FanFic - Max/Liz
"Always With You"
Part 3
by Watcher Tara
Disclaimer: I do not own any part of Roswell.
Summary: Do you want to know what happens after Destiny? This takes place a week later, when Liz and Tess face off over Max, and the gang must fight off an unspeakable evil with a familiar face. I'm betting money that I guessed the whole first half of the next season.
Category: Max/Liz
Rating: PG
Authors Note: You'll love it, or your money back! Please, please e-mail me with your thoughts.
It was two days after Max's visit that Sheriff Valenti called him back into his office.

"Ok, everything is all set. The Child Services Agency is waiting for Tess. They will have a place where she can stay until a foster situation is found for her. It'll probably be here in Roswell so she won't have to switch schools."

"That's great, Sheriff. Thank you."

"Do you mind me asking why you feel you have to be there when I come out to get her?"

"Sheriff, you know we have these... powers. You've seen Michael's and mine. The three of us aren't very advanced with what we can do. We've spent all of our lives hiding our powers, rarely using them."

"Tess, one the other hand, has spent her life with Nasedo, the shape-shifter. He taught her what she can do and encouraged her to practice. She's strong. Stronger than the rest of us. She can manipulate your will, and make you see things that aren't there."

"She could make you change your mind about taking her away, or make you see her get into your car peaceably as you please when all along she hasn't moved a muscle. Sheriff, I don't trust her, and I don't believe she'll just go along with you. I want to try to help make sure she does."

"She can do this to you?" asked Valenti. Max nodded. "I can see why she makes you nervous."

"That's an understatement. We need to make her believe she'd be safer somewhere else. Or that there isn't any other way unless she's willing to risk exposing herself to you, which I'm betting she won't do. Make up anything, just get her away from me."

Sheriff Valenti walked up to Max and looked him in the eye. "Is she doing something to you?"

Max paused, unsure of how much to say. "Sheriff, Nasedo's told her that we are... destined to be together."

"What are you talking about? Like an arranged marriage?" he chuckled in disbelief.

Max nodded. "Something like that. She won't take 'No' for an answer. And with her powers..." Max left the last unsaid and let the sheriff fill in the blanks. A look of understanding passed between the two men.

"You go on home. I'll be about a half hour behind you. No sense in letting her know we're doing this together."

"Thank you, Sheriff."

Max walked out to the jeep, anticipating actually getting some sleep tonight.

Last night he'd been immersed in a dream about Liz. It was intense, erotic and loving. They were together, loving one another. Their clothes had melted away, and each had delighted in every new piece of skin revealed.

Her eyes as they had looked at him were so beautiful. She had this way of looking at him that made him feel like he could do anything. He felt powerful and strong when he was with her, but never more so when she looked at him with that melting look in her eyes. Her skin was glowing everywhere they were touching. Her blissful sighs sounded like angel's songs to his ears. Her touch traveled down his chest over the flat plane of his belly. He caught his breath in anticipation. Her hand on his cheek was cool in contrast to the heat of the rest of her body. Her lips pressed to his suddenly felt intrusive. The tongue thrust into his mouth made him gag. He grabbed her arms as he sat up, instantly awake. Tess was straddling his lap, pressing her breasts to his chest, her lips to his. He flung her to the floor. "GET OUT! Get out of here!" He was breathing hard and fast like he'd just run a marathon. "How many times do I have to tell you, I don't want you. I will never want you."

"Max." Her eyes filled with tears of frustration. "Why are you fighting this? We belong together. I need you." She pounded the floor with her fist. "I have to be with you."

"No. The only person I want is Liz. Only Liz. Why can't you understand that?"

"Max, it's our destiny. How can you fight it?"

"Why would you want me to have sex with you if all I can think about is Liz?" Her face was suffused with anger. "Get out. Quit coming in here. You are not welcome in my room. Now, Get Out!"

She picked herself up off the floor, and pulled on the t-shirt she had dropped before climbing into his bed. It was the first time he noticed her state of undress. The sight left him cold. He needed a shower, and the fact that it was two in the morning wasn't going to stop him. He noticed Isabel standing in the doorway, watching, having been awakened by the commotion.

He couldn't meet her eyes. "Keep her in your room."

"Ok." He went down the hall into the bathroom, and Isabel heard the shower run, the sound almost muffled the sound of his sobbing. He stayed in there a long time, letting the water pound on his chest and face. He didn't get out until long after all the hot water was gone.

Today, Max was practically whistling as he drove toward home. In another hour, two at most, Tess would be out of his immediate reach. With her gone, he felt he had a chance in talking Liz into coming back to him. Something had been making her distant this past week. He noticed it yesterday when he went to see her. He figured the awkwardness of having Tess living with him was probably what was preventing Liz from coming back to him. Couldn't she see how miserable he was without her? He needed her. Without question, she was necessary to him. As necessary to him as the air he was breathing.

Liz, as it turned out, was not able to see Michael the past two nights. Either he wasn't home when she went by, or he wasn't answering the bell.

She would make it a point to see him tonight for sure, if she had to camp out on his doorstep to do it. It hurt her to think of what he must have been going through these past weeks. It seemed she was just so glad it was over, and Pierce wouldn't be able to hurt any of them anymore, that it didn't occur to her that Michael was filled with such remorse because of the accident.

Today, she was back to waiting tables, having switched shifts with Maria after Isabel's visit. For all the good it did her. It doesn't help to go to such lengths to avoid someone just to have them walk into your bedroom and sit down on your bed, in fact, it kind of makes it all a moot point.

Liz spent the rest of the evening pining for Max. Except for when she was looking for Michael. On the up side, she had a wonderful dream about Max last night. He was making the most incredible love to her. Her bones still melt when she recaptures the intense feelings the dream invoked.

Considering that it was a Wednesday afternoon, the restaurant wasn't very busy. Mostly the crowd was just kids from school, probably killing time before a movie starts, or the picnic begins. Normal 'kids on summer break' stuff. Liz was considering giving Alex and Maria a call to see if they were interested in having a video night at her house tomorrow night. Anything to help pass the time.

As Liz walked back into the kitchen, she heard voices. "Max, what are you doing here?"

"Tess, why are you here?"

"I followed you. Are you going to see Liz?"

"I need to tell her that she and I are really over."

"Do you have to, I mean you are already broken up."

"Yeah, it would be cruel to keep her thinking there might be a chance for us to get back together." Liz rounded a corner just in time to see Max pull Tess into his arms. "After what we shared last night," he kissed her, "I know without a doubt that you were right all along." Tess's hands were sliding into his untucked t-shirt. "We belong together. I've never felt anything like what I felt when I was with you." They kissed carnally, passionately. It was the kind of hot, open-mouthed kisses that lovers shared.

Feeling sick to her stomach, Liz turned away. Her mind was numb with pain. The realistic side of her knew it was bound to happen, but in her heart she'd held out the hope that one day, against everything, they'd find a way to be together. Her conversation with Isabel yesterday drifted through her mind. "You're probably hurting him more than you're helping... Happy? Tess is driving him insane." Why would Isabel lie to her? She said she was her friend, then lied to her about Max. Her hurt was starting to transfer into anger. Irrationally, her temper started to simmer, and she could only focus on one thought, and that was to call Isabel Evans and give her a piece of her mind for lying to her, getting her hopes up, and making her witness that horrible scene.

She ran upstairs and picked up the phone, and pounded on the buttons. Her fury had reached a point that she was actually trembling as the phone rang once, twice.

"Hello.... Hello?" It was Max. Unbelievably, on the other end on the line, across town, Max Evans was in his house. He wasn't downstairs kissing Tess. "Hello?"

Liz hung up quickly, her mind awhirl with the possibilities. How could he possibly be downstairs and across town at the same time? Nasedo? Was he back in town? To what end? He was supposed to be protecting the aliens from inside the FBI. No, it couldn't be him. Then who? How?

A thought suddenly gelled. A conversation from two weeks ago floated into her mind:

"You told them both at the same time to go to Hondo?" Liz asked in disbelief after watching an FBI agent talking to thin air, then getting into a van and driving away.

"Pierce told them to go to Hondo," corrected Tess.

"Can you just do that with everyone? Make them see things that aren't even there?"

"Sometimes it's easier to do that than to make someone see something that's right in front of her eyes."

"Tess." 'I should have known,' thought Liz. What kind of a person was Tess to have been tormenting her with all these visions for the past week? And Liz knew without a doubt that it had been Tess forcing her to see her and Max together everywhere. She was trying to make sure that Liz stayed away from him. And it had worked, until now. Suddenly, Liz was filled with determination. No way in hell would Liz allow Max to be stuck with such a creature. Max was hers. Destiny or no destiny, Liz was suddenly determined to protect Max from his supposed mate. But how? Liz went back downstairs. She'd only been gone two minutes. In all the anxiety, she'd forgotten that she was the only waitress here today. As she worked, she turned over the problem again and again in her head. The more she thought, the more hopeless it seemed. How could she fight someone who had the power to take over her mind? How can she tell when an image is false, or true? Is there a way to prevent Tess from getting into her head?

Liz remembered what Isabel said about dream-walking someone who was awake. They could fight her. They could conceal their secrets. There must be someway to block Tess.

At least she now knew to not trust her eyes next time she saw Max and Tess together. In that way, the game was over. Her horror deepened as she worked this train of thought to a new level. What would Tess do in retaliation? Liz couldn't picture her saying, 'Oops, sorry, it'll never happen again.' If Tess was willing to carry the charade this far, she'll take it to the next step. About the surest way to make sure Max gets over Liz is to take Liz out of the picture. She could already imagine herself driving down a road in broad daylight, and driving straight off a cliff because Tess makes her see the road go straight when there is actually a turn. Unless she figured out a way to outwit Tess, Liz would practically have to live her life as a blind person does, never trusting anything her eyes tell her.

As the hours passed, she assimilated all the information she had on Tess. Unlike the other three aliens, Tess had been raised by Nasedo. Liz felt she had a pretty good grasp on what he was like. He held human life in little value, and laughed at their pain. She herself had seen the dead body of a man he had killed, plus pictures of several others, including a woman who was doing nothing more sinister than sitting in her car awaiting her husband to join her. Liz believed that having been raised by a creature like that would explain Tess's callous treatment of Liz, Maria, and Alex. Always talking like their opinions don't matter, like their lives don't matter. As she was closing the CrashDown hours later, Liz came to the realization that she was more afraid of Tess than Pierce and the whole FBI. She needed help, and she knew to whom to turn in order to get it.

Max stretched out on his bed. He reached his arms over his head, and reveled in the knowledge that tonight there would be no Tess Harding here, in his house, to destroy his peace of mind. When Valenti arrived, and explained that her father had been reported missing, and in fact, hadn't been seen in days, she had behaved stricken.

Max almost chuckled at her performance. Then the sheriff explained that she would have to go with him, and the crocodile tears had dried right up. She was not pleased with leaving but the alternative was to expose her secret to the sheriff, which she couldn't do. She had repeatedly looked to Max for help, but he just shook his head, indicating that there was nothing he could do about it. The law was the law, after all.

In the end, she rode off in Valenti's cruiser, promising to call. That was hours ago, and Max had been enjoying the silence and serenity of the house ever since. When his parents and Isabel returned from a movie, he told them the sad news. Isabel, not fooled, just looked at him. Was that relief and approval in her eyes? He hoped so. With a sigh, and a smile he relaxed into his pillow. "To sleep, perchance to dream."

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