|"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.
|The door behind Nasedo again crashed open, and Max and Michael filled the
entrance. At a glance they took in Liz, the Shield, Maria and Alex. "Get
away from her!" Max was filled with a fury he had never known before. As
soon as he had answered Liz's cell phone and heard Maria telling him that
Nasedo was here, threatening Liz, Max had realized that the weakness he'd
been experiencing hadn't been an aftereffect of the fight at all, but his
body reacting to Liz being in danger, as it had the day she was hit by the
car. With barely a word to Michael, they'd run here as fast as they could.|
"Max, what's going on here?" Nasedo asked.
"I said, get away from her." Max stepped over to Nasedo, and grabbing him by the shirt, literally tossed him to the other side of the room. Then, fists clenched, he stalked after him.
"Max!" It was Michael. Liz was still holding onto the Shield for all she was worth. The others were calling to her, but she apparently wasn't hearing them. Her eyes were closed, and aside from the tears running down her face, she showed no outward reaction that anything was happening.
"Liz, Liz, it's ok."
"Put it down."
"Max is here, it's ok now." Michael, Maria and Alex were all trying to get through to her.
"Pry her hands away from the thing." Michael yelled, anxiety making his voice rough, but with the field of energy emanating from her, Alex and Maria couldn't get close enough to even touch her, let alone get a good enough grip to loosen her hold. Michael tried to reach past the Shield's barrier, but it was no use. The force field scorched him if he even got close to it. Not even sparing another glance for Nasedo, Max ran next to Michael. "Liz! Liz, can you hear me? I'm here, Liz. You're ok. Let go, Liz. Let go."
Max remembered the sensation of the energy sucking through him, and knew what was happening to Liz, but he didn't know how to get through to her. He tested the barrier and it also repelled him. If he could get to the Shield itself..., he thought. But it was on the other side of the energy field. Nasedo was standing behind them and said, "I don't know what's going on here, but if she doesn't drop that thing and soon, it'll kill her."
He added under his breath, "I'm surprised she's not dead already."
Everyone was shouting at once to Liz, trying to break through the spell that the Shield had put on her. Max's eyes were tearing. His Liz was dying, and he couldn't reach her. It was his worse nightmare, made ten times more terrible because it was her 'alien' powers -powers that he had awakened in her - that were threatening her life. There had to be a way to get past the call of the Shield.
'If only Isabel were here,' he thought. She might have been able to dream-walk into Liz's subconscious and give her the strength she needed to break free. But she wasn't here, and by the time they reached her, it would be too late. "When was the last time you tried?" Nasedo's voice from two days ago echoed into his mind. Nasedo had said that they could all dream-walk, but that it came easier to Isabel. She could do it 'naturally,' but that he and Michael, with some work should be able to do it as well. Could he do it? He would have to. Liz's life was at stake.
Max was standing directly in front of Liz. Taking a deep breath and blocking out all sounds around him, he closed his eyes, and reached out with his mind. Dream-walking was different than molecular manipulation and the other things he could do easily in that he usually focused his powers outward. Now he had to turn his energies inward, and let his mind control what was happening. He focused his thoughts on Liz, and tried to connect with her. Without being able to touch her to help the connection along, he was lost. Again the differences between their 'mental' abilities versus their 'physical' abilities were holding him back. He could hear Liz crying, her breath sawing in and out raggedly. He could feel her fear. It was pouring over him in waves. At first he tried to ignore the sensation, tried to get past it, then he realized that he had to ride the outpouring of emotions that were battering him to get to the other side, to the place they where were coming from. Like a trout swimming upstream, Max sent his mind riding backwards through the terror and pain coming at him from Liz's mind.
Just when he thought he'd never break through, suddenly he was standing in a room that would have been pitch black if it weren't for the intense blue of the Shield's energy swirling around him. "Liz, Liz!" he called out with his mind. "Liz where are you?" He heard a slight whimper from near his feet. He looked down and there was Liz all curled up into a protective ball. She was gasping and crying. Her body was shaking all over. "Liz," he bent to pick her pick her up, but in this place she wasn't real and neither were his arms. He touched her face. "Liz, look at me." She couldn't respond. Max noticed that the light was getting brighter as it gained control over her. He gently but firmly pulled her head around so that he could look into her eyes. From within the dream-walk, he formed a connection with her. He poured his energies directly into her, whispering all the while, "I'm here Liz. Let go. Come back to me. Look at me. I need you. Please, Liz."
Again and again he repeated the words. Gradually he became aware of the lessening of the lights churning around them. Encouraged, he redoubled his efforts.
After what seemed like an eternity, she was able to focus her eyes on him.
"Liz," he was so relieved to hear her whisper his name, but it wasn't over yet. "Liz, let go of the Shield. Let go of it. Do you hear me? You have to let it go, now."
"I can't," she whispered, her voice pitiful. Max had gotten her subconscious to respond to him, but the Shield still controlled her body. She was fading. He had been too late with the connection. There was only one thing left that he could do. Still whispering encouragement to her mind through his if only to reassure himself that she was alive, Max divided his energies. He used half of his energies to feed the connection between them, and he sent the other half through his body. Taking a deep breath, he reached out with one hand. He punched through the protective blue barrier that separated him from his Liz. This time, aside from shearing off the hair on his arm, the Shield allowed him in, either because it recognized his energy frequency, or because with the connection, he was a part of Liz, or a combination of both, he didn't know and he didn't care. He took a hold of the alien weapon and yanked it out of her hands. Instantly the connection was broken and the shimmering wall vanished. He flung the Shield away.
Alex caught Liz as she collapsed, and gently laid her on the bed. Max fell to his knees. Everyone was talking at once. Michael was torn between going to Liz who obviously needed help, or going to Max who was white as a sheet and shaking. Max used the bed for leverage to pull himself up next to Liz. He felt weak as a baby. It would be a few minutes before he could gather the energy to help her, and she didn't look like she had a few minutes left. The drain the shield had put on her was so great that she could still die unless they did something right now. "Michael," Max called to his friend.
Knowing what Max wanted, Michael hesitated. "I don't know if I can help her, Max. I don't wanna hurt her." He'd gotten more control over his powers, but this was beyond his abilities. He'd never been very good at healing, and since he couldn't see what was wrong with her, he was afraid to try. If he did anything to hurt her...
"You have to."
Michael reluctantly moved next to her, but Nasedo was already there. When he reached his hand to Liz's chest, Max grabbed his arm, and asked, "What are you doing?"
"I can stop this. I don't know what's going on here, or who she is, but I can save her."
"I thought you only knew how to kill." Michael's tone was full of anger and resentment. If Nasedo hadn't come after Liz and the others, this would never have happened. He spared a glance at Maria and Alex who both bore signs of the fight they had put up in order to protect Liz.
Max looked at Liz who breathing was getting slower and slower. "Why should I trust you? I told you not to come near her, and this is what you do to her."
"Let me help her. Time is running out. What choice do you have?"
Reluctantly, Max nodded. Nasedo again moved over Liz's body, and put a hand on her chest. He slowly fed energy into her lifeless form. Max stroked her face and held her hand the whole time.
Everyone in the room had unconsciously adjusted to her slight breathing pattern. In... out... in... out... One more, then another. Slowly, she regained some strength and began to stir. Nasedo increased the amount of energy that was flowing into her. Color bloomed back into her cheeks, and with a soft sigh, she fell into a deep, exhausted sleep.
Still he continued to replenish the energy that the powerful alien weapon had stolen from her. It wasn't until her skin was glowing from within as if lit by a thousand candles that he released his hold on her. His glance went from her relaxed face to Max's. A hundred emotions were all clearly written on the teenager's face: love, devotion, regret, fear, pain... anger as he lightly touched the red mark that was swelling from where Nasedo had punched her. As he watched, Max healed the painful looking bruise.
"Now, I want to know what is going on here. Who is she, and how is it possible that the Shield, which was designed to only recognize you and your mate, responded to her?"
"Get out." Max's voice was soft but deadly. His trembling had stopped, but now fury at this alien who had almost killed Liz was beginning to boil in his veins.
"What? No. I demand an explanation."
Michael came to stand at the foot of the bed. He was confused over why Nasedo had attacked Liz in the first place, but he wasn't ready to cut the only tie to their world out of their lives, either. "What are you doing here?"
"I was keeping an eye on the sheriff, and followed him into the CrashDown Café. I saw her talking to him, and listened in. They were talking about Max, so I thought I'd keep an eye on her after he left. When I saw her using her powers, powers she shouldn't have, I assumed she was one of the aliens you told me who were in town looking for you. I followed her here. What else was I to think?"
Releasing Liz, Max stood up and looked Nasedo full in the face. The alien took an involuntary step backwards. Max advanced. Michael made room for him to pass, and then the two of them backed Nasedo into the door. Getting control of himself, the alien stood his ground. Max said, "I told you that you were not to come near Liz. I told you that she was mine and that you weren't to ever approach her again." He waved his arm in the direction of the bed and yelled, "Look at her! You almost killed her. I promised Liz that she would be safe from you. I promised her that you would stay away from her!"
"Max." Michael sensed that Max was riding the edge of his control. He laid a palm on his friend's arm. "Max."
Max shook off his touch. "Leave me alone Michael, or didn't you see what he did to Maria?"
Startled, Michael's eyes went to Maria who was sitting on the bed next to Liz. For the first time he noticed the nasty third degree burn on her arm that was exactly in the shape of a hand... Nasedo's hand... that had put there when she'd tried to defend Liz from Nasedo's deadly intentions. His eyes widened then narrowed as he turned back to Nasedo. Michael didn't say a word, but punched the alien in the stomach as hard as he could, and followed it with a punch to the jaw. When Nasedo instinctively moved to defend himself, Max grabbed his shirt by the chest and slammed him into the wall beside the door.
Looking from one face to the other, Nasedo for the first time realized that when the scientists of the home world created these hybrid beings, part human - part alien, they included something he hadn't counted on - free will. They were meant to be free thinkers to be able to analyze information and make intelligent decisions, but they also had personalities and the free will to make decisions based on more than intelligence. They both had emotions, and at times they let those emotions run their lives, like now.
"Look at the two of you." Nasedo told them, sneering. "You're ready to kill me over a couple of humans. Humans, I might add, that you had no business becoming attached to in the first place. You can't kill me, you need me. You need someone to impersonate Pierce and keep the FBI off your backs, yet you're ready to throw it all away for these creatures that mean nothing to us. To our mission here." He pointed a finger in the direction of Liz, Maria and Alex. "They are nothing like you, and if you think otherwise, you are just fooling yourselves. All they do is make you weak."
"You're wrong," said Michael, thinking of the memory of Maria encouraging him to use the key to find the hidden room at Atherton's dome house, and all the hours he'd spent with Liz this past month working on controlling his powers. "They make us stronger in ways you could never understand." He pulled the door open. "Now get out."
Without further discussion, he was escorted out and away from the three humans he'd tried to destroy. They sent Nasedo over to the other room, the one where they'd left the unconscious alien. He was told to remove the alien from Roswell and to make sure he never returned. Shape-shifting back into Agent Pierce, Nasedo did as he was told. While waiting for Isabel to return, the gang spent the next few hours regrouping. Max showered and changed, while Michael took care of the small injuries Maria and Alex sustained during the fight with Nasedo. They talked quietly, sharing their experiences of the past hour. Michael told them about the vision he'd received from the scrolls. After Max came out, Michael took a turn in the bathroom. Both were feeling refreshed when they were done. Liz hadn't moved the whole time. Afraid to disturb her, but needing to hold her, Max slowly laid down next to her and pulled her into his arms so that her head was cradled on his chest.
Michael came to sit next to Maria on the sofa, aware in a way he'd never been before of how her presence reached out and touched him when she was near. He'd once called her a 'vibrator' meaning that he could feel her energies and personality stretching out to him. At the time the sensation had disturbed and intrigued him. Now it only comforted him.
Again he realized how important she had become to him this past year. He gone from being completely self reliant - shut off, to being a part of a family, and it felt... good. Remembering what he'd been thinking about how Maria might have been as connected to him as Liz was to Max, he looked over to where his best friend was holding his girlfriend. His face was buried in her hair, one hand was on the back of her neck, gently rubbing what Max knew to be one of her pleasure spots, and the other had slipped inside her shirt to rest on the bare skin of her back.
Just seeing them like that made Michael tighten his arm around Maria. They'd come so close to losing them both today. He wanted to apologize to her for what had happened here today, and at the same time yell at her for being so foolish. If she had called them as soon as Nasedo appeared, then maybe... but then he and Max had had their hands full at the time. No one was to blame for what happened, except for Nasedo, who by now would be on his way back to Virginia with instructions never to return. He'd promised to find out what he could about the rendezvous point, and anything else that Bubba knew.
Alex made a quick check of his computer equipment, and was glad to see that other than the monitor falling over, nothing was disturbed. He was feeling a little uncomfortable in the room with the other two couples. And he was certain that it wasn't his imagination that there were energy currents swirling around each group. They didn't appear to be doing it on purpose, though, and it was nothing like what he'd experienced today with the Shield. He shuddered and stole a quick glance to where the thing lay seemingly harmless on the floor. If he had had any idea of the repercussions involved in using the thing he would never have handed it to Liz. He would have given anything to spare her from that ordeal.
He was dying to ask Max what Nasedo had meant when he said the Shield would respond only to him and his mate, but looking at him told Alex that now would not be a good time to bring it up. He understood now what Max was saying yesterday when they'd returned from Sheriff Valenti's about it being too dangerous to use. At the time he had thought Max was just being his usual cautious self. Since he hadn't seen what they'd been like when the sheriff and Kyle had rescued them, it was understandable that he had disregarded Max's statements. Isabel had told him this morning that they'd had to use the stones to revive him. When Nasedo was here trying to kill them all, Alex had forgotten the warning of danger, and handed Liz a weapon so powerful that in activating it, she ran the risk of destroying herself. And without a word, she had used it. She had to know the chance she was taking when she took it from him, but in order to protect him and Maria, she had willingly done so. He had to swallow to clear the lump in his throat.
The reason that Alex had returned to the room when he did was that the aliens that he and Isabel were following split up. After a quick debate, he left to follow the big one while she stuck with the leader. When the alien returned to the motel, Alex had hotfooted it to this room in order to watch him on the monitor. That plan, of course, had been quickly forgotten as soon as he opened the door and saw what was going on in here. Alex will never forget what it was like to be behind in that shimmering blue void and the energy that emanated from it. He still got electric shockwaves up his arm when he thought about what it was like to touch the Shield. He couldn't begin to imagine what Liz had been going through as she held it.
Alex wondered what Max had been doing as he stood so still in front of her with his eyes closed for so long. If he didn't know better, he would have thought Max had been dream-walking her, but of course that was impossible...
Max needed to be as close to Liz as possible. Laying there, holding her wasn't enough. He had to get closer. Gently, slowly as so not to disturb her much needed sleep, Max reached out with his mind and touched her.
Without all of the trauma and emotions swirling around him this time, this was a completely different experience than the dream-walk from earlier. It took him a little while to figure it out, but eventually he eased his way into her subconscious. He knelt down next to her reposed figure and whispered to her of his love. He refrained from mentioning anything that would cause her to recall the events of earlier, and spoke instead of their present and the future.
Her subconscious self began to respond to him, and in her mind, her eyes fluttered open. They were so beautiful to him and he told her so. She whispered back that she loved him, and that she always would. Their lips touched. Even though their bodies had no substance in this place, their emotions reacted as though they did. In that quiet time they reaffirmed their devotion to one another. Wanting her to rest, Max pulled back a little from the dream-walk so that she could no longer sense his presence, and simply watched over her. She was sleeping too heavily for real dreams, so they were alone in the vast caverns of her mind. Holding her body close to his, and sharing this connection with her was beyond description.
Isabel was out in the middle of nowhere. She had followed Mr. Skinny all over town after she and Alex had split up. The alien was looking for Max and Liz. She heard him ask several people if they knew where her brother was. After several hours, he had appeared to give up, got in his car and drove out into the New Mexico desert. From where she was crouched behind a boulder, she watched him climb up a jutting rock formation. He held his hands out in front of himself, looking like he was holding a Healing Stone or something, for a couple of minutes. Then he started talking to himself. Isabel couldn't make out what he was saying, so she crept closer. She thought she heard him say Max's name, but she wasn't certain. Before she could really move in close enough to hear, he stopped talking. He stood there a minute longer, fooling with whatever it was that he was holding. Then, slipping it into his pocket, he turned around and scanned the area.
Isabel ducked back down, and held her breath. After a minute, he made his way back to his car. Rather than following immediately, Isabel climbed up onto his perch and looked around. She didn't see anything that would give her a clue as to what he'd been doing up there. She heard him start his engine, and as he drove away back in the direction of town, she jogged to where she had stashed the jeep. She sure hoped the others had managed to have a more productive day than she did.
|Part 13 | Index | Part 15|
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