|"Always With You - Part Two"|
by Watcher Tara
Disclaimer: I do not own any part of Roswell.|
Summary: This takes place two weeks after Always With You. Tess's allies have come to town looking for her, and Kyle is back from basketball camp with issues of his own. Also evil wears a familiar face as dead bodies start popping up in Roswell.
Authors Note: You REALLY should read Always With You first, but if you haven't, here's what you've missed: Tess was evil and not the fourth alien, the gang killed her and Liz discovered she has powers, too. I hope you like part two. Please, please e-mail me with your thoughts.
|Max was bound hand and foot to a chair. The aliens had made sure that he
couldn't reach anything with his hands, not the chair, not his bindings.
They had been asking him questions for the past fifteen minutes. From what
they said, Max gathered they were no closer to solving the mystery of
Nasedo's map and finding the Shield. Nonetheless, he was glad that Michael
had found it first.|
It was hard to say who was more shocked when the guard opened the door and pushed Liz inside the room, Max or the other aliens.
"Max!" her voice was a combination of fear and relief.
"Liz!" his voice was an echo of hers.
"I found her wandering around out there. The other one is gone." There was general pandemonium as two of the three aliens scrambled to see if Kyle was anywhere in the building.
Max watched in incredulity as she flung herself to her knees in front of him weeping noisily. "Max, Max, what have they done to you? What do they want with us?" Under the cover of the hysterics, her hands went straight to the ropes binding his arms to the chair, then to his ankles. The ropes became loosened so that the smallest movement would free him, and she, still crying, climbed into his lap. "Max. Max," she said loudly, then whispered softly so only he could hear, "I have the Shield. It's in my shirt." She pressed against him so that he could feel it between their bodies even under the bulk of his coat.
Torn between terror at the danger she was in and the desire to get up and swing her around because she was just so incredible, he could only stare into her eyes. Their silent conversation was full of vows and promises, each one determined to get the other out of this mess unscratched. The alien they'd been calling Mr. Skinny finally snapped out of his astonishment, and said, "Come away from him." Liz silently asked Max what she should do. They weren't sure how the Shield worked, but from what Nasedo had said, Max figured that it would take a large amount of energy to turn it on, and he needed a minute to generate that kind of power. The worse thing that could happen is for them to discover that the Shield, like the Healing Stones required a warm-up period.
He slightly shook his head, and she understood what he was saying. She backed up, staying within an arm's reach of him, and prepared to retrieve it from under her clothes at a moment's notice. Not knowing how she was going to evade the aliens once Max was protected by the Shield, she kept the energy that fed her powers flowing through her body. They were in some kind of office building, and the only window in this room looked into the interior of the structure, so she'd have to move quickly to find a place to hide. She was hoping the aliens would be so shocked at seeing Max in possession of the Shield that it might buy her a couple of seconds so she could get away. She had no intention of going far... There were holes in the plan, she knew, but it was the only one she could come up with for the moment.
Max concentrated on pulling together as much energy he could without alerting the other aliens. Soon, it was practically humming through his veins and seeping out through his pores. Fortunately, they were oblivious of what was transpiring right under their noses. The two alien henchmen returned from their search empty handed. They knew they were running out of time. Mr. Skinny began firing questions at him like a drill sergeant. Max refused to answer any of them. He was waiting for an opportunity. If he could just find a way to distract them while he made his move...
One of the others stepped forward menacingly, but the leader stopped him. He caught Liz by the back of the hair, pulled out a gun, and leveled it at her temple. She screamed in fright, and had to go up on tiptoe to relieve the pain in her scalp. He gave her a shake, and said to Max. "What did you do to Tess? Where is she?"
Max, rage coursing through his body, looked him in the eye and said in his deepest voice, "I killed her, just like I'm going to kill you if you don't let Liz go."
The leader laughed at that and replied, "You don't know anything, boy. We can't die. Not here on Earth."
"Oh yeah, then why isn't Tess here?"
Suddenly, there was the sound of a door closing in the building. Footsteps rapidly echoed through the empty structure. When the two other aliens turned toward the window, Max stood up and used his powers to push them as far away from Liz and himself as he could. At the same time, Liz reached back and fried the hand that was holding her hair. She was released instantly as the man let out a howl of pain. As soon as she was free, Max pushed the leader into the other two who were just beginning to climb to their feet. The three of them fell together in a heap to the floor. Liz reached under the jacket and caught a hold of the Shield. As soon as her hand touched it, it began to hum. A beautiful blue light was already emanating from it as she pulled it from beneath the layers of clothes which had protected it. With one hand, Max grabbed the Shield, and with the other pulled Liz close into his embrace. Just like when he knew how to open the door to the pod chamber, he knew immediately how to work the Shield. At his touch the humming sound coming from the alien device doubled in tone and volume.
Raising the Shield above their heads as if it were an umbrella, he told Liz, "Hold on to it. Pour your energies into it." Holding onto Max with all her might, she forgot her plan to escape and let the Shield suck her energies into itself. Instantly, they were engulfed in a cylinder of blue light.
The three aliens stood dumbstruck at seeing the Shield so close at hand. The leader pointed his gun directly at the back of Liz's head, accurately surmising that she had been in possession of it all along. With a shout of rage, he pulled the trigger, firing repeatedly at Liz, but the bullets were harmlessly destroyed by the shining protection of the Shield's surface. Max looked at the man over Liz's head, his eyes promising destruction to this one who had threatened Liz. The alien, shouting orders to his men, began backing away.
Max held her as close to his body as he could. She was standing between his legs, one arm tightly wound around his waist, the other helping to support the Shield above their heads. Her face was pressed into his shoulder. Max had the fingers of his free hand buried in the hair at her scalp offering what comfort and support he could. And all around them the blue light shimmered and flowed.
From their positions outside the room, the two Valenti men stood with their mouths agape. They could feel the currents of electricity that were swirling around the room through the glass, and could do nothing but stand and stare. They each noticed how protectively Max cradled Liz against his body. They were transfixed as they saw the man who appeared to be the leader shoot at them at point-blank range with no effect. Watching him, Valenti got out his gun. They saw him creeping toward the door.
"Freeze!" Valenti said, when the man cleared the doorway.
The man turned toward them. For an instant his eyes widened a seeing them there, then he shot a burst of heat filled energy at them, and instantly their clothes were scorched. With frightened cries, they beat out small flames that erupted in their hair and clothes. Having effectively distracted them, the stranger hastily got away.
Inside the room, the two remaining aliens were quick to recover their senses. They were trying to break through the protective barrier that separated them from their targets, but every time they contacted with the shield's surface, their skin began to bubble and smoke. They tried to throw stuff through it, too, but the objects either bounced off the surface, or dissolved instantly. As useless as it seemed, they weren't giving up. They knew that sooner rather than later the shield would come down and the real fun could begin. They began circling the teenagers, like hungry wolves.
Max was feeling his energy quickly draining away. At this rate, he would only be able to keep the thing going for another two minutes, at most. Suddenly, he recalled what Nasedo had told him about the Shield: "It was designed to respond only to your and your mate... Michael and Isabel won't even be able to touch it. It will repel anyone who isn't you..."
Yet here he stood with Liz. She was touching the Shield, and it didn't appear to be repelling or rejecting her in any way, in fact, he remembered how it had been humming and glowing as she had pulled the thing from beneath her clothes. How was it possible? Max remembered Nasedo continuing, "The Shield will recognize you by the energy frequency created by your specific powers, just like it would have recognized your mate had she survived."
His mate hadn't survived. He had buried her remains only a few weeks ago out by the cliffs where they all went when they needed to feel safe. Now there was only Liz. Liz who called to him in ways neither of them understood. Liz, who shared his destiny. It was Liz who he had connected with and healed that day in the CrashDown, and in the process, had activated her human powers; including the flashes she got from time to time. Nasedo's voice was echoing in his mind, "...and your mate was to be able to see a person's past by touching them." Liz was able to do that. She had done it to Nasedo, Michael and Maria, and it was how they had found out about Tess's plan to kill them.
Was it possible that when he had accelerated the growth of the brain cells where her powers came from, he had managed to stimulate an exact replica of the powers his mate was supposed to have? Or was the answer something else...?
All of these thoughts flashed through his mind in just a few seconds. He was aware of his energy level dropping rapidly. They needed to come up with a new plan. If he didn't drop the shield soon, he would be too weak to protect them when he was finally forced to.
Just as he was preparing himself for the coming fight, wondering how he could possibly win it, Nasedo's voice rang in his mind, "Only one or the other of you could activate the shield... it takes both of you for it to be a weapon." At the time, they had assumed that it could never be used as a weapon again, but here stood Liz, with the Shield responding to her touch.
Maybe they had a chance to make it work. Nasedo had warned him that the Shield could potentially backfire, but if it didn't work, they would be at the mercy of the two angry looking aliens. And at the end of this fight, there would only be winners and dead people. It was an easy decision to make. He would do anything, risk anything if it meant she would be safe.
"Liz," Max said, caressing her face as he spoke. He could feel her trembling against him.
She looked up at him, fear and trust in her eyes. Being encased inside the protective bubble of the shield with him was an indescribable experience.
The world had turned into shades of swirling blues. She could barely feel the menace of the two aliens standing just feet away, waiting for the shield to drop. She knew their time was almost up. She, too, was running out of strength. "Liz, hold back just a little. Try to keep the Shield from sucking it all at once. We're going to give it one big burst together, ok."
"Ok." She agreed, but wasn't entirely certain it was possible. It was harder than it sounded. The Shield just kept sucking at her energies as they became available. It was like trying to hold a wave on the shore while the ocean was sucking it back in. "Max, I can't," she wailed, near tears a minute later.
"You have to. Try harder. Pull back a little at a time." Max was trying to follow his own advice. He was having the same difficulty as Liz, but second by second he was gaining control. "Liz...?"
"I can't." She was absorbed into a whirlpool of light and energy where she was floating helplessly. The Shield was siphoning away all of her strength. It was in control of her now, and she was simply its conduit.
Max heard the panic in her voice. "It's ok, Liz," he reassured her. Nasedo had said that one person could create the shield. He wondered if Liz let go would he be able to hold it on his own for a few seconds while she regrouped. He hoped so, because they were running out of options. Using his other hand to balance it, he moved his right hand from the outside ring to the bar that bisected the circle. "Liz, I want you to let go." She looked at him in question, but trusting him, she removed her hand from the surface of the Shield. Instantly, she was freed of the drowning sensation.
For a moment, Liz could only stare in awe at the blue light shining around her. She was feeling light-headed, certain that she was going to drop to the floor any second. The only thing that kept her upright was the fact that Max needed her. Recalling herself, she closed her eyes and concentrated, calling on every last ounce of power she had left, then called some more, draining every particle of power out of every cell she had. She didn't know what Max was trying to do, but she trusted him implicitly. When she was ready, she opened her eyes and locked her gaze with him. Without speaking aloud, she reached her arm up, and reconnected with the Shield. At the same instant, Max released the last reserves of his energy into it as well.
There was a crack as loud as thunder in the small room, and the blue light that had been swirling around them in a protective cylinder suddenly shot outward. Instantly, it filled all four corners of the room and everywhere in between. The two men who had been standing, weapons raised, waiting for their chance to kill the people whom the Shield was protecting barely had a chance to cry out before they were reduced to piles of ashes.
The entire ordeal had lasted barely five minutes. In the final seconds, the powerful weapon had stolen every ounce of power out of Max and Liz, creating a vacuum that sucked them dry. Neither one had anything left. Even as Max lowered their arms, the room was whirling around him. He caught Liz as she fainted, and he knew it would only be seconds before he, too, was out.
Outside the window, Kyle and Sheriff Valenti had ducked down. The force of the blast had shattered the pane in the window, and they were covered in little glass shards. They looked at each other and asked if the other was all right. "What the hell was that?" asked Kyle. They had arrived just as Max had created the blue force field around himself and Liz and neither one knew what to make of it. They weren't sure if they should go in and do something, or if it was safer to wait out here. Then the one man came out and set them on fire. Now Max had annihilated the other two and almost themselves as well.
As one, they cautiously popped their heads up and looked into the room. The strangers were gone, and Max was gently lowering Liz to the floor, whispering softly to her. They jumped to their feet and ran into the room.
Max was never so glad to see Valenti in his life. There were still the other two aliens to worry about, and he was terrified that they would come looking for them before he recovered enough to get them out of there. He could tell from what his body was feeling that the Shield had put some kind of energy blackout on him. And it was getting worse, not better. Valenti came over and put a hand on Max's shoulder. With the last of his strength, he whispered, "Get Michael." Then he gave into the darkness that was pulling at his mind.
The sheriff quickly assessed the situation. Two of the aliens were gone now, but that still left two more. For all he knew they were on their way back here right now. He had to get Max and Liz out of here before they showed up. He picked Max up in a fireman's carry, and Kyle was set to cradle Liz in his arms. The strange alien weapon had fallen to the floor from Max's slack grip. Kyle bent to pick it up, and got his fingers singed with a bolt of static electricity. Swearing, he tried again with the same result. He looked around for something to touch it with and spotted a windbreaker thrown over a chair. Valenti was yelling at him to hurry, so he quickly wrapped it up, careful not to touch its gleaming surface this time. He dropped it into Liz's lap, and gently picked her up. Then he followed his dad out to the cruiser.
They quickly drove to the Valenti residence where Liz was placed on the sofa, and Max was laid out on the coffee table next to her. Kyle kept insisting that they take Liz to the hospital, but the sheriff correctly surmised that the doctors wouldn't be able to repair whatever damage was done to her. They needed to help Max so that he could tell them what was wrong with Liz. To fix Max, they needed to know what was wrong with him. His last words had been, "Get Michael," so that was the sheriff's first priority.
Leaving Kyle to guard them, he drove, lights flashing to the CrashDown, in the hopes that someone there might know where Michael was. Within forty-five minutes he returned with not only Michael, but Isabel and Maria, too.
"Oh my god!" Isabel exclaimed, running over to kneel next to her brother.
"What happened?" asked Michael.
Kyle and Valenti filled them in quickly on what little they knew. Maria guessed that Kyle was the reason the three of them were in the UFO Center together to begin with, but refrained from saying so.
Valenti looked at Michael, and asked, "What can you do?"
Michael and Isabel exchanged glances, and she said, "We need the stones."
There was another twenty-minute delay while Valenti, again with lights flashing, drove Michael to his apartment where he retrieved a small bag that held the five healing stones.
By the time they returned, it had been over an hour since Valenti and Kyle had first carried Max and Liz out of the building in which they'd been held. They were barely breathing, and their faces were washed of all color.
Isabel met them at the door, looking ready to cry. She said to Michael, "He's getting worse. We don't even know if this will work. He doesn't have any of the same symptoms you had when you were sick."
"Well, if the stones worked on Nasedo when he was shot, they should work on Max. What other choice do we have?" Unable to argue with that, she simply nodded.
Valenti and Kyle stood back and prepared to see some spectacular alien healing ritual, maybe something like what happened when Max healed Kyle. When Michael took the stones from out of the bag, and gave one to Maria Valenti came over to look at it. Curious, he asked, "What is that?"
"They call them Healing Stones. If anything upsets the normal balance of their bodies, the Stones can fix them."
"They draw on some of your energy, then do all the work.
"You can use them, too?" He asked, meaning that humans as well as aliens could activate the stones. She nodded. "How many of them are there?"
Drawn by his fascination with all alien things in general, and anything having to do with these three aliens in particular, he couldn't stop himself from asking, "Can I?" gesturing to the stone she held in her hand. Looking at Michael for permission, she handed over the stone she was holding, and got another one for herself.
Valenti noted the last stone sitting unused, and looked over to where Kyle was standing, fascinated despite himself. He said, "If you need one more, I'm sure Kyle will..."
"No," said Michael with his usual bluntness.
Maria hastening to explain, leaned over and whispered, "The guy who gave these to us told us that it could be dangerous for us to use them. That the Stones could somehow change us, but he said that as long as we focused on who we were healing, and concentrated on how we felt about him, we'd be ok. If Kyle were to use the stones, considering how he feels about Max..." she trailed off.
Understanding, the sheriff said no more. Not knowing what to do, he mimicked the actions of the others. He joined Maria, Michael and Isabel in a half circle around Max who hadn't moved in all the time he'd been laying on the coffee table. They all held their hands in front of themselves with the stones cupped in their palms. They closed their eyes and focused their thoughts on Max. Michael concentrated on their friendship, and how it had changed this past year, and what it was expected to become in the future.
Isabel thought of how much she loved her brother, and how lost she would be here without him. She recalled a thousand different events from their childhood to now. Maria concentrated on how much she looked up to him, and enjoyed being him, but more, she though of how much Liz loved him, and how devastated her friend would be if he did not pull through. Valenti recalled all of their recent conversations, the ones they'd had since Max had begun to trust him. He remembered seeing Max flirting with Liz outside the CrashDown, was it just a week ago? One by one the small alien crystals began to glow. When his began to vibrate with energy, Valenti peeked one eye open.
After a minute, the crystals were all glowing brightly, and Max began to glow, too. It started in his chest and head, and spread out over the rest of his body as the crystals did their job. It spread down his legs to his feet, then it spread down his arms to his hands. Then something totally unexpected happened. Until this moment, no one had noticed: like a flower following the path of the sun across the sky, Max and Liz's bodies were drawn together, and his hand that had been sticking off the table was touching her hand that was hanging off the sofa. When the healing glow of the stones reached his fingertips, it arced across the small space between their palms and began travelling up her arm and across her body.
Maria gasped, as did Valenti.
Kyle rushed over to break the contact, but Michael dropped his stone and caught him in midstride. He pushed him away, saying, "Don't touch them."
"What? Get off me! Can't you see what's happening to her?"
"I said, leave them alone." Michael's tone was final.
"Kyle," said his father in that stop-it-or-else tone that all fathers used so well.
One by one, the three remaining stones dimmed and faded. Everyone turned to look at Max, who was now breathing normally with his color fast returning. Before his eyes even opened, he was twisting his hand to bring it in closer contact with Liz's. He sat up and immediately turned to her. She appeared to be sleeping. He brushed a finger along her cheekbone. "Liz," he breathed, barely making a sound. He moved some wisps of hair off her forehead, and lightly brushed her arm. "Liz," he said a little louder.
"Wake up. Open your eyes. Come on, look at me." She still wasn't responding, and Max was getting frightened. He gave her a solid shake, and implored, "Liz, please you have to look at me." Slowly, her eyes opened, and Max immediately formed a connection between her mind and his. "Are you ok?" he asked even as he searched out the answer for himself. Sitting up, she took a mental inventory and decided she was fine. Just tired, but at the same time filled with a restless energy that was a leftover from the Healing.
She nodded, and touching his face gently, asked, "Are you?" At his nod, they embraced tightly, reaffirming that they had made it out of another life threatening situation relatively unscathed. "I was so scared," she told him.
"If anything had happened to you...," he breathed in her ear.
Behind them, Michael's gruff voice interrupted with, "Is this going to go on all night, or can we leave?" He clearly wanted a full report, but not in front of the Valentis.
|Part 10 | Index | Part 12|
|Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours|