FanFic - Max/Liz
"Darkness & Light"
Part 1
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. All events up to, and including, Crazy have happened. I started writing this back when tidbits of spoilers came out for the last 6 episodes. (ie-I knew in The White Room that Max was captured, but that was it. I knew in TL&V that Max and Tess shared a kiss). So, this is my version of how the season would end. Although some things will be similar to those in the episodes following Crazy, many will not. This story follows along the same lines as the TV show. Feedback: Yes, please! I welcome any kind of feedback.
Category: Max/Liz
Rating: PG-13
Max sat close to Liz on her bed. They were suppose to be studying Biology, but had called it quits almost an hour ago and now were on to more pressing matters. "Have you talked to Michael?" Liz asked, tracing the veins in his right arm with her finger.

He looked away from her, almost embarrassed as he remembered losing his temper that night and hitting Michael. "Yeah, we talked briefly. I'm sorry you had to see me so angry Liz. I didn't mean to punch him."

She leaned over, placing her head on his shoulder, "I've never seen you like that, it was.well, kind of scary." She paused for a moment, "but he took the orb Max."

"And now Valenti has it." He finished, giving her an apprehensive glance.

Liz pivoted to face him, their hands lacing together. "We'll get it back," she promised. "If only we knew how to use it, or knew if Topolsky was telling the truth!" Frustrated, Max stood up, still holding one of Liz's hands.

A knock sounded at the door and she also jumped to her feet. "Come in." Nancy Parker stood in the doorway. "Its getting late Liz. Your Father and I are heading to bed, you should probably do the same."

"I will, goodnight mom."

"Goodnight Mrs. Parker," Max said, feeling a little uncomfortable. Ever since they had gotten caught in the eraser room at school, things had been a little strained with the parents.

"Goodnight sweetheart," Nancy said to Liz. She briefly looked over at Max and nodded, "Max." Then she closed the door.

Liz turned toward him. "Things with them have been so weird since the night we found the orb."

Max nodded in agreement. "I know what you mean. I suppose I better go though." Max gathered up his things and headed for the door. He waited for Liz to meet him there. They exchanged verbal good-byes before Max put his bag down and took Liz in his arms. God, I love the way she feels, He thought silently.

Boldly, she pushed herself closer to him and tilted her head. Smiling, Max reached down and met her lips with his own. Liz loved the way it made her feel when he kissed her. It was like tiny electric pulses running through her blood. She felt his hands tangling in her hair and then gently holding her face. Almost forcefully, he pulled himself away. "It gets harder and harder to tear myself away from you," he whispered, still cupping her chin.

"I know." Liz replied, leaning up to give him another quick kiss. "I hate being away from you. Its like, when you are not here, I don't feel."

"Whole." Max finished, sliding his hands over her shoulders.

"Yeah," Liz replied. They simply stared at each other for a moment before Max leaned down, grabbed his bag, and with one last hungry kiss, walked out of the room.

Liz followed him downstairs and watched him drive away until she could no longer see the jeep. Smiling, she walked back up to her room.

Max jogged upstairs to his room and immediately stopped. He could sense.something. He knocked on Isabel's door and then entered. Her and Tess were sitting on the bed, looking through a yearbook. Isabel looked up at him, "Hey Max, you remember Tess, right?"

Max nodded, looking curiously at the new girl. She smiled and looked up at him with her crystal blue eyes. "Hi Max," she said sweetly. They continued to stare at each other, Tess's gaze locked on Max. Isabel, noticing the blatant staring, closed the yearbook with a thud. "We were just looking through everyone's pictures. I was showing Tess who to talk to and who not to."

"Isabel has been a real life-saver," Tess said, never taking her eyes off Max. Max could not help but stare. He felt almost compelled to walk over and touch her soft, curly blond hair.

"Max! Earth to Max!" Isabel stood in front of him, clearly agitated. "Um, are you just going to stand there all night?"

Max shook his head, coming back to his senses. "Huh? Oh, no. Just saying goodnight." He turned to walk out of the room.

"Sweet dreams." Tess called after him.

Max shut the door to his room. He could still feel Tess, but it was not as strong as before. This is crazy! He told himself. What is going on with me? I have Liz, she is all I want, he reminded himself. Max shut off his lamp and laid awake in his bed. He was deeply troubled by Tess. Something about her did not seem.normal. Not that the same could be said for him, but he felt something toward her and it scared him. Max continued to toss and turn for awhile, not able to fully forget Tess, a girl he had spent less than five minutes with! Only after he heard Isabel walk her to the door and heard Tess's car drive away was he able to finally fall asleep and dream about Liz.

From the moment Liz lifted her head off the pillow she knew things were going to be bad. Flipping back the covers, she looked at the clock, and did a double take. It was almost 9:30! Her alarm had failed to go off. Liz scrambled to the other side of the room, grabbing a pair of jeans and a light blue shirt. Running her hands through her hair, she pulled it back into a ponytail. Liz grabbed her backpack off the kitchen table, locked the door and started to sprint toward school.

Liz felt the car pull up beside her before she saw it. It was Sheriff Valenti. He rolled down the passenger window and called to her from the curb. "Liz! Excuse me, I need to speak with you. Please Miss Parker!"

Liz stopped and walked toward the vehicle with caution. "Sheriff, I am really late for school. I would be happy to discuss whatever you want later."

The Sheriff gave Liz a concerned look. "Miss Parker, I suggest you get in. I will drive you to school, and on the way, we can talk." He gestured for her to get in. Liz hesitated. "I am on your side Liz! If you will just listen to what I have to say; I am not going to hurt you!" Valenti banged his hand against the steering wheel.

Taking a deep breath, Liz climbed into the truck. They drove for a moment before Valenti spoke, "Ms. Topolsky is dead. She was killed in an accident at the hospital where she was seeking treatment." Liz pressed herself against the door. Her heart began to pound. The Sheriff continued, "I am not sure if I believe it was an accident."

"What are you trying to say sheriff?" Liz asked, not sure if she really wanted to hear the answer.

"I think the things Topolsky was telling us might be true." The sheriff glanced over at Liz. She tried to mask her thoughts, "What things?" Liz asked.

"You know what things Miss Parker!" Valenti pulled up to the school and shut the engine off. He turned to face her. "The list we are all on, the FBI alien hunter-Pierce, the fact that they are going to stop at nothing until they have Max Evans! That is what I am talking about!"

Liz just sat and stared at him, not knowing what to say. Valenti lowered his voice, "Liz, I know you are scared, so am I. I am on your side-on Max's side. I think he is in real danger and I won't be able to help him unless he trusts me." Valenti leaned over and picked up a paper sack, holding it in both hands. "I can not protect any of you unless you tell me what you know." He held the sack out to Liz. "I am giving this back to show good faith. I know Max wants it."

Liz took the brown sack, opened the door and stepped out of the truck. Valenti spoke to her through the window, "Tell Max to come see me, before it is too late Liz."

Taking a deep breath, Liz looked up at the sheriff, "Thank you for the ride."

Valenti touched his hat, "Just please talk to Max."

Liz nodded. The sheriff drove away, leaving Liz with the bag. She unfolded the top and looked in, her jaw dropping. Inside was the orb. Valenti had returned the orb. She had to find Max. Liz began to run toward the school, putting the bag-and the orb-securely in her backpack.

Meanwhile, in Biology Lab

Max eyed the door anxiously. Where was Liz? She was never late and the bell was about to ring. Just as he was about to look away, the door opened and Tess strolled in. She looked over at the empty seat next to Max, but opted to sit at the vacant table in front of him.

As the bell rang, Mr. Seligman walked in and stood in front of the class, frowning as usual. "Alright class, lets get started. I am going to be assigning your midterm project today. It will consist of several experiments that should be set up and tested. Of course I expect a written report as well." He walked around the classroom and stopped in front of Tess. "I would also like to introduce our new student, Tess Harding. I expect everyone to help her, if she needs it." He smiled at Tess. "Now, this project will be done in teams of two. So, you will be paired with your usual lab partner, except for Mr. Evans."

Max looked up at the teacher. Mr. Seligman pointed at him and Tess. "Max, why don't you move up and be Tess's partner for this project."

Max did not get up. "What about Liz Parker? I am her partner."

"Well, Liz chose not to be with us today and we now have an odd number of students, so someone is going to have to work on it alone anyway. Since Miss Parker has decided not to grace us with her presence, she has just been awarded the individual spot. Plus, Tess is new and I think it would be in her best interest to have a partner. Both you and Liz are bright students, I am sure you will be a great help to Ms. Harding and I am sure Miss Parker can handle the project by herself. So, Mr. Evans, please move up and sit with Tess for the remainder of this project."

Feeling defeated, Max picked up his bag and sat down at the lab table with Tess. Looking over at him, she smiled. Max turned his attention to Mr. Seligman, who had just launched into a lengthy lecture. He could feel it though. Max could feel some sort of connection with Tess. He tried to ignore her, but kept seeing her glimpse over at him, the smile a permanent fixture on her face.

Mr. Seligman stopped in mid sentence as the lab door opened. "Miss Parker, so glad you could join us."

Liz walked in and quickly strode to her seat. She looked over at Max, confused. Why is he sitting with that girl? Liz wondered, pulling up her chair. Max turned to look at her, his eyes wide with concern. I need to talk to you! Liz mouthed to him. Before he could respond, Mr. Seligman spoke, "Excuse me Liz. Am I interrupting your conversation?"

Liz, embarrassed, shook her head.

"Well then, I will continue on. Oh, and Miss Parker, I would like to speak with you after class." With that, Mr. Seligman headed back to the board and continued his lecture. Liz tried to pay attention, but all she could think of was telling Max about Valenti and the orb.

Max looked back and mouthed after class to Liz. She nodded, looking over at the girl next to Max. She had never seen her before. The girl continued to look at Max and then at her. Liz attempted to smile at the girl, but she quickly shifted her attention back to class when she realized Liz was watching her.

How odd Liz thought, trying to listen to the lecture. She found herself gazing over at Max though. Something weird was going on. She could feel it. She could feel how tense he was. Liz glanced up at the clock. Five minutes left.

Liz was relieved when the bell rang. She jumped out of her seat and met Max in the isle way. She looked up to see Mr. Seligman waiting for her. "I will wait for you out in the hall." Max whispered, squeezing her arm. Liz smiled as she watched him go.

"Excuse me!" a voice said as Liz felt someone bump into her. She turned to see the blond that had been sitting with Max. The girl looked at Liz and then rushed out of the room. Glancing at the girl, a little perturbed, Liz walked up to the front of the room to meet Mr. Seligman.

"Liz, we need to discuss the semester project. Max will be working with the new girl and you will be working alone."

Liz felt her heart fall, but said nothing. She knew it was pointless. Mr. Seligman continued on, "I hope you learn from this experience. Now, here is what you missed." Liz was only half listening as her eyes darted out into the hall, where max was talking to his new lab partner. I think I have missed more than you know, she thought as the teacher handed her the assignment.

Max stood in the hallway, waiting anxiously for Liz. He was surprised when Tess stepped in front of him. "Hi partner." She said smiling.

Immediately upon looking into her eyes, Max felt it again. He could feel himself being drawn into her. He resisted. "Hello Tess. Um, did you need something?"

"Actually, I did. I need to find the office, I still don't know where it is after being here a couple days."

Max looked away from her and pointed down the hall, "Just go down there and turn right, you'll see it." He just needed to get away from her. It almost felt like a fog moved into his brain when she was near. Tess looked disappointed. She took a step and turned toward him again. "Would you please show me Max? I would really appreciate it."

Max wanted to say no, but felt strangely compelled to go with her. Looking back at Liz with a worried glance he replied, "Yeah, sure." They walked down the hall together. Max felt uncomfortable every time he felt Tess's clothing rub against his. He tried to subtly move over, but she just kept getting closer. His head began to ache. "Here it is." Max said, stopping and gesturing to the office.

Tess leaned out and placed her hand on his shoulder. It came like a strong wind blowing over him. He could feel her. His head now began to throb. It felt as if she was inside his head, his body. "Thanks Max. I knew you would help me."

Max shook his head, trying to clear his thoughts. He was not even sure if Tess had really just spoken. Feeling the need to get away from her, he nodded and hurried back down the hall. Tess watched him go, a smile creeping up to her lips.

As he poked his head in the Biology lab room, he felt the fog clear away. To his dismay, Liz was already gone though. He needed to see her. Max felt almost an overwhelming urge to find Liz and bury himself in her arms. One hour till lunch, just wait until then, he told himself, hurrying to his next class.

As Liz sat in her fourth period class, her mind kept drifting back to Max. She had left Mr. Seligman's class just in time to catch him and the new girl walking closely down the hall together. She knew there was nothing to worry about. Max was devoted to her. Still, she felt a nagging fear in the back of her mind. Everything will be fine, she reassured herself. Lunch was only minutes away and then she would be with him. More importantly, she could tell max about the orb. I have nothing to worry about, nothing at all. She thought, thinking of their "good-bye" the evening before. No one could come between them.

Max sat down at the table with his lunch sack. Everyone was already there, except Liz. Isabel sat on the other side of Max, an empty seat between them. She glanced over and smiled, before turning her attention back to Alex, who was sitting across from her, telling some story and making gestures with his hands. Across the table next to Alex were Michael and Maria, they were squabbling as usual.

"Can't you eat like a normal person!" Maria exclaimed as Michael lifted the potato chip bag up to his lips and munched on some of the crumbs while the rest fell down the front of his shirt.

Maria's comment made him stop chewing for a moment. "Nope." He replied, picking chip pieces off his shirt and eating them.

Maria sighed, "Yeah, I did say normal person didn't I?"

"Sorry, can't join that club." Michael said, purposely trying to get Maria riled up. "You gonna share your pudding?" He asked, grabbing it from Maria's tray.

"If I do, are you going to use something other than your fingers to eat it?" She shot back, reaching over and trying to take it. Their hands brushed and they smiled at each other.

Max couldn't help but laugh at them. They had a very strange relationship. He was just glad to see Michael happy. Max reached into his bag to pull out his sandwich and stopped. He could feel something strange. Turning, he found himself face to face with Tess again.

"Hi everyone!" She said, holding her lunch bag.

"Hey Tess." Isabel replied, cutting Alex off in mid sentence. The table hushed to a complete silence. Maria eyed the new girl carefully. The silence continued as Tess stood near Max.

"Um, do you want to join us?" Isabel finally asked, getting unfriendly looks from the rest of the table.

"Oh, that would be great!" Tess, leaning over Max, sank into the empty chair between him and Isabel. Isabel began to chat with her about clothes, but Maria could not help but notice Tess's subtle glances at Max.

Max did his best to ignore the odd sensation in his mind and finished unwrapping his sandwich. Taking a big bite, he felt some Tabasco sauce run down the corner of his mouth.

"Max!" Tess laughed, picking up her napkin and dabbing his chin. All conversation came to a halt once again, everyone was staring at Tess and Max. All the sudden, it was blatantly obvious what everyone was thinking of, or rather who: Liz.

Liz walked quickly out of class and strode across the quad to the usual lunch table. She could see everyone was already there. She could see Max. As she got closer though, the smile fell from her lips. There was someone in her spot next to him. No, not just someone, the girl from Biology. Liz tried to fight it, but both fear and jealous crept into her head. The group was very exclusive and to let a stranger sit with them was odd. Walking up to the table, she watched as Tess wiped Max's mouth. For a moment, he let her, before pulling away and using the back of his hand. "Thanks, I got it." He said, trying to hide the strain in his voice.

"What is going on?" Liz tried to ask casually.

"Liz!" Max instantly smiled at her. She looked back at him, returning the smile and then looked around the table, stopping and staring at her seat, which was now occupied.

"Oh, this is my friend Tess." Isabel said, not understanding why Liz did not already know her from class.

"Nice to meet you." Liz said, looking at her.

"Nice to meet you too, what did you say your name was?" Tess asked.

Max answered the question, giving Tess a pointed look. "This is my girlfriend, Liz." Then turning to Liz, he asked, concerned, "Where were you this morning?"

"I accidentally slept in." Liz replied shifting her weight from one foot to the other.

"Oh," Max exclaimed, finally realizing Liz had no place to sit. He scooted back his chair and patted his lap. "Do you want to sit down?"

"The best seat at the table." Liz answered, lowering herself onto his lap. Smiling, Max leaned up and gave her a kiss. She could still taste the Tabasco on his lips. "Can I have a sip?" Liz asked, gesturing to his soda. He nodded. Watching her lick her lips and gulp the cherry coke, Max realized she must have tasted the hot sauce when they kissed.

"Want a bite?" He asked playfully, picking up the sandwich and holding it in front of her. "Oh, no! Yuck!" She laughed, taking it from his hands and holding it to his mouth. After taking a bite, she set it down on his bag.

Maria looked over at Michael, holding a spoonful of pudding. He held his hand up. "I can feed myself Maria."

"Apparently not very well." She said, gesturing to his shirt, which still had crumbs on it. Michael tried not to smile, but couldn't help it. He opened his mouth and, delighted, Maria placed the spoon in his mouth.

Isabel just shook her head. "Those four will make you sick if you watch them long enough." She said to Tess.

Tess tried to return a smile, but she was obviously uncomfortable watching Max and Liz. "I bet." Was all she managed to say.

They all continued to sit and chat for a while. Liz was beginning to get anxious. She wanted to tell them about the orb, but couldn't with Tess here, who made no apparent signs of leaving. Finally, Liz could wait no longer. "Max," she whispered into his ear. "I need to talk to you alone."

He simply nodded. "Lets go to the jeep." He whispered back. They both stood up from the table. "We are gonna go." Max stated, reaching for Liz's hand.

"Have fun." Maria said, winking at Liz. Slightly blushing, Liz gave her friend a playful glare. A few feet from the table, Max stopped as Tess called out to him, "When are we going to discuss our Biology project?"

"I am sure it can wait until tomorrow." He called back. Liz gazed at Tess. This girl was going to be trouble, she just knew it. But she trusted Max completely and that was all that mattered. Squeezing his hand, they began to walk toward the parking lot again. "I can't believe we are not going to get to be lab partners, or did you get Mr. Seligman to change his mind?" Max asked.

Liz shook her head. "No, I have to do it alone. How did you end up with Tess?" She tried to ask nonchalantly.

"Mr. Seligman made me be her partner." For a moment Max flashed back to Biology and remembered the haze that had come over his mind. He thought of Tess and wondered if the two were connected. Shaking away any thoughts of her and how odd she made him feel, he looked over at Liz. "I will still help you though. So, did you really sleep in?" he asked, changing the subject away from anything relating to Tess.

"Yeah, but something important happened on my way to school. Something you are not going to believe." Liz crawled in the front seat of the jeep and waited for Max to get in and close the door. Reaching into her bag, she pulled out the orb.

Max's jaw dropped as he took the orb from Liz. "Where did you get this?"

"Valenti." Liz answered as she told Max about her morning. When she was done, he looked confused.

He sat there for a moment, trying to compile his thoughts. "I have to tell Michael and Isabel. Can you come over tonight and tell them what you told me?"

Liz nodded. Max pulled her to him and held her close for a moment. "Thank you." He whispered gently in her ear as he stroked her hair.

Liz leaned up and kissed him tenderly, "I would do anything for you Max."

"I know, me too." He said, smelling the light scent of lilac on her skin. "Using your bubble bath?" he asked.

Smiling, Liz nodded. After a moment, they released each other and began walking back toward school for their afternoon classes.

Max kissed her in the hallway and reminded her to stop by. "I am guessing we should probably meet at Michael's. Do you want me to stop by and pick you up?"

"No, I will ride with Maria and Alex. I am going to tell them this afternoon. It should be the six of us Max. No one should be left out." Liz said.

Max nodded in agreement. "Alright, then I will see you in a few hours." He walked away from Liz, thinking about her and the orb. He almost forgot about Tess and the strange morning occurrences. Later that evening

Michael paced back and forth in his apartment as Max and Isabel sat on the couch. "So why don't you just tell us what is so important Maxwell?" He asked impatiently.

Max looked up at him, holding the orb in his pocket, "I will as soon as Liz and the others get here."

"Great, another episode of the Mickey Mouse Club." Isabel sighed on the couch as a knock sounded at the door. Max opened it to reveal Liz, Maria and Alex. All three strode in. Liz sat down next to Max as Alex leaned against a wall close to Isabel.

Maria stood, hands on her hips, in the middle of the room. "What is going on? Will you tell us now Liz?" She asked anxiously.

"For once we agree!" Michael added impatiently. Liz nudged Max and he took the orb out of his pocket for the others to see. Liz told her story about Valenti as everyone listened in shock.

Afterward, the room remained quiet, except for Michael. "So what are we going to do? I know we are not going to tell Valenti!"

Max stood up, still holding the orb. "I think I should go talk to him, see what he knows."

"He knows nothing Maxwell! He wants to know what we know!" Michael shot back.

"And what exactly is it that we know guys?" Alex chimed in, "We don't know what the orb does, or anything about Pierce, besides what Topolsky told us-"

"Which can't even be trusted! You heard that doctor, she was crazy." Michael interrupted, his voice starting to rise.

Finally Isabel spoke, "But now Topolsky is dead. What if it wasn't an accident? And we don't even know who Pierce is, or who is working for him."

"Which is exactly why we don't need to make any new lunch-time buddies right now Isabel." Michael interjected.

"He is right Iz. I know Tess is your friend, but no one can be trusted. I will hold off on going to Valenti for now and we can continue to try to make the orb work and try to find the other one, but no one takes any more risks without consulting the group." Max looked over at Michael as he finished his sentence.

Michael held his gaze. "Yeah, I get your drift Maxwell."

Everyone began talking after that. Max walked over to Michael and took him into the kitchen. "I need to ask you something."

"Shoot Max." Michael replied.

"It is about Iz's friend, Tess. I have been paired up with her for Biology. Michael, when I was sitting next to her, I could feel something strange. I felt it again at lunch too. I was wondering if you felt.something."

Michael looked pointedly back to the living room at Liz. "I don't think I should be the one having this conversation with you."

"No Michael! I am not saying that I felt something because she is a pretty girl, it was something else!" Max sighed, maybe it was a mistake to consult Michael. "So, you don't feel anything about Tess."

Michael took Max by the arm. "Yeah, I kind of did Max. It was not really a feeling . It was like something brushed up against my mind. It happened really quickly though and by the time Liz sat down at lunch, it was gone."

"I think we need to be very careful around Tess, maybe find out a little more about her. And I think I better mention this to Iz on the way home too."

"So, what are you two up to now?" Maria asked, walking over to Max and Michael with Liz. Michael just shrugged at her while Max took Liz's hand.

"Nothing important." Max said pulling Liz to him. Maria looked expectantly up at Michael. With exaggerated effort, he draped his arm around her. Max looked at all of them. He could not imagine what it would be like without the group, without Liz. I don't have to worry about that, he thought, holding her close. Nothing will ever come between us. Deep down though, he knew things were about to change, and it scared him.

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