|"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!
|“Who brilliant idea was this?” Maria muttered. She paced by the large window, looking out occasionally. For some reason (not that her best friends were missing… no, of course not) she could not stop moving. It could also be that said best friends are Queen and King of a planet, far off in la-la-space land. And said Queen is wanted to carry an evil alien baby by an alien tyrant. Said alien tyrant is quite evil.|
“What about Alex? And Max? Where could they be?” Isabel sighed, propping her head up on the palm of her hand. She, too, shared Maria’s restlessness.
“This waiting thing kind of sucks, guys,” Kyle piped, rolling his head back and forth over the squeaky leather couch. He suppressed a giggle, but wiggled his butt to hear the squeaking sound again. A big goofy grin framed his face.
Sandy came up behind Kyle and smacked him firmly across the head. He whimpered at the hit, but quieted down when he noticed the impatient fury in Sandy’s eyes.
“Is it really safe waiting here?” Maria asked, turning to the whole group that was situated throughout the room.
“It doesn’t really matter where we are,” Ben replied, leaning back in his seat next to Kyle. “Khivar is most definitely going to want to contact us soon, now that he has Liz. We could go to the other side of the world, and he’d still find us.”
“We don’t know that he has Liz,” Michael retorted fiercely from his spot across the room, near the entrance. “She and Max could be looking for us right now.” Michael crossed his arms, positioning himself into stonewall mode.
“If they weren’t captured, she would have contacted us a long time ago,” Adam replied wearily. He too was pacing, but his steps were much more frantic and edgy. His nerves were completely shot and he felt that his second chance to protect his Queen had slipped through his very fingers.
How could he have let them go by themselves? Liz was too weak and Max wasn’t prepared. Adam could have just suffered the pain and gone with them. That’s what he should have done, but no, he stayed back. He was selfish. That’s what it was. Absolutely selfish. He was worried that if he kept going with Max and Liz, he would have gotten caught and tortured. How could he be so damn self-centered?
“Stop it, Adam,” two voices chorused together. Sandy and Maria looked at each other in surprise, eyeing each other suspiciously. Sandy backed off first, turning her head elsewhere.
“Adam,” Maria called. “If you don’t stop beating yourself up, I’m going to go crazy here. You’re making me taste all funny inside.”
Jaws dropped around the room, and stared at Maria in shock. What did she just say?
“Man, and you guys thought I was stupid,” Kyle muttered.
“You are stupid, Kyle,” Sandy replied. Kyle glared at her, but quickly diverted his eyes before she could land another blow to his head.
“Maria,” Michael said through clenched teeth. “Why the hell can you taste Adam, never mind taste him inside of you?” Michael turned to Adam with fury in his eyes. “I swear if you so much as…”
“Whoa, man! I didn’t touch Maria!” Adam yelled in defense. He threw his hands up in innocence. Maria had to be doing crack or something, because Adam had no clue what she was talking about.
“Space lover, calm down your extraterrestrial hormones, will you? It’s just my new powers.”
“Yup, new powers,” Maria repeated, rocking back and forth on her heels. She laughed nervously underneath all the stares. Oh yeah, whoops, she sort of forgot to reveal to the rest of the Pod Squad that she gained these new flavour powers. Silly her.
“Were you planning on telling us?” Isabel asked, her eyes prodding Maria’s nervous form. “Or were you just going to keep this to yourself?”
“Uh, well, I didn’t keep this to myself.” She bit her lip, and gave a weak smile. “Alex knows.” Max and Liz do too, but that was something she was going to keep to herself for now.
Ben cleared his throat. “Well, what kind of powers are these?”
“I can feel things, people. Their emotions. Each person has this different ‘flavour’ to him or her. That’s how I know where people are coming from, their emotions and identities, all from their flavours.” Adam’s eyes perked up at her explanation.
“Then you can sense Liz and Max, can’t you? Couldn’t you tell us where they are?” Eyes again turned back to Maria.
“Uh, well, I haven’t tuned my powers quite yet. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. They seem to be stronger when we’re in a whole group, and they don’t work as well over… long distances.”
“Long distances?” Michael questioned, his face falling. They could be anywhere. Max and Liz were the two missing from the group, which lessened Maria’s alleged powers.
“Look, guys, please don’t get disheartened. Like I said, sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. I don’t even know-” Maria stopped mid-sentence. She closed her eyes, scrunching them in sudden concentration. The rest of the group looked on with detained breaths.
Maria squealed and abruptly ran to the nearby door, flinging it open to reveal the outside world. She dashed down the front path before bounding into a very startled Max Evans. Maria wrapped her arms around his neck and began the waterworks. Max stood there awkwardly, still surprised by Maria’s unexpected outburst and tackle.
“Where is she?” Maria screamed as she pulled away from Max. She noticed the two lone figures beside Max, both looking at her strangely. Maria whipped her head back towards Max, searching his face for answers but knowing she would find none.
Maria took a step back, tears coming down even faster. She stared at him with disbelief, but with horrid conviction in her bones.
“No…” Maria whispered, covering her mouth with her hand. Unable to support herself, she fell to her knees, shaking in horrible, horrible disbelief.
“I-I couldn’t… Maria, I’m sorry. I-I’m so, so s-sorry,” Max croaked, his voice unable to cover the cracks. Max already felt his eyes building tears.
Max wasn’t prepared for this. Ever since he had awoken in Manika and Owen’s cottage, he pushed the thought of Liz’s capture far down. He couldn’t deal with it and try to be a leader at the same time. That’s where he had gone wrong the first time and ended up with Liz in Khivar’s hands with Max nearly being killed. If it had been any other soldier, Max would be dead right now.
But seeing Maria’s crestfallen expression, all the barriers broke at once. The shame, the guilt and the hurt came rushing back to him until the mere thought of moving was painful. Maria suddenly brought herself to her feet and fled into the house, sobs escaping her.
“Max!” He heard Isabel scream. Again, another pair of arms came flinging around his body before he could fully organize himself.
“Hi Izzy,” Max replied, hugging her in return. Beyond her, Max saw the rest of the group file out, both with relieved and terrified looks on their faces.
“We were so worried,” Isabel sobbed into his shoulder.
“Don’t worry, Iz, I’m fine.” Sure, Max was fine, but Liz… Liz was not fine. And probably in more danger than he could ever realize.
“Max, where’s Liz?” Isabel questioned, pulling out of his embrace. “And who are they?” She pointed to Owen and Manika with added distrust.
“Oh god, Owen,” Isabel heard Sandy cry out. Soon another body was catapulted again, this time Sandy was hooked around Owen.
“Hey Sandy girl,” Owen replied with a smile. Manika had given him a tremendous friendship over the past few months, but this is what he needed. His best friends, all of them, including the ones he hadn’t made as of yet.
“Where’s Liz?” Michael boomed behind the gathered crowd. He, Adam, Ben and Kyle came up closer to the others. Michael stared Max dead in the eye, daring him to tell him what he knew was true.
“Max?” Adam called hesitantly, but Max just turned his head away from the group. A warm hand touched his shoulder, and he turned to see Manika offer him a comforting smile.
Manika turned her head to the group, stating firmly, “Leandra is gone. Khivar has her, and if we plan on getting her back, we’ve got to work quickly. Time is running out."
|Part 65 | Index | Part 67|
|Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours|