FanFic - Max/Liz
"Darkest Days"
Part 20
by Ash
Disclaimer: I don’t own any of the original characters from “Roswell.“ They belong to Melinda Metz and Jason Katims and the wonderful people at WB. I have invented a slew of characters to go with ‘em, though and I hope the originals aren’t too insulted to have them mix and mingle and perhaps fall in love here or there.
Summary: This has become an alternate universe over the course of the other three stories. It was in line with the show through “Sexual Healing” and then my own version of Tess hit the atmosphere in “Captivated by Darkness.“ Two years later, we picked up the story and began the mythology with “Fight the Break of Dawn,“ where Liz was transformed and they met Christopher in L.A. Next came “Fading Into Twilight” which was NOT a wedding fic, but did contain the ill-fated nuptials which led our characters to this point. Now, in my AU, remember that I diverge from the show and Sheriff Valenti is still an unknown quantity, Pierce doesn’t exist, my Tess is very dead (and deservedly so) and the Evans and Mrs. Parker know the truth about the aliens.
Category: Max/Liz
Rating: PG-13
Authors Note: To Sheeijan and Abs, both of whom are excellent ‘backers and obsessors. Title comes from Remy Zero’s “Yellow Light,” featured in The White Room episode from season one.
Everything erupted into chaos. The Sheriff jumped to his feet and headed for Kyle. Joey wasn’t far behind. The yellow suits just backed out of the way as they reached him. The doctor had disappeared back into the ICU.

Kyle’s Dad fell to his knees beside his son. “Kyle, Kyle?“ He took off the helmet and held Kyle’s limp neck and head in his hands. He was unconscious. “Oh god. What did they do to you?“

Joey felt tears spring up in her eyes at his gentleness. Then a hand on her shoulder made her jump.

It was the man who had helped them. He had a grim look on his face as he moved to kneel on the other side of Kyle. “I think he’s just asleep.“

Sheriff Valenti looked up at him like he was crazy. “What did you say?“

The man didn’t answer. He just reached out and touched Kyle’s shoulder lightly. Joey gasped as she felt power leave him and flow into Kyle. “No!“ But it was too late. The man’s blue eyes looked to her as he smiled slightly.



Joey looked down to see Kyle awake and being hugged breathlessly. Kyle pushed his Dad away and stood to his feet, looking like a man on a mission. Joey fell back a step at his vigor. “Dad, that’s not Liz or Alex back there. There’s no virus.“

Immediately, they were surrounded by reporters. “Did you say that there is no virus?“

“You saw the body of Liz Parker?“

“No,“ Kyle corrected them. “There are two dead bodies back there, but they are not Liz Parker and Alex Whitman. I should know. They’re my friends.“

“Wait- how did you get back there?”

Kyle was still trying to decide how to answer that one when Joey saw Sheriff Valenti making his way over to a stunned Dr. Garrett. “Well, Dr. Garrett, it seems that there’s been a little subterfuge here. I believe we now have a case of misleading the public, holding people against their will, abusing federal power-”

“No, no, Sheriff,” Dr. Garrett was now smiling tightly. “Allow me to explain. This was a practice drill for my people, plain and simple.”

Joey heard a collective gasp run through the crowd. As for herself, she had no idea how to respond to Dr. Garrett‘s. They were just lies... absolute lies.

“There was a case of food poisoning at the Crashdown and my superiors gave me the go-ahead to make it a level four drill. I’m sorry that we couldn’t allow any of the public in on the specifics, but that would have invalidated the entire operation. Dr. Schiffly will back me up on this. He felt that it was a good test for his people as well.”

Everyone’s attention swung over to Dr. Schiffly who nodded and smiled. “Everything was done to adhere to safety regulations while they were here and all in all it was a very successful run.”

A few scattered people applauded as if it had been a circus. Joey was furious. But Sheriff Valenti attacked before she could.

“Hogwash. There were two dead bodies that were disposed of by cremation at the Happy Meadows Funeral Home at 4:30 a.m. this morning. And I myself intercepted another pick up to cremate subsequent bodies. If this was just a drill, why were there dead bodies being disposed of? And where in God’s name is Liz Parker?”

“I’d certainly like to know the answer to that one,” Jeff Parker edged his way into the circle surrounding Dr. Garrett. “And I’d like to know how you thought drugging my wife and announcing my daughter’s- death helped you have a successful practice run.”

Dr. Schiffly stepped up to stand beside Dr. Garrett. “Mrs. Parker was hysterical and you signed a waiver for that, Mr. Parker. We had no idea that the body back there was not Liz Parker. This is news to us.”

“Yes,” Dr. Garrett said with a sigh. “Apparently, Miss Parker and Mr. Whitman have taken off together. Not surprising considering all that the poor girl has been through.”

“That’s a lie,” Joey shouted. Several people turned her way, but Sheriff Valenti put a hand on her shoulder to quiet her. “Joey,” he whispered. “I’ll nail him, don‘t worry. You go over there with Kyle and let me handle it.”

Joey forced back her anger and slipped out of the crowd. She quickly located the mysterious man who helped them leaning against a wall casually. She took a moment to look him over, noticing the ponytail in back and his tall, skinny frame for the first time.

She approached slowly. “Who are you,” she said as soon as he fixed his bright blue eyes on her. “I’m Nathan,” he said without hesitation, standing up straight. “I’m the eldest of the twelve.”

Joey was speechless.


Max leaned over Christopher’s shoulder and watched the images flicker by intently. It was all going by way too fast for him to be of any help, but he couldn’t just sit around and wait; he had to at least try.

There was whispering behind him and he ignored it. They all thought he was losing it, between the blood all over his clothes and the trembling that wouldn‘t go away.

But he wasn’t losing it. Not yet. He could pinpoint the exact moment when he had started trembling- when Liz was forced to ask that sadist what they had done to her internally because the bleeding and pain was just too much.

Max felt the muscles in his face twitch. But Liz was sleeping now. They wouldn’t do anything to her while she was out. At least... not this time. He winced and reasoned it out. Last time, they were taking “samples” and that’s done with. Now, the only reason to hurt her is to make her talk and they can’t do that if she’s asleep.

So, she’s safe for now.

And it’s okay to focus on something else. Because I have to. The mental images that went with what he’d felt from Liz were horrific and he couldn’t stand to let them cycle through his mind endlessly as they seemed inclined to do. Planning her rescue was the only thing keeping him sane right now- her rescue and the death of the bastards who had hurt her.

Max raised the coffee to his lips carefully, hating the trembling that accompanied the move. He wanted to be doing something- anything. So far all he’d been doing here was watching Christopher file through screen after screen of information on the computer, looking through telephone logs, newspaper archives and personal conspiracy sites for password help. It was obvious that he’d done this before, whatever it was. But he hadn’t opened his mouth since he’d gotten on about half an hour ago.

Max took a deep breath. He was starting to feel trapped, like he was going to explode if something didn’t happen soon. Maybe he should call and check on Michael again...

“Got it,” Christopher said. His exclamation was so loud that Max almost up-ended his coffee on the computer. “Here’s the tip-off. There are twelve labs in the West region of Public Health Laboratories with the proper registration to handle what they term ‘select agents,’ which are biological agents that are dangerous to humans. Liz would be considered a select agent, at least according to the CDC.”

Max cursed under his breath. Christopher’s eyes were on him and he nodded for him to continue.

“The Secretary of Health and Human Services has set up strict regulations to cover situations like this. Yes, they’re bending the rules all out of shape to consider a human a ‘select agent’, but that’s what happened with Melanie, too. The facilities they take them to are equipped with special machines and special security systems.“

Max knew that already. He couldn’t stop imagining those damn machines. He scrubbed at his face with one hand and asked almost desperately. “You said there was a tip-off?“

“Oh, sorry,“ Christopher cleared his throat. “There are twelve labs in the West that are large enough and have the right type of licensing to handle this type of operation. And I remember seeing an article in the paper a week ago that the CDC guys did a surprise inspection at the lab in Berkely. That was the day before your wedding.”

Max nodded. “The night Kyle was tortured.”

“A little too coincidental, I think. The other thing is this: the phone for the lab in Berkeley went beserk starting just a few days ago. I can’t tap into much of the phone system because it takes days to get past their hacker-proof stuff. But from what I can see of it, the lab’s outside calls went from an average of twenty or so a week to about two hundred over the last few days. Something big is going down there. I think it might be worth a shot to at least check it out.”

Max felt his chest tighten. He forced himself to take a deep breath. Berkeley. It wasn’t much to go on, but it was all they had. He could feel everyone’s eyes on him, waiting for his decision. What if they went there and it was the wrong one?

Max shook his head. Christopher had pulled leads out of thin air. It was incredible that they even had any idea of where to look. And they had spent way too much time waiting already, any more time could cost them their objective. He looked up at Christopher and nodded.

“Good work. Let’s go get the others. On the way, tell me everything about the time you guys went to rescue Melanie. Anything you remember will be helpful.”

Christopher met his eyes grimly as he stood. “Right.“

He walked over to a filing cabinet and pulled open the top drawer. Then he pulled out the drawer, removed the files and loosed the false bottom there. Inside was a envelope that Christopher took out and offered with a bitter smile. “Everything you want to know about breaking in a government facility.”

Max took the file, feeling the weight of the life that was lost in getting this information. It was a heavy reminder of the possible cost of this mission. He looked around the room and saw that all four of them were ready to go with him, to follow him and risk their lives to save his love and his friend. It was humbling... sobering. Max gazed at them each in turn and tried to convey his acceptance of their sacrifice and his commitment to their lives. “Thank you,” Max said simply. He was taken aback when Christopher bowed, followed by Shelley, Tug and finally by Delia. But this time it felt more right, like a simple statement of their willingness to follow. He waited until they straightened and met his eyes again. “I’ll need your eyes up and on the enemy, not down on the ground. Fall in beside me, not behind me. I can‘t do this alone.”

As they called out their affirmations, Max realized that he had stopped trembling. He took a deep breath. “Let’s move.”


Kyle slipped away from the chaos as soon as he realized Joey had disappeared. He finally caught sight of her in the hallway with a guy he’d never seen before. He frowned as he tried to rip off the long plastic jumpsuit, instantly suspicious.

“Hey,“ he called out as that guy reached for Joey’s hand. They both looked over at him and Joey smiled.

Kyle wrestled with the plastic as it got caught on his foot and he hopped around like a complete idiot, trying all the while to keep an eye on that guy. It finally came off and Kyle gave the guy a direct no-b.s. look as he cast the plastic pile on the floor. “So, who in the hell are you?“

“Kyle,“ Joey jumped in and gave him a you’re-being-a-jackass look. “This is Nathan. You probably owe him your life. He took down the divider and got rid of whatever it was that the doctor gave you.“

Kyle pulled his eyes away from her for a minute to give the guy another appraisal. Something was off about him. “Where are you from?“

Nathan cut his eyes at Joey. She nodded. He looked at Kyle and pointed his index finger straight up.

Kyle’s brow drew up in confusion. “What the hell does that mean? You came in on a plane?”

Joey let out an exasperated breath. “A little higher, Kyle.”

He threw her a look and then, it hit him. His face went slack and he pointed at the guy. “You- you‘re not- you’re-”

“One of the twelve,” Joey finished for him. “We were just about to connect and he was going to show me something.”

Kyle shook his head. “Okay, okay, back the E.T. express up. When you say, ‘one of the twelve,’ you mean as in the alien ‘one of the twelve?’ I mean, isn’t there a statute of limitations on this thing? The great leader isn’t even in Roswell any more. So why is Mr. Beatnik showing up here? Is it a written law or something that every single one of your race has to come and harass me before reaching adulthood?”

“Kyle,“ Joey said loudly. “Get a grip.“

Nathan jumped in with a frustrated look. “I can talk, you know. If you have questions, you ask me. Sometimes, I even answer them.“

He had a slight English accent, which irritated Kyle. “Okay, smart guy, so who the hell are you? No wait, let me guess, you’re Max Evans’ long-lost older brother who was separated from him at birth and now wants nothing more than to find him and kiss his ass on a regular basis like the rest of the world does.“

“He‘s alive?“ Nathan looked at Joey with amazement. “I thought he was dead. Then there is hope.”

“Oh my god,” Kyle said, deadpan. “Excuse me while I puke.”

“No, you don’t understand,” Nathan said loudly, his English accent more pronounced by the second. “If he’s alive, then we can go home.”

Kyle‘s face immediately lost its sour expression. He looked at Joey. “Did he just say ‘home?’” Joey wasn’t looking back at him. Home?

“Yes, old chap, he did say ‘home.’” Nathan was grinning ear to ear. “This is incredible. Where is he?”

“You know, I‘m not going to tell you, ‘cause I just know you‘re going to build a shrine or something, and I don‘t think I can handle it.” Kyle said blankly.

“Kyle, just shut up, okay,” Joey glared at him and whispered fiercely. “What is your fixation with Max? He’s the leader of the twelve, the ruler of a entire planet. Why does that bug you so much?”

Kyle rocked back on his heels in surprise, then pressed back. “Oh it doesn’t bug me nearly as much as the fact that you’ve been planning on going back to your home planet without telling me.”

Joey’s eyes faltered. “I don’t know what’s going to happen, Kyle.“

For some reason that bothered him more than anything else that had just happened.


Part 19 | Index | Part 21
Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours
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