FanFic - Max/Liz
"Close Your Eyes"
"A Ring Around the Moon"
Part 1
by Irina
Disclaimer: I don’t own any of the characters. They belong to the WB, 20th Century Fox, and Jason Katims.
Summary: The FBI strikes again, but this time it's Liz they want.
Category: Max/Liz
Rating: PG-13
Authors Note: This story is connected to my previous 2 stories: “Truth of the Heart” and “Out of the Dark”, so it would be better if you read them first. Please, send me feedback. Thanks.
Evans’ House

Liz is going through Max’s photo album. Max walks in as he’s putting on his jacket. “So, did you find anything?”
“Oh, yeah,” she answered as she looked up at him, ‘But I can’t decide between the two.”
“Which ones?” he asked as he sat next to her on the couch.
“This one,” she showed him the picture of him when he was 7 years old in a suit that was taken at some family gathering, “Or this one,” she showed him another picture of him when he was 7 wearing just boxers and completely covered in mud. She looked at him teasingly.
“Oh, my God, where did you find this one?” he asked as he started blushing.
“Oh, I have my ways,” she said smiling at him.
“Well, you’re not using that one”
“Oh, really?”
“Liz!” He said trying to sound serious.
“You look so adorable here”
“Yeah, that’s just what I always wanted to be…adorable.”
“So, what happened there?” she asked as she looked at the picture again.
“I’m not telling you,” he answered as he tried to take the picture from her.
“Oh, come on”
“Ok, well, me and Isabel had this sort of fight.”
“Did she beat you up?” Liz asked as she barely held the laughter back.
“Well, I think I broke her Barbie, so she pushed me into this huge puddle of mud.”
“Oh, you poor baby.”
“It was a very traumatic experience for me,” he said trying not to laugh as well. “So, you cannot use it.”
“Ok, fine, I’ll use the other one,” she said as she got up from the couch.

“Are you sure you wanna go? It’s pouring outside,” he asked as he, too, got up.
“Yeah, I have to finish this project by tomorrow”
“Do you have to use my picture?” he asked whining as he helped her put her jacket on.
“Mr. Harold said, “everybody in your life”. You are in my life, aren’t you?”
Max got serious as she turned around and looked at him. “You bet I am,” he answered as they stared at each other.
Liz smiled at him slightly. “Well, we better get going,” she finally said.
“Right,” Max said and they walked out of the house and towards the jeep.

As Max stopped in front of the Crashdown, he looked at Liz who was sitting with a suspicious grin on her face during the whole drive home.

“Ok, that’s it.” He said as he turned in his seat so he was facing her, “Why are you smiling?”
“I’m not smiling,” she said biting her lip.
“Liz, you always bite your lip when you try not to laugh. So, you wanna tell me or do you want me to guess?”
“I’m just…I’m just going to go now,” she opened the door of the jeep and started to get out. “Oh, yeah, thanks for the picture,” she said as she flashed the picture of him covered in mud, then got out of the jeep and started running, laughing.
“Liz!” Max yelled trying to sound angry, as he started running after her. “Liz, it’s pouring.”

It didn’t take him long to catch up with her. As he reached out and grabbed her arm to turn her around, so she would be facing him. They were both laughing as they looked into each other’s eyes. Breathing hard, they both got very serious.

They were both completely soaked, but they didn’t care. They didn’t notice the rain anymore. Max gently moved a strand of Liz’s hair away from her face as he leaned in and kissed her. They didn’t care who might see them. They were in their own world for this moment.

They didn’t notice a black Lincoln Towncar parked a half a block away. They didn’t notice two men in black suits watching them. “Is that them?” one of them asked.
“Yes,” the other one answered.

School – Next Morning

Liz was putting her books into her locker when Maria came up to her. “Hi.”
“Oh, hey, Maria.”
“So, I was thinking. We should have a girls’ night. You know, just the two of us, a big bowl of ice cream, and a sappy movie. What do you think?”
“I’d love to share 200 grams of fat with you tonight, but unfortunately I have a date with Max.”
“Shouldn’t it be called something else by now? Like an old-married-couple-going-out-on –Friday-night-and-leaving-Maria-all-alone or something like that?”
“Shut up,” Liz said laughing.
“So, where are you guys going?”
“Oh, to that new restaurant outside of town. We decided that since the midterms begin next week, we should have as much fun as possible this week.”
“Sure, go ahead, rub it in,” Maria said frowning.
“What?” Liz asked but she didn’t hear Maria’s answer because just then she saw Max walking towards her.

“Morning,” he said as he walked up to her.
“Hi,” she said with a smile on her face, as Maria rolled her eyes at the two of them.
“Oh, hey, Maria,” he said finally noticing her.
“You guys make me sick, you know that?” she said as she looked at the two lovebirds who couldn’t take eyes of each other. “I guess I’m gonna have to go find another pathetic loser who doesn’t have anything to do on Friday night,” she said as she started to leave, but then she stopped and said, “Ooh, have you guys seen Alex?”
“No, but I think he and Isabel are going to the movies tonight,” Max said as he finally pulled his gaze away from Liz.
“Great, just great,” Maria mumbled as she started to leave again.

Finally alone, Max said,” So, how did your presentation go?”
“Oh, it went great. Everybody loved that picture of you all muddy,” she teased.
“You didn’t,” he said seriously.
Liz smiled at him and then said, “No, I didn’t. Don’t worry. It is framed very nicely on my desk at home.”

He smiled at her as he leaned in to kiss her. As their lips met, Max got flashes: Liz in a dark room, someone sticking a needle in her arm, someone hitting her, Liz screaming.

When Max broke the kiss and the flashes stopped Max was shaking. His heart was pounding and he couldn’t catch his breath.

“Max, what’s wrong? What is it?” she asked noticing how he changed in one moment, “Did you have a flash or something?” she asked quietly so no one else would hear them.
“No, no, I…no, nothing like that,” Max finally said trying to compose himself.
“Then what’s wrong?” she could see that he was still shaking.
“Nothing…it’s nothing,” he repeated as he pulled her to him and held her really tight.

Liz knew he wasn’t telling the truth, but she didn’t want to push it now. She knew he still had nightmares. Maybe he just saw something from when he was captured. So, she just held him, trying to make him feel safe again.

Evans’ House – later that afternoon

“Hey, what are you doing here? Shouldn’t you be getting ready for your date with Liz?” Isabel asked as she walked in the kitchen.
“It’s not for anther 3 hours.”
“Oh, right,” she said as she started cutting an apple on a plate, “Max, is something wrong?” She asked as she noticed Max sitting with a huge frown on his face.
“What?” Max asked as he came out of his thought.
“Is everything Ok? You look like somebody died.”
“I’m fine, Isabel,” he said as he got up and left. He decided to go to Liz and talk her into staying home tonight.

The Crashdown

“This is insane. When am I gonna get ready?” Liz said as she waited for the order.
“It’s Friday, what do you want?”

As Maria walked away to her customer, Liz looked at the clock on the wall and sighed.

At that moment Max came in. Maria noticed him first and said walking up to him, “What, you can’t be apart for more than ten seconds?”
“No, I just need to talk to Liz,” he said seriously as he walked towards the kitchen.

“Hey, you have a sec?” he asked Liz when he walked up to her.
“Not really. Is something wrong?”
“No, no, I was just thinking that maybe we should…you know…postpone the date ‘till after we’re done with midterms.”
Liz stopped and looked at him. It wasn’t like Max. “Max, what’s going on? And don’t tell me nothing.” She said firmly.
“No, really, I just thought it’d be a good idea to start studying earlier. I mean, you’re working tomorrow and…” he trailed off as he realized that she wasn’t buying it, “Forget it, we’ll go tonight.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yeah…I’ll be here at 7?”
Liz looked around the Crashdown. “Better make it 7:30,” she said.
“Ok, 7:30,” he said as he tried to smile. Then he gave her a quick kiss and left.

“What was that about?” Maria asked seeing a concerned look on Liz’s face.
“I have no idea.”

Later that night

Max and Liz were having a great time. They talked, they laughed. Max finally relaxed for the first time that day. He thought that whatever it was that he saw was probably just one of his nightmares he was still having.

“I have a surprise for you,” he said.
“What is it?” Liz asked.
“It’s a surprise…”
“Oh, right.”
“But we have to go somewhere.”
“Ok, I’ll just go to the ladies room and we can get going,” she said as she smiled at him.
“I’ll get the check,” he said as they both got up.

Max has been waiting for over 20 minutes now and he started to get worried. He stood in front of the ladies room hoping somebody would come out and tell him if something was wrong inside. When nobody did Max slowly opened the door as he knocked.

“Hello, is there anybody here?” He looked around. No one was in. There was a small black purse lying on one of the sinks. “Liz?” he said as panic started to overcome him. He checked every corner of the room hoping that maybe she was still in the room. Then he noticed in one of the corners a broken window. He looked around again, his heart beating so hard he could hear it. He noticed a lipstick lying on the floor. As he picked it up, he got flashes: Liz putting on lipstick, Liz being attacked by a man in a black suit, the man putting a cloth over Liz’s face, Liz struggling, Liz losing consciousness, two men putting Liz in a black Towncar. As the flashes stopped Max realized: whatever he saw that morning was his nightmare. His worst nightmare. And now that nightmare came true.

Evans’ House

“I don’t understand. How!..How could it…?” Maria was trying to keep from breaking down. She knew that she couldn’t get hysterical right now. None of them could. Liz’s life depended on it, “I thought Nasedo was Pierce. That he was looking out for all of us.” She finally said as she looked at Max.

They were sitting in the living room. Max and Isabel’s parents were at some benefit that night. No one was saying a word.

Max finally looked up at Maria and then looked at Tess, “Do you know anything about this?”
“The last time he contacted me he was still Pierce. He was still in the FBI.” Tess answered.
“Maybe it wasn’t the FBI,” Alex said.
“No, it was. I remember at least one of them,” Max said as he stood up. He felt like he should be doing something, not sitting around discussing it.
“And there were only two of them?” Michael asked.
“That’s all I saw, but I can’t be sure.”
“Well, we can deal with two, right?” Alex said again.
“Yeah, that’s exactly what they want…us coming after them,” Michael said as he too stood up. “It’s a trap, Maxwell,” He said looking at Max.
“So, what are you saying, we just let her die?” Max said getting angry.
“No, that’s not…I’m saying we should have a plan first.”
“A plan?…Don’t you get it? We don’t have time!”
“Max…” Isabel tried to calm him down.
“NO! Don’t you get it? With the real Pierce gone they don’t have anything on me. They’re too afraid of what I might be able to do to them to come after me alone. That’s why they need Liz.”
Michael and Isabel realized that Max was right. Liz contained all the information the FBI ever needed.

“Wait, what are you saying?” Maria asked. “Max?..” Max turned away from her, not being able to look her in the eyes. “Michael?..” Michael, too, looked away.
“He’s saying that they will torture Liz until they get what they want,” Alex said understanding exactly why the FBI would go after Liz.

This was too much for Maria to bear as she broke into tears.

Max couldn’t stand it anymore. He ran out of the room and up the stairs. He had to do something, but he couldn’t concentrate enough to figure out what. He paced around his room.
“Max…” he heard Isabel say as she walked in the room. She’s never seen Max lose his head. No matter what happened, he always kept it together. But now…

“This is all my fault,” he said as he stopped pacing and looked at her.
“How is it your fault? You couldn’t have known this was going to happen.”
“But I did. I knew it.”
“No, I did. This morning when I kissed her I had a flash…she was being tortured.”
“You couldn’t have know it meant something.”
“Of course it meant something. Everything always does…Damn it!” he shouted as he punched the door.
“Max…” Isabel was searching for something to say.
“Could you just leave me alone?” Max said as he slid down to the floor.
“Sure,” she said softly.

"Are you sure it’s a good idea to leave him alone right now?” Michael asked Isabel as she walked in the room.
“He’s not you, Michael. Max thinks before he does things.”

Just as she said it they heard someone starting the jeep and then a screech of tires. As they ran outside they saw Max driving away.

“You were saying,” Michael said looking at Isabel.
“Where is he going?” Maria asked the question that was running through each one of their minds.

Valenti’s House

The sheriff was about to watch a football game when he heard a loud knock on the front door. As Jim Valenti opened the door, he saw Max standing on his porch with a worried, almost panicked expression on his face.
“I need your help,” Max said.

End of Part 1

Index | Part 2
Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours
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