FanFic - Max/Liz
"Darkness & Light"
Part 11
by Mattia
Disclaimer: I do not own them in any way or form! They are the property of The WB, Melinda Metz and Jason Katims.
Summary: The story begins a couple days after Crazy. It would probably help to read the previous parts of this fanfic first!
Category: Max/Liz
Rating: PG-13
Authors Note: Feedback: Yes, please! I welcome any kind of feedback! Thanks again for the great feedback, keep me informed on what you think! I am starting back to school, but will do my best to write on a regular basis!
“At least I’m with you.” Max whispered to Liz as they desperately clung to each other.

Terrified, Liz dropped the phone with a loud clank as the footsteps stopped outside the door. Shakily, Max held Pierce’s gun facing the entranceway. Looking at the gun, then Liz, he said, “I won’t go back Liz, and I won’t let them hurt you.”

Liz gazed sorrowfully at Max and kissed his cheek. “Where ever you go, I go.”

A look of acknowledgement passed between them, as Max understood that she meant in life and death. Suddenly Liz gasped and pointed at the window, “Max, look!”

Together they turned and stared at a man in military uniform who was tearing off the camouflage netting on the outside of the window. They watched as the man moved up to the first panel of glass and peered in at them, a grim smile on his face.

Max leaned his lips against Liz’s ear, “Liz, I want you to know that I always have and always will lo--“ stopping in mid sentence, he watched in amazement as the man outside the window placed his hand on the glass and made it ripple, like throwing a rock into a pond. Reaching through the first layer, he did the same thing to the second pane and reached his hand out to Max and Liz.

“Nacedo.” Liz whispered, staring at the reaching fingers only inches from her body.

“Come! Now! We haven’t got time!” Nacedo snapped, gesturing for one of them to take his hand.

Questioningly, Liz looked at Max, “what choice do we have?” he asked, glancing back at the door, which was on the verge of busting open. Grabbing her hand, Max connected it with Nacedo’s and watched as he pulled Liz through. Holding out his arms, Nacedo reached through a second later and pulled him through the glass. Falling on the outside of the building, Max looked back through the window, which now looked as it had before, to see Pierce’s men push into the room.

“Get up! Go!” Nacedo yelled at them, pulling Max to his feet.

“Nacedo, where---“ Max started, staring in awe at him.

“No time for questions. I will find you again. Now move!” he ordered, turning and running away from them.

For a moment, Max wanted to go after him, but felt Liz tugging on his side, “Max, c’mon!”

Looking back Nacedo’s way, who was no where to be found, Max grabbed Liz’s hand and let her lead the way to the fence where Michael and Isabel were waiting for them.

With his heart pounding and his legs numb, Max watched as they got closer and closer to the fence. He was almost there; freedom was almost his.

“STOP!” A voice screamed, thundering through the compound.

As Max’s steps faltered, he felt the arms of his captor encircle his body.

Reaching the fence, Liz turned, expecting Max to be right behind her, but he wasn’t; he had been stopped about ten feet back. Horrified, Liz screamed his name as she watched pierce, blood oozing from his head, holding Max and grinning wildly as Max thrashed against him.

“No!” she yelled out, running toward the two men. Stiffening, she gathered her speed and crashed into them, sending them all flying to the ground.

Her body aching, Liz pulled her head up off the ground to look around. Getting up on her hands and knees, she looked around for Max and found him sprawled beneath Pierce’s body, just a few feet from her. The two of them were still struggling and before Liz could even get to her feet, she heard it.

A gunshot rang out that seemed to silence the entire area. Liz watched the blood splatter all over Max and Pierce. “Oh God! Oh no!” Liz cried, running to Max’s side and helping push Pierce off him. “Max!” she sobbed, pulling her blood stained hand away form him.

“Liz, its not mine!” He called out, almost shocked. “It is not mine, its Pierce’s.” Together both of their heads turned to look at the gaping wound in Pierce’s chest. Throwing her arms around him quickly, she hugged him and then helped him to his feet.

“Liz, I don’t think I can walk any further.” Max replied, holding on to her.

Liz tried to keep him up, but she could feel him failing as well. Suddenly, Michael was beside them, throwing one of Max’s arms around his shoulders, “c’mon, lets go!” He yelled to Liz as they half-carried, half-dragged Max to the fence and pulled him through to freedom.

The minute Isabel saw her brother, she ran toward him, hugging his limp body.

“Isabel, go get the car! I don’t think Max is gonna make it!” Michael yelled, watching Max’s body shut down. “Over there.” Michael said to Liz, guiding her over to the fence, where they laid Max gently down.

“Michael, he is getting worse.” Liz whispered, holding Max’s head in her lap, watching his eyelids sporadically flutter open and close.

“Hold on Max” Michael uttered reaching out to grab his trembling arm, then to Liz, he said, “is he even conscious?”

“I don’t know. He seems to be drifting in and out, all I know is he is in an immense amount of pain.”

Both of them let out a sigh of relief as Isabel turned the corner in Tess’s SUV. As the car skidded to a stop, Michael helped Liz carry Max to the back seat, then ran around and jumped in the front.

“Is he alright?” Isabel asked looking at Max’s bloody and weakened body through the rearview mirror.

“Just drive!” Michael urged, looking out the window, waiting for Pierce and his men to find them.

As the car bounced over the rough terrain, Liz did her best to comfort Max and hold him still. Slowly, he came out of his dark world, his eyes flipping open as his head bounced lightly against the back of the seat. Letting his gaze fall on the cargo area, in the back of the vehicle, his body stiffened and he grabbed Liz’s hand, squeezing it as hard as he could, “Tess!” he mumbled, trying to point to the area behind their seats.

“Max, we know she is back there. We needed her present in order to change my face.” Liz said, trying to calm him.

“No, no no!” He said, gasping for breath.

“Max, just lay down.” Liz instructed, trying to move his body to a horizontal position, but he fought her.

“NO!” He screamed, “stop the car! Get Tess out of here!”

“Just keep going,” Michael told Isabel, still looking out the window.

Grasping all his strength, max spoke weakly, “she has a…transmitter chip in…her head. They know exactly…where…we are.” With that, max collapsed against the seat and slid into Liz’s arms.

“stop the car!” Michael said, flipping his head from Max to Isabel.

Swerving, Isabel pulled over and roughly applied the breaks. As they came to a halt, Michael jumped to his feet and jogged around to the back of the SUV. Opening it, he threw off the blanket that was half covering Tess’s body and dragged her from the back.

Liz watched, holding Max close to her as Michael picked Tess up and carried her away from the car. Even as she fought against Michael’s grip, Tess’s blue eyes never strayed from Max’s face and before she was completely out of sight, Tess looked up at Liz, pure hatred blazing in her eyes. Liz wanted to look away, but didn’t. She would not let Tess manipulate her anymore; no matter how frightened she was.

“Liz?” Max groaned, trying to open his heavy-lidded eyes.

“Shh.” Liz whispered, running her fingers through his damp hair, “everything is going to be alright, just rest.”

Max struggled to say something else, but before it could come out, he slipped back into unconsciousness.

Michael drug Tess about thirty feet from the vehicle before dumping her by some bushes. Turning, he planned on just waking away, but couldn’t as he heard Tess’s muffled voice. Leaning down on one knee, Michael stared at Tess’s pleading eyes and with one swift move, ripped the gag from her mouth.

“Michael! Please don’t do this to me! I don’t want to go back with Pierce either! I just want to be with you and Isabel and Max!”

Michael said nothing.

“Please brother.” Tess said, blinking away noticeable tears, “I am not bad, I’m not. I had no choice. Please Michael you are my blood, my family!” Now tears began streaming down Tess’s cheeks.

Reaching out, Michael touched her face and watched the wetness glisten on his fingers. “You are not my family,” he said tightly, holding his hand up, to show her the droplets on his fingers, “crocodile tears.” Wiping his hand on his jeans, Michael grabbed the gag and slapped it back over her mouth.

Not turning back, even though part of him wanted to, Michael headed for the car. Opening the door to the front seat, he turned to Isabel, “drive.” He commanded. Silently, he looked out the window and said goodbye to his sister.

“Isabel are we almost there?” Liz asked worried. In the last twenty minutes Max had begun to sweat profusely, even though his body was like ice. She also watched as his breathing became shallow and he started to shake.

“Yeah, there it is.” Isabel said, pointing as they pulled up to the last cabin on the road, which was well hidden among the trees and other foliage.

Rushing out of the cabin, Alex and Maria ran to the SUV, where the others were pulling Max out of the back.

“Oh my God!” Maria gasped, bringing her hands up to cover he gaping mouth. “Is he gonna be alright?”

“We don’t know anything.” Isabel replied, holding Max’s legs as Alex opened the cabin door.

“Through here.” Alex said, leading them to the room that he and Maria had set up for Max.

Setting him down, Liz took the washcloth Maria offered her and began wiping Max’s face while the others stacked covers and blankets on top of him. *^*^*^*^**^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^ Liz looked at Max’s pale face--the only thing still visible among the ocean of blankets. His brows were furrowed and his eyes pinched shut in pain. Every now again, a moan would escape his lips; yet he never seemed to fully gain consciousness, and that scared Liz.

Reaching out, Liz touched Max’s face and removed the now-warm washcloth from his forehead. Moments later, Alex came out of the bathroom and handed Liz a new, cold cloth. “No change?” He asked, placing his hand on her shoulder.

Liz shook her head and brought her hand to her eyes, wiping away the tears forming. “I just---I feel so helpless. I don’t know what to do to help him.”

Turning, Alex put his arms around his friend and comforted her. “You have already done so much. You are so brave Liz,” looking over at Max, then back to her, he added, “You must really love each other.”

Liz gave him a weak smile as Isabel popped her head into the room.

“Nothing yet.” Liz replied, smoothing Max’s covers. Nodding, Isabel walked back to the kitchen and began stirring the Tabasco-laden soup she had made. If---no when---Max woke up, he would need nourishment; besides she needed something to do, all this waiting was driving her crazy. *^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^ “We’re back.” Michael called out, coming through the cabin door with Maria behind him.

Hearing voices, both Liz and Alex headed out of Max’s room and into the living room, to join Michael and Maria.

“Did everything go alright? You got rid of Tess’s car?” Isabel asked, emerging from the kitchen.

“Yeah, it went fine.” Michael responded. “We took it about thirty miles from here and rolled it down a ravine. We should be safe.” Then, in a softer tone, he asked, “how’s max?”

“No change, still unconscious.” Liz replied with a sigh as Maria came over to hold her hand.

“Well, what are we gonna do?” Michael asked, glancing at Isabel, but moving toward Maria.

“There is nothing we can do!” Isabel replied, letting her emotions get the best of her. “We just have to hope he wakes up and---“

Isabel stopped as they heard it; it was a scream that almost sounded inhuman. All of them turned toward the door where Max was.

When the scream came again, it shattered the paralysis of the group and everyone ran into the bedroom.

Max was sitting straight up in his bed, his arms reaching out as everyone ran in.

“Max? Max!” Liz called running to his side and taking one of his flailing hands.

“Liz?” He cried out, visibly shaken, “Liz, I can’t see you!”

“I am right here.” She said, tipping his head toward her.

“Where?” He sobbed, looking straight at her, but seeing nothing.

“What can you see?” Isabel asked, moving next to Liz.

“Darkness.” Max replied, his eyes darting around the room, trying to see anything. Suddenly, Max stiffened and his grip on Liz’s hand tightened. “Liz, Isabel?”

“We are right next to you.” Isabel said, taking his other hand.

“Liz?! Isabel?! Michael?! SOMEONE!?” Max was screaming now, his body almost convulsing. “I can’t hear anything! I can’t hear you guys!”

Moments later, Max began closing his hands tightly upon Liz and Isabel’s fingers. “Where are you? I can’t feel you!” He cried out.

The color drained from everyone’s face as they looked at each other.

“The drugs.” Liz whispered, “whatever they gave him, he is going through some kind of withdrawal; he is losing all his senses.”

They all watched helplessly as Max struggled chaotically in the bed.

“What are we gonna do?” Michael asked, his eyes widening as Max screamed out for help.

“The healing stones! Did we bring the stones?” Maria wondered aloud, rushing to Michael’s side.

“Their in my bag!” Isabel said, trying to hold Max still.

Running to the next room and grabbing her bag, Alex dumped out the odd-colored crystal-like rocks and handed one to everyone.

“Stand close enough so we are touching!” Isabel yelled over her brother while holding her stone in one hand and Max’s hand in the other; as did Liz. “Now everyone concentrate on Max!” Isabel urged, closing her eyes and chanting his name.

Following Isabel, Liz closed her eyes after one last glance at Max and began saying his name in harmony with hers.

Standing in a semi-circle around the bed, one by one everyone joined in the chanting and suddenly, the healing stones began to glow.

Max felt what little sanity he had slipping away. He knew he wasn’t dead, but felt like it. If only I could hear something, he thought, or see something, or feel or smell! Slowly he felt his mind deteriorating. This is it, he figured, saying his goodbyes in his head.

Then, as if emerging from a fog, his eyes began to adjust and focus on the light that was on in the room. Light! He thought excitedly. Blinking several times, he gazed around the room; looking to his right, he saw Maria, Michael and Alex standing close together, each one holding a glowing healing stone. Isabel stood across from him. Also holding a stone. All of their faces glowed from the amber light emanating from the magic crystals, while their lips moved in a chant. He watched in awe as hues of different colors began swirling around each person before coming together in a rainbow pattern and dancing rhythmically across the room to his left. Moving his head in that direction he gasped---and oddly enough saw himself do it! Max couldn’t believe what he was seeing! There, to his left, holding Liz’s hand was himself. Looking down, he saw what should have been his other hand, but what he actually saw were slim feminine fingers gripping one of the healing stones.

After a moment, realization washed over him. Somehow, by combining their powers with the stones, each person in the room was lending Max a part of themselves. The eyes he was seeing through were not his at all, but Liz’s. Watching himself with her eyes, he saw the colored mist begin seeping into him, one shade at a time. Once all the pink was gone, the red swirling around his body disappeared and with it his hearing---thanks to Isabel---came back. Now as he watched their lips move, he could hear that they were saying his name.

As another color melted into him, he tasted something cherry flavored in his mouth and looked around to see Maria lick her highly glossed lips. Inhaling, he was able to smell Isabel’s sweet perfume and Michael’s rugged sweaty scent; this was, of course, courtesy of Alex. Lastly, as the blue mist swishing around him disappeared, the feeling throughout his body began to return. He could actually feel the crystal in Michael’s hand while the other one held Maria’s.

For a minute, Max sat there and stared at his sister, his friends and the girl he loved, in complete awe of the sacrifice they were making for him. Then, suddenly, the colored mist shot out of Max through every pore and formed a rainbow pattern in the center where they all stood. Without warning, it imploded, separating the colors into tiny particles; the specs floating back to their original owners.

For a moment, Max lost all his senses again, but then they quickly returned and were all his own. Opening his own eyes he watched as, one by one, the others stopped chanting and stared at him.

“Max?” Liz asked softly.

“I’m okay.” He said, squeezing both her hand and his sister’s. As they heard Max’s words, they all broke into a sigh of relief.

Looking at him---still sick, but somewhat better---Liz could no longer hold back her tears of fear and love. Gently, kissing his palm, she released his hand, stood up and quickly ran from his room to the bathroom. Shutting the door and falling to her knees, Liz began to cry.

Part 10 | Index
Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours
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