FanFic - Crossovers
"Secret Lives"
Part 3
by Jessi and Lori
Disclaimer: We own none of the characters used in this story. They belong to Joss Whedon, Melinda Metz, and Jason Katims. We're just using them and will return them till the next time we feel like screwing with their lives. :)
Summary: Liz has a secret that could endanger everyone in her life.
Category: Crossovers
Rating: PG
Authors Note: Post-Destiny. Not speculative. Jess and I know that what we're writing about would never happen.
Michael and Liz walked for about two blocks in silence before Michael finally said something.

"There's no chance that this is just a dream right?"

"Sorry Michael but no. Believe me if it were I'd be the first to wake up screaming."

"So what are you exactly?"

"A vampire slayer." Liz said. "It's a long story. But the bottom line is you have got to keep it quiet Michael. You can't tell Max or anyone for that matter."

"Max would understand you know."

"Michael, Max would insist on protecting me and following me around. He'd get hurt. I'm not gonna do that to him."

"You know you took away his choice once before when you walked out of that cave. Don't do it again."

Liz stopped. "You know you're a fine one to talk about taking away choices."

"And what the hell is that supposed to mean?"

"Do I have to spell it out for you? Maria, Michael! She loved you and you trampled her heart into the muck."

"I just don't want to hurt her."

"Hurt her? Michael nothing you could do to her physically could hurt her as much as what you did that day in the convention center."

"I could kill her. I think that might hurt."

"You don't get it do you? You might not trust yourself but Maria does and for Maria to trust a guy other then Alex is a huge deal and I think you know that. I think that's what scared you the most. Pierce was just a really lame excuse." Liz said before she walked away.

Liz closed her locker on Monday morning and just as she turned to her left Michael appeared in front of her."Are you trying to give me heart failure?" She hissed at him.

Michael smirked at her, "No I learned from Riley to try not to scare you."

"Cute. So is this the part where you tell me how very wrong I am about what I said on Friday night?"

Michael sighed, "No, I see your point. Max has enough to worry about without trying to protect you."

"Thank you." Liz said before she started to walk down the hallway.

"That's why I'm gonna do it."

"You're WHAT?" Liz exclaimed loudly

Michael looked around him."Look this is not the place to have this conversation. Meet me under the bleachers at lunch okay?"

"There will be no conversation. You're not doing it."

"And how do you plan to stop me?" Michael said, then changed tactics, "Look, consider this a trade-off. I won't tell Max, if you let me help you."

"Bleachers, lunch, be there." Liz said in frustration.

Michael gave a small smile knowing he had won this round. He turned to go to class never noticing Max watching him.

"Something is going on." Max said without preamble when he sat next to Isabel in History.

Isabel rolled her eyes before looking at her brother, "Something is always going on Max. Our lives haven't been 'normal' in nearly a year. What is it this time?"

"Michael and Liz."

"Yeah? What about them?"

"They're acting funny. Together."

"What do you mean by funny?" Isabel asked, thoroughly confused by now.

"Today Liz was at her locker and when she closed it there was Michael, waiting for her. They talked and then Liz shrieked, then they sorta argued from what I could tell and then Liz walked away."

"I still don't understand the problem, Max. Michael can't have a conversation without starting an argument. He was probably asking a stupid question about Maria." Isabel said, dismissing the whole issue from her mind.

"This was different. It was almost as if they have something between them, that had nothing to do with the rest of us."

"Max, if you are so worried about it, why don't you just ask Michael?" Isabel asked.

"And what am I supposed to say? 'Michael are you and Liz sleeping together?'"

Isabel nearly dropped her history book. "WHAT? You think that?"

"I don't know." Max looked miserable.

"Do you want me to talk to him?" Isabel asked.

"It might come out less accusatory if you ask him." Max mused. "Yeah, could you?"

"Sure. I'll ask him at lunch today. Just leave us alone so I can talk to him."

Max gave a heaving sigh of relief, "Thanks Iz."

"Anytime." Isabel said as the bell rang and their teacher started taking roll.

Liz sighed as she sat under the bleachers waiting for Michael. The lunch bell rang about five minutes ago and Michael still hadn't shown.

"Michael, I don't have time for this," she muttered under her breath.

"Time for what?" Michael said as he appeared at the opening of the bleachers and sat down next to her."Sorry I'm late. I had to dodge Isabel."

"Dodge her? Why? What did she want?"

"I don't know. She was waiting at my locker when I got out of class and I just watched her till she finally left. Then I got my lunch and got out of there."

"Do you think she saw us this morning? Heard us?"

"No, she wasn't anywhere around. Now who's the paranoid one?" Michael smirked

"Funny. I thought if anyone would understand paranoia it would be you." Liz held out her chips. "Want one?"

"Sure, thanks." Michael nodded as he pulled the Tabasco sauce bottle out of his bag.

"So go ahead and argue your case. You have a time limit. I have to go to gym and lift some weights."

"I thought we had already covered this. The deal is, you let me help you and keep an eye on you, and in return I don't tell Max about the whole slayer bit." Michael said smugly. He knew there was no way she was getting out of this.

"I knew I should have just beat the hell out of you on Friday." Liz said with a grimace."Why do you want to help me?"

"For one thing, Max'll kill me if he finds out I knew about this and something happens to you." Michael shuddered, picturing the scene."For another, believe it or not, I DO care about you." He blushed slightly, uncomfortable with admitting feelings to anyone.

Max walked up to hear the last sentence. He felt his heart drop to his feet.

"Okay when we get there let me do the talking." Isabel said as she and Max walked to Michael's apartment after school."Knowing Michael he was just trying to get on Liz's good side so she'd stop sticking him with the UFO freaks' tables at the Crashdown."

"Fine, let's just find out what is going on." Max said, a scowl on his face.

"Are you sure you want to be here for this?"

"Yes, I don't think I can handle not knowing any longer."

"Okay here we go." Isabel knocked on Michael's door."Michael? You home?" she called.

*no answer*

"I wonder where he is. Did he have to work today?" Isabel asked.

"I don't think so, but he could have switched days with someone. Lets go check." Max said, swiftly turning around and going to the Jeep.

"Max I'm sure there's a reasonable explanation for this." Isabel said.

"Well if it involves Michael, Liz, and a bed I'm going to kill Michael dead."

"What is all this stuff?" Michael said as he looked around Giles' office that afternoon.

"Books on various demons, witches and folklore. There is an amazing amount of stuff in the world that we have never even dreamed of." Liz replied as she did some stretches."Now I need to go spar with Buffy. Try and keep out of trouble."

"Yes sir!"

"Cute Michael." Liz said as she headed out of the office and down the nearest staircase.

Once she was gone Michael looked through various drawings of demons and things."Whoa!"

"What?" Riley said from his place by the window where he was reading.

"This chick looks just like my old guidance counselor, Miss Topolsky." Michael said, neglecting to mention that Topolsky had been anything but a guidance counselor.

Giles came over to take a look, "Be glad your Miss Topolsky was just a double for Darla, and not the real thing."

"Vampire, huh?" Michael shuddered and put the picture down.

"Yes and fairly vicious at that."

"Time out." Buffy panted. "Damn you're sprung today. What's up?"

"Michael. You know it's just my luck he would be the one to find out." Liz said as Buffy handed her a drink.

"He seems like an ok guy, Liz," Buffy paused, "You know it doesn't have to be a bad thing that he knows. I mean once my friends found out they became indispensable to me in my duties. It really helped, and we're also closer for it too"

"Yeah but you don't have the problem of him being your ex's best friend or your best friend's ex." Liz sighed. "Why couldn't Tess have found out about me? It would have been so much easier. I kick the hell out of her, she sends the Order of Taraka after me, I kick their ass, and she knows not to mess with me again. Simple. But no Michael has to find out."

"Who's Tess?" Buffy asked, very confused.

"Tess is the current girlfriend of my ex-boyfriend."

"Yeah, it's fun to think about kicking your nemesis's ass, but you really don't want her finding out. It always leads to trouble." Buffy warned seriously.

"Yeah I know. You ready to go again?" Liz asked.

Buffy checked the clock on the wall. "Don't you have to be at the Crashdown soon?"

Liz glanced up at the clock, "Oh God, you're right! I gotta go!!! Same time tomorrow?"

"Yep. What time do you get off tonight?"

"Not until 10, I am closing."

"Okay. Think you'll be able to get out around eleven?"

"I think so." Liz went to the door. "Hey Michael? I gotta go. You coming?"

"On my way!" Michael yelled, jogging down the stairs.

"Bye Giles! Bye Riley! Later Buff." Liz called.

"Bye Buffy." Michael said as the two headed out the door.

"So what time do you go out tonight?" Michael asked as they approached the Crashdown.

"Michael, it was one thing for you to come with me while I train. It is quite another for you to go patrolling with me." She knew he wasn't gonna budge, but she had to try

"Well if you don't tell me I'm just gonna wait outside the Crashdown and glower at people. That oughta do wonders for business." Michael smirked.

"Fine Michael. I go at 11." Liz said, giving in and laughing as they walked into the Crashdown.

Michael's smile froze on his face when he saw Max and Isabel at a table, Maria serving at the counter, and Alex sitting in a booth. One thing they all had in common was that they were all staring at him and Liz.

Liz kept walking then turned around when she realized Michael wasn't behind her. "Michael?"

"Liz what's with you?" Maria asked. "Why are you consorting with him?" she said distastefully looking in Michael's direction.

"We met up outside and he offered to walk me to work. It's not like he has the plague Maria. It's no big deal."

"Michael offered to walk you to work?" Maria repeated in disbelief.

"He was coming in this direction anyway." Liz shrugged it off. "I gotta go get changed. I'll talk to you later." Liz made a fast escape into the back room.

Maria watched her go with a shocked expression on her face. "I thought she was trying to stay away from the Czechs."

"So did I." Alex said. "You wanna go do something tonight to take your mind off of things?"

"Yeah, lets head to the movies or something. A comedy, I need a comedy." Maria said, sniffing her cypress oil.

"Go serve the masses. I'll check the times." Alex said picking up a newspaper.

Shift to Max and Isabel - same time

"You see Iz? They just came in together!" Max exclaimed with a hurt and angry expression on his face.

"So that means that they're screwing around together? I don't think so Max." Isabel said calmly.

"Well something is going on between them. If it was just normal, everyday stuff, why wouldn't they have told us?" Max asked.

"Maybe because of the way you are reacting right now!" Isabel said knowingly.

"I have a right to react. Michael knows how I feel about Liz."

"Yes he does and he is your best friend. Those two things automatically ensure that he is not going to go after the one girl you've been in love with your entire life."

Max sighed, "I wish I was so sure about that."

"Max I can't believe you! I can't believe you would think this about him. OR Liz for that matter! That girl is head over heels for you and you know it!! There is no way she would be going around with another guy while she feels that for you!" Isabel said angrily before stalking off to the front.

Michael looked up when Isabel sat down. "Everything okay Is?"

"Michael, I don't know what you are doing with Liz, hanging out with her, getting tutored, whatever, but you better talk to Max, cause he is going to have a meltdown any minute," Isabel told him seriously.

"Why? Is it a problem for me and Liz to be friends? You know four or five months ago Max would've loved to see Liz and me getting along. Why is there a problem now?" Michael asked.

"Because they aren't together anymore. He stopped thinking rationally the minute she walked out on him in the cave. He is insanely jealous of anyone who spends time with her. And YOU have been spending an inordinate amount of time with her." Isabel replied worriedly. "I don't want your friendship to suffer... please talk to him!" She begged.

"Okay I'll talk to him. Just answer me one question. Does he think I'm dating her?" Michael asked.

Isabel hedged, "The thought crossed his mind." She hurried to continue seeing the fury on Michael's face. "I KNOW he doesn't truly believe that Michael. He just isn't thinking, like I said. He is jumping to the worst possible conclusion he can think of."

"And what led to this conclusion?"

"He mentioned something about the bleachers at lunchtime."

"Great so now he's following me? This is just great. Isabel I'll see you later. If I stay I'm going to end up ripping off Max's head and possibly other vital organs." Michael stood up and walked out of the Crashdown, but not before shooting a venomous look at Max.

Max returned the angry look, then got up and walked over to Isabel, "WELL?"

Isabel stood up as well. "I think you may have just lost your best friend." Isabel sighed. "I may have helped by filling him in but Max the irrational thoughts are all yours." With that she turned and left the Crashdown as well.

For the first time in the last week, Max stopped to think about what had been going on. "Oh god, how could I jump to conclusions so fast... I am sure there is a reasonable explanation! God, I hope he doesn't tell Liz!"

"He what?" Liz asked in disbelief as she and Michael walked towards the cemetery to meet Buffy.

"Apparently his jealously and testosterone have taken over his brain, and he jumped to the conclusion that we were seeing each other, as in romantically!" Michael said irately

"I'm going to kill him." Liz said. "Not only that, I'm going to do it cheerfully, with a smile on my face and a song in my heart. No better yet I'll call in the Order of Taraka and let them kill him. I don't believe him. Who does he think he is?"

"Liz, calm down." Michael said, not quite believing he was gonna defend Max when he was so angry himself. "You know how much he loves you, and he has seen you spend a lot of time with me lately, and he also heard me say that I cared about you. He still jumped to a large, and WRONG, conclusion. But it is cause he is scared, and lonely since you left him. He just wants you back."

"And that gives him the right to not only think that you'd betray him but that I have mutated into the sort of person who would date her ex-boyfriend's best friend in the world a few months after they broke up? I don't think so Michael."

Michael grimaced. There was going to be a serious rift between the two for awhile. He might as well get used to it. Of course he still had his own fight to be had with Max.

"Hey guys." Buffy was waiting by the gates of the cemetery. "What's wrong?"she said looking at their angry faces.

"Buffy who sent the order of Taraka after you?"

"Spike, why?"

"Liz!" Michael said in warning.

"What? I just want their phone number." Liz said defensively.

"Tess or Max?" Buffy asked.

"Max," Michael jumped in before Liz could go on another tirade. "He jumped to some conclusions about the time Liz and I have been spending together."

Buffy narrowed her eyes. She had a pretty good idea of what conclusions Max had jumped to but she wasn't about to say anything. "Well I don't think the Order of Taraka has a phone number but if I see Spike I'll ask him."

"Buffy! You are NOT helping the situation here!" Michael yelled.

"Michael do you even know what the Order of Taraka is?" Liz asked.

"Well no, but I can tell from the way you are saying it, that you want to use it as revenge or punishment on Max!" Michael replied nervously.

"Perceptive isn't he?" Buffy asked.

"Very. Look Michael I won't use the Order of Taraka on Max, okay?"

Michael sighed reluctantly knowing that was the best he was gonna get, he shivered thinking about what else she might have in mind for poor Max. "Ok, but go easy on him. His heart is in the right place."

"Not for long." Liz said with a sadistic grin as she walked off to start sweeping the cemetery.

Part 2 | Index | Part 4
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