|"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!
|“All right, let’s make this quick,” Michael said gruffly. He crossed his arms and stared at the group assembled in front of him.|
None of the Pod Squad members sat near their significant other, all ending up fairly well spaced between each other. Maria, Liz and Alex sat on one of the couches in the Evans’ living room, with Adam standing behind them. Isabel and Ben took the other couch with Sandy and Kyle sitting at their feet. Max, Owen and Manika stood slightly to the side, all leaning against the wall.
“So what have you got for us, Manika?” Michael asked. She stepped forward, addressing the whole group in her quiet voice. The anger that had been directed at Khivar two weeks earlier seemed now as if it were a figment of the imagination.
“Khivar’s followers have all been informed of his death, including those on Antar. Many who followed him here have given up their life as an Antarian and are accustoming themselves with an earth life. All have lost hope and faith in the Khivar as a leader. A few will be accompanying me back to Antar to pursue a life they would have lived before the political chaos on our planet.” Manika gave a small smile, letting hope shine through the cracks for her planet. “We’ll be leaving on the ship that Khivar had landed here with.”
“A ship? As in a spaceship?” Kyle asked. His eyebrows arched in interest. Now that sounded fun. He wondered how much one of those was going for on ebay.
“Yes, a ship. Khivar had the most modern of technology available on Antar. This spaceship has been created with the best possible engineering out there.”
“And what about leadership on Antar?” Adam questioned. Manika wrung her hands together, her eyes suddenly nervously flitting from Max and to the ground. Adam narrowed his eyes at the act. Judging from the reactions of the others, Adam had been the only one to see Manika’s nervous act.
“I assume the loyalists will figure out what will happen to our government,” Manika replied quietly. Bringing her head back up, she stared everyone right in the eye. “I don’t know what will happen.”
Michael nodded at Manika’s answer, apparently accepting of it.
“So what about the rest of us?” Maria asked. Her hand was tightly gripping Liz’s, both drawing strength from each other; Maria for having to realize that her future was now staring her in the face, and Liz for having to face Max after the meeting.
“We go on about our lives,” Ben replied simply.
“Don’t you get it?” Sandy remarked, glancing at all of them. “This is our chance to be normal again. We can finally live the lives we’ve always wanted to. No more alien crap, no more dreams, no more running. I, for one, am grateful.”
“How can you say that? Don’t you feel freaked out at all? I mean, this thing has taken years from our life, how can we just put it all behind us?” Maria looked pleadingly at the others. She buried her head in Liz’s shoulder. “This is really over, isn’t it?”
“Sandy’s right,” Isabel continued through Maria’s moans. “We’ve waited for this for so long. I mean, we fought Khivar so we could have a normal life. It’s not so bad, Maria. We’re just going to college. We’ll all keep in touch.”
“Yeah, Maria,” Ben added, “all of us. Even when Sandy, Owen and I go back to Sunny Oaks, then off to college, we’ll keep in touch. An experience like this… it’s not something we can forget. Hell, we’re the Royal Court and Protector Four-Square. Even if don’t want to be, we’re all bonded to each other.” Everyone nodded in agreement. Maria lifted her head, smiling gratefully at them. She blushed, grasping the fact she just about went off the deep end with these people.
“Ok, sorry for my momentary meltdown,” Maria said quickly. Swiftly standing up, she wiped away any remnants of tears. “Is there anything else we need to discuss? No? All right. Meeting over. Everyone out.” Maria ushered everyone up and pushed them all towards the door. They were all surprised by Maria’s sudden change in emotions, but Maria completely ignored the moans and groans.
Soon everyone filed out except for Max, Liz and Isabel, with Maria standing by the door. Maria stared at Isabel, who was staring right back at her.
“Maria, I live here,” Isabel sighed with slight annoyance in her tone. Maria grabbed Isabel’s wrist and roughly pushed her out the door.
“Well, I think I hear Alex calling you,” Maria replied. Giving Liz a wink, Maria quickly left the house, shutting the door behind her.
Max and Liz stood awkwardly in the room, neither looking at the other. The silence between them was so loud that Liz was sure her ears would fall off.
“So…” Liz started.
“So…” Max replied. He sighed, putting his hands into his pockets. Liz tilted her head, staring at Max who was obviously avoiding her eyes. Liz tried to ignore the hurt that bubbled in her heart.
“Max, what’s going on?” she blurted out. Max finally looked up into her eyes, startled, and his breath caught. The hurt in her eyes was more than evident, and he felt like tearing himself apart piece by piece for putting it there.
“Wh-what do you mean, Liz?” he replied dumbly, playing the fool.
“You know what I mean!” Liz said, exasperated. She flung herself onto the couch, crossing her arms dejectedly. Max bit his lip, knowing that this was going to lead him into big trouble.
Max slowly walked towards Liz, pausing for a moment, unsure whether to sit down or not. Deciding quickly, he sat down beside her, trying to make sure he didn’t touch her. If he did, then he’d be in even deeper water. Don’t look, don’t talk, and definitely don’t touch.
“You can’t even touch me…” Liz whispered, watching Max’s hesitant moves. Tears sprung into her eyes, and Liz couldn’t decline the watery streams down her face. Max felt the knife twist just a little bit more. Ok, actually it twisted a lot more.
“Oh Liz,” Max replied, throwing caution to the wind. He took Liz’s hands into his own, letting his fingers weave with her petite ones. Bringing her hand closer to his face, he kissed each hand softly.
“Liz, you know that’s not true. I love you with all my heart, my beauty,” Max said tenderly. Liz’s tears didn’t stop though, and she bowed her head down, unable to look Max in the eye.
“Then why have you been ignoring me for the past two weeks? How come this is the first time in two weeks that you’ve touched me? You barely even talk to me.” Liz’s tears began to drip from her face, falling into a wet puddle on her legs. Max pulled one hand away from hers, using his index finger to tip her chin back up. Even through her aching tears, she looked so beautiful to him. His angel, his beauty, his love.
“I’m sorry, love, I never meant to hurt you. That’s the last thing I want to do… I just… I just needed time to deal.” Max cupped the side of Liz’s face, gently wiping away her tears with his thumb. “Liz Parker, I love you, and don’t you ever think otherwise. I’ll love you until my dying day.” Liz gave him a small smile, and Max couldn’t help but grin back. Leaning in, Max took Liz’s lips with his own, slowly caressing them in a honeyed motion.
“Max…” Liz moaned against his lips. She pulled away, licking her lips delightfully. She looked into Max’s eyes, her hand squeezing his gently. “I’ve got something I need to tell you.”
Max just nodded in response, unable to tear his eyes away from the glossy surface of Liz’s lips. He loved her so much. He loved the way she tasted, the way she moved, the way she talked, the way she made him go completely insane with just the flick of a hand.
“Max… I…” Liz paused, biting her lip.
“What is it, darling?” Max was very gradually leaning in to kiss her again, not waiting to waste those lips on forgotten words.
“I, uh… I lost the ring!” Max blinked, startled by Liz’s outburst. He softened when he noticed the frightened look in her eyes.
“The ring?” Max inquired.
“Yes! The ring… you gave me… on the chain…it fell off when... you know...” Liz’s eyes dashed around the room, completely avoiding Max’s general vicinity. He felt his heart beat a bit quicker, knowing that he could ease Liz’s mind.
“My beauty, that’s fine. Did you think I’d be mad?” Liz just nodded quickly.
“I could never be mad at you, love,” Max replied, leaning back in again. Max tangled his hand in her hair, slowly pulling her lips back towards his.
“There’s something else!” Liz half yelled. Max just grinned, ignoring her outburst this time. He put his finger to her lips, halting any more movement from them.
“No more talking,” Max whispered. He moved both of his arms to her waist, firmly pulling her body closer to his. In one swift pounce, Max captured Liz’s lips, kissing her in his own personal, passionate manner. Liz quickly obliged to Max’s persistence and let herself fall to the magic of his presence.
“I think,” Max said breathlessly between kisses, “that we would be more comfortable upstairs.” Liz just nodded, letting Max pick her up and carry her to a night she would never, ever forget.
|Part 79 | Index | Part 81|
|Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours|