|"A Present Unseen"|
|Disclaimer: I own nothing and am nothing but a lowly servant of my computer and endless hours of fanfic. (Ok, maybe not.) Ooo, but I do own Adam. Mine. Mine mine mine.|
Summary: It's about two years after A Past Forgotten. Graduation is just around the corner, but so is trouble.
Author's Note: Ok, I know I say this a lot and I talk too much as it is, but FEEDBACK. I need it... it keeps my blood pumping and my fingers typing. Please? Love you guys!
|Max woke up with a start. He rubbed his eyes lazily, full consciousness not yet greeting him. Max took a whiff of the air and couldn’t help but place a silly grin on his face. He could smell the scent of vanilla and… lavender? Huh? Weird.|
Something didn’t feel right though, something was scratching at the back of his mind, dying to get out. Somewhere in the back of his head, his mind was registering what it was. Think, Max, think. Liz. Where’s Liz? Max’s eyes jolted wide open and became panic-stricken as they darted around the empty room.
“Liz?” he croaked out. He threw the bed cover off his nude body and jumped off the bed. Please, please, be here.
Max looked out the window and onto the balcony, frantically calling out Liz’s name. No response. Max felt himself coming apart and losing all sanity. This wasn’t happening, it couldn’t.
He grabbed his crumpled boxers off the floor and ran out of the room, all the while pulling his boxers on his quaking, bare body.
“Liz!” Max hollered as he stumbled into the living room. Max barely noticed its occupants and scurried into the kitchen.
Max’s tortured voice called Liz’s name again as his mind slowly dwindled away from his grasp. He wasn’t sure if that inane feeling of dread that was overcoming him was because he wanted to cry or because he wanted to puke.
By now, Alex, Isabel, Maria and Michael were stirring and desperately trying to clutch awareness. Max’s wild cries for Liz jolted Michael cruelly and made him vault upwards as Max ran out the front door and down the stairs to the Crashdown. Before Michael could follow suit, a voice stopped him. Liz’s distressed voice made its presence known in all of her friend’s minds.
“Guy, you have got to get out of there! The Crashdown, it’s on fire!” The four teens, still situated in the living room, stared wide-eyed at each other. The thoughts that ran through each of their minds troubled their souls mercilessly.
“I’m with Adam, I’m fine! Just get out!” The teens tried to absorb the fresh information that arrived too damn early in the morning, but Isabel was the first to respond.
“Max! Max! He’s down there!” Isabel screamed. She bolted for the door and was quickly followed by her companions, each thundering their path down the set of stairs. The smell of smoke intoxicated the employee’s back room and each of their nostrils. A straining heat hit their bodies, taunting them with its fever. Maria started to cough uncontrollably and her eyes watered instantly. Alex grabbed her and Isabel’s arm, pushing them towards the back door and out of the restaurant.
Michael partially covered his face with his shirt, and shoved open the swinging door to the dining area with his shoulder. Smoke lingered restlessly in the air, but no fire seemed in attendance. Michael instead found a withering Max, coughing painfully against the peril of smoke. His body leaned up against the black, smoldering wall that was formerly enraging the fire.
Michael grabbed Max’s arm and pulled him out the front doors of the Crashdown, where Max collapsed on the front sidewalk. Michael bent his knees, leaning his hands on them, taking slow, deep breaths in attempt to clean his lungs.
“Max!” Isabel shouted as she came barreling from the back alley. She ran to her brother and wrapped her arms tightly around his crumpled body. “Oh god, Max, are you all right?”
“Izzy, I’m fine,” Max wheezed. His eyes looked fearfully into Isabel’s, every part of his body strained with emotion. “Where is she? Where is Liz… and Adam?” He heard too, Isabel concluded. She almost didn’t want to answer him, afraid he would either go completely insane or bawl like a baby.
“I-I don’t know,” Isabel replied quietly. She rubbed her hand against his back, and for the first time, noticed he was wearing little to nothing.
“Guys!” Maria’s voice called out as she and Alex made their appearance from the back alley. “My car! It’s gone!” Max and Isabel looked at her bewildered, as to what importance the new information held at that very moment.
“I left my car here yesterday before Alex dropped Liz and I back at my place. It’s gone, and I think that’s how Adam and Liz got away. It was parked in the back alley, and the only way it could have gone was with some special alien voodoo because I have the keys.” A long list of incomprehensible curses strung itself out of Max’s mouth.
“Well, where did they go?” Max asked tightly. But he knew, as well as everyone else, that they had no way of knowing. Maria’s slight shrug answered his futile question.
“Can anyone connect with Liz? I mean, obviously she can connect to our minds easily, being a powerful alien queen and all, but can anyone connect with her back?” Alex’s question raised eyebrows but no positive answers. He then turned to the troubled Max. Questions were running endlessly through Alex’s mind. “Max, how’d you put out that fire? Liz made it sound like it was more than just some small fire.”
“I used my powers.” Max left his answer short and curt.
“Why the hell wasn’t she with you this morning?” Michael said fiercely, his first words of the morning. Michael’s abrupt change of topic was evidence enough to show the wheels were turning rapidly in his head.
“I don’t know,” Max answered, starting to sound lost. His miserable eyes looked up at the group. “I woke up this morning, no, something woke me up this morning. I could feel something. She wasn’t in bed with me this morning when-”
“WHAT?” Michael roared. He turned his furious, burning eyes on Maria’s slowly shrinking body. “You told me he was on the goddamn floor! And why the hell aren’t you-” pointing to Max “-wearing any fucking clothes? You filthy son of a bitch! If you so much as touched her, I swear I’ll kill you. You can’t even protect my sister when she’s right fucking next to you! I swear-”
“Shut the hell up, all that doesn’t matter right now, damn it!” Max yelled, the forlorn boy replaced once again by rage. “She’s not here, and someone is who wants to hurt her and the rest of us.” He stood up, shaking Isabel off him, and looked eye to eye with Michael. “I’ll be damned if something happens to Liz or anybody else. And besides that, whatever happens between Liz and myself is exactly that. Between us, not you.” He stomped into the Crashdown and slammed the door heavily. Alex shook his head with a grave sigh, and rubbed his forehead with his hand. Maria, on the other hand, was fuming. Max had a point, and whatever happened between Max and Liz last night was none of Michael’s damn business. Especially now, with Liz and Adam gone to hell knows where.
“Goddamn it, Michael! Why do you have to be such a prick? Especially now when all this shit is going on, considering it’s only going to get worse from now on. You just make me so- ARGH!” She threw her arms up into the air and shrieked into the morning air. She stepped right in front of Michael’s hard face, and matched his own tight lips. “Liz isn’t here, so we have more to worry about than your damn protective problems. You better hope to god that Liz commands me not to kill you, because otherwise you’re a dead man.” She spun away from him and followed Max’s actions, stomping into the Crashdown and slamming the door. Michael stared at the closed door for long moments, unsure of what to say or do. Everything he cherished had left him in a matter of moments.
“Michael,” Isabel started softly. She stepped behind him, and placed a hand on his shoulder. He turned to her, his dejected eyes shifting from Alex and Isabel. His lips turned down, as if trying desperately to fight off the offending tears.
“I just- I just- god, I just don’t know what the hell to do,” Michael said quietly. “I should have done something, I should have been there.” Isabel shook her head and gripped both of his shoulders tightly.
“There’s not a thing you could have done. All you can do now is keep it together and it’ll all work out. Liz is okay. She’s with Adam. It’s not like Khivar has her, and if we play it smart, he’ll never come near her.” Michael nodded obediently, his eyes staring down at the ground.
“I know,” Isabel replied softly. She wrapped her arms around Michael and embraced him in a comforting hug. If only it could make everything all right.
|Part 23 | Index | Part 25|
|Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours|