finding Max. The same Max he had helped to destroy by covering Liz’s tracks when she had ran. Alex winced, he wasn’t equipped to deal with this. Her presence just made the ever present guilt intensify.

“Can’t it wait? I have work to do for English.” Alex prevaricated, feeling immeasurably worse by the disinterest he was showing. But he had to do this. If he managed to push her away, the pain of being away from her would be easier to deal with than the weighty guilt he felt whenever he was near her. He had helped Liz to run away and that meant that he was the reason for Max’s pain. And because Max was hurting, Isabel was hurting. And the knowledge that Alex had inadvertently caused Isabel pain was eating him up inside.

Isabel’s mouth dropped open and she halted Alex again by tugging on his arm and holding him there. “Alex, you don’t understand, Max is-”

“-missing. Yeah, I know. Michael told me.” Alex put up a wall from himself and his heart as he coldly distanced himself from her.

“Then… why-”

“Because maybe everything isn’t about you and Michael and Max,” Alex snapped. “I have my own stuff to deal with. I do have a life outside of you and your twilight zone, ok princess? Maybe Max just doesn’t want to be found.”

Isabel blinked back tears and jerkily released Alex’s arm. She had never been treated that way by anyone she had ever let into her heart, and to have Alex do so was beyond destroying. “I’m sorry,” she whispered, before turning sharply and heading in a beeline for the bathroom, tears blurring her vision, her already constricted chest tightening even further. She pushed her way into the bathroom and raced into a toilet cubicle where she sat with her head in her hands, struggling to contain the raging sobs that had been building inside her for weeks now.

Alex watched her retreat and felt his own heart squeeze painfully. He had hurt her. He had seen the pain in her eyes and it killed him to know he had put it there. He slapped his palm into his forehead and then repeated the action many times. That plan had gone so extremely wrong. The last thing he wanted to do was to create more pain for Isabel, her brother having gone slightly insane was more than enough. He punched the locker beside him sharply and gasped at the pain that shot through his hand. He cautiously flexed his fingers and winced again. He kicked the locker and headed off down the hallway, his mind quickly coming to the conclusion that he needed advice of the girl variety. And with Liz gone, that left only one candidate. He needed to see Maria.
***
Last edited by Rowedog on Fri Jan 25, 2008 8:41 am, edited 5 times in total.
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