FanFic - Max/Liz
"Captivated by Darkness"
Part 24
by Ash
Disclaimer: Written purely for entertainment purposes. I have borrowed their characters, but have no intention of stealing any glory from the most excellent show on television. Simply a tribute.
Summary: After "Sexual Healing"; Mostly M/L and M/M, some M/T and others in background; a "T" storyline, so bail now if you don't want to walk the walk of the damned.
Category: Max/Liz
Rating: PG-13
Authors Note: Dedication: to N/A, whose trilogies are awe-inspiring.
Michael gripped the steering wheel in silence. He and Isabel had given up trying to figure things out a while back.

He just could not bend his brain around the fact that Tess was dead. How the hell did they miss the fact that she was a... a ghost?

She must've felt pretty damn real to Max. Michael shook his head.

What they knew about themselves wouldn't even fill a book, and they knew absolutely nothing about what happened to them when they died. Except they apparently didn't "go gently into that good night." In fact, it looked like Tess had no intention of going anywhere.

This was really giving Michael the willies.

Max was trying to rescue a very angry dead girl and he didn't even know it.


Max had been running through the moonlit forest as fast as he dared for half an hour, dodging tree branches and stumbling over roots. The path to the cave wasn't clear at all, and he wasn't sure how he knew where to go. He just did. With every labored breath, he prayed for Liz to get stopped or slowed down enough for him to get to her. Not that he was sure at all what might happen if he didn't...

Who knew what Nasedo was thinking?

Why would he have even taken Tess to begin with?

God... what a nightmare!

Max was still trying to process the fact that obviously Liz could see again, and he was glad...

But why did it happen just in time for her to get up here and right back into Nasedo's clutches? It couldn't be a coincidence. Max's fear pushed him on, but he was eventually forced to stagger to a stop, completely out of breath.

He bent over and grimaced in frustration, resting his hands on his knees a moment. He was running like an idiot, form all wrong; that had to be why he was so winded. But Liz couldn't be that far ahead now.

His eyes closed as he again thought of Nasedo finding her first, of those beautiful brown eyes wide with fear...

Oh god-

His heart clenched like a fist and he suddenly didn't give a damn about breathing. He could breathe later, after Liz was safe. And Tess, too.

Max ran on as if his life depended on it.


A dark man stood by the cave, his eyes wary as he glanced around the forest. He looked every inch the mountain man: his tangled beard streaked with gray, his well-worn clothes suited for rugged outdoor life, a backpack on the ground at his feet.

After satisfying himself that all was still, he idly pulled out a pocketknife and began digging up under his fingernails.

His movements were calm and precise as he waited, glancing up at the trail before him occasionally.


Maria sat by Alex in the back seat, snuggled close under his arm. Of course, she'd rather be up there with Michael, but she understood the need for he and Isabel to compare notes on what Tess' death meant for them. As far as she was concerned, it didn't change a thing.

In fact, it made more sense to her.

Tess had been messing with Liz's mind from the beginning, and her being a disembodied alien skank wasn't all that different from her being just a regular alien skank. Except now Maria didn't have to worry about kicking Tess' slimy butt all around town for doing this to Liz.

Because someone else had already burned her butt up.

And in spite of her best efforts, Maria wasn't half sorry about it, either. She just wished Liz knew.

But Liz wasn't answering her cell phone and she had no way of knowing where they were headed. Maria was glad she would be at home, safe and sound when they confronted Tess.

Just in case.


Liz stood breathlessly facing the cave, fear gnawing away at her. She just had to get this over with. If she didn't go straight in, she wouldn't go in at all.

But oh, she did not feel in control of the situation. She was feeling more alone with each passing second.

Her eyes closed briefly.

Stupid, independent Liz.

Why hadn't she called Max?

He had no idea she was even here.

No one did.

*I wouldn't say no one...*

With Tess' smug voice came her memories of Alex crying out in pain as the scissors ripped into his side.

Liz grimaced, hurt and rage flooding through her. She knew she was being manipulated. She hated it. But there was just no choice. Her anger propelled her forward into the mouth of the cave.


Eddie watched her enter after hesitating for a moment. A frown settled on his face. River Dog's warning was fresh in his mind and Liz seemed so small and helpless. Why had she come here alone?

Shaking his head, he walked toward the cave. Before he had taken a few steps, there was movement out of the corner of his eye.

He turned his flashlight on the strangest-looking man he'd ever seen.


Max slowed as he saw a light blink off ahead. He gulped, working hard to breathe quietly in the darkness.

The cave stood just beyond a thicket of trees, a black, gaping hole. The light had come from somewhere beside those trees.

Was it Liz?

Oh god, please let her be okay...

He approached cautiously, his face grim with determination.


The red Jetta pulled into the Indian reservation, startling River Dog out of his contemplative meditation. He watched the four teenagers scramble out and run to the other vehicles, both empty.

Then Isabel noticed River Dog watching them. She touched Michael's arm and nodded in his direction. Alex and Maria turned hopefully. River Dog nodded in their direction. At Michael's frown, he indicated the direction to the cave with an air of resignation. The four immediately ran off into the woods. River Dog sighed.


Eddie stood quietly in the path as Max approached. At Max's surprised look, he simply said, "She's in there. Be very careful."

Max blinked at him, then quickly passed on into the cave.

Eddie looked back to the trail, waiting for the others.

Part 23 | Index | Part 25
Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours
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