|"Epiphanies 1: The Ties that Bind"|
Disclaimer: I do not own any of these characters except Josh; they are owned
by Melinda Metz and the WB (or whomever!)|
Summary: This story involves all characters, but centers around Max and Liz. This takes place a couple of months after Destiny. The Pod Squad meets someone with some answers, Liz is in danger, Mrs. Evans has a shock.
Authors Note: Thanks to Sheldon and Dee for some valuable feedback, and for the support of my listserv, who really encouraged me! I love this show in an unprecedented way: It feels right--it feels right like nothing has ever felt in my life before.
|Max was exhausted, but sleep would not come. He was concerned about this
dreamwalker Josh, he was worried about his mother coping with the knowledge
that she had raised two alien children, and most of all he was terrified for
Liz. Where was she? What were they doing to her? How would he live with
himself if anything happened to her?|
Isabel poked her head in the room. At first, she thought Max was finally asleep, but when she glanced in the mirror on the far wall, she saw that his eyes were open. She walked to the bed and stretched out beside him, rubbing his back. "We'll find her, Max. Maria called Liz's mom and told her Liz was staying over with her, so the Parkers are taken care of for the moment. It'll be okay." She wondered if she believed that herself. She saw Mrs. Evans look in, but shook her head. It was clear Max needed quiet time. She felt terrible that they weren't spending time with their mother after the shock they had given her that afternoon, but Max was at the breaking point, and Mrs. Evans was coping remarkably well. It probably hadn't sunk in yet, and Isabel was glad for the short reprieve.
In spite of his agitated state, Isabel's back rub felt good and Max drifted into an uneasy sleep. He found himself in front of a fireplace, feeling warm and relaxed. Skis were propped up in the corner of the room, and there was a cup of cocoa on the end table. He looked up to see Liz walking across the room toward him. She smiled that special smile she reserved for him, and his heart leapt in his chest. She was his and he was the happiest being in the universe.
She settled next to him on the couch, curling her feet up under her and snuggling against him. Her smell intoxicated him, and his fingers buried themselves in her hair as he leaned toward her. Her sweet breath on his face made him feel weak, and he brought his mouth toward hers, eager to taste. Suddenly, she was being pulled from him. She tried to scream, but there was no sound. He reached for her, but he couldn't move. He couldn't even see what was taking her from him!
"Liz!" Max yelled, jerking awake.
"Max, it's all right. You had a bad dream. It's okay."
Max looked at Isabel, breathing hard. "They took her," he moaned, and he began to cry softly. Isabel stroked his hair, and they took turns sleeping fitfully through the night.
In the morning, the weary siblings got up in silence. Max was due to work at the UFO Center that morning, and as much as he wanted to skip it, he knew that everything must appear normal. He showered, letting the sharp, cold pellets of water jar him to life. As soon as work was done, he would go to Michael's and see if there was any word from Josh. Meanwhile, he just had to grit his teeth and get through the day.
The Center was busy today, which helped the time pass quickly. Max noticed Milton was especially hyper, even for him. Toward mid-afternoon, a customer approached Milton from behind with a question. Max observed curiously as the startled Milton jumped and began berating the customer for sneaking up on him. When the surprised customer had moved away, Max questioned Milton.
"Are you okay?" he asked cautiously.
"Evans! I want to talk to you." Milton's eyes darted nervously around the room, and he spoke in hushed tones. "Evans, something big is happening. I'm not supposed to talk about it, but you and I, we understand these things, and I knew you'd want to know."
"What are you talking about?"
"I'm talking about the mother lode, Max. Aliens!"
Max's eyes grew wide. "What aliens?"
"Ha! I knew you'd be as excited as I am." His voice grew even quieter. "The FBI came to me, Max. They wanted to use that vault in my basement for a "special project." You know it has to have something to do with that crash last month. They don't want me down there, but I think they have an alien down there, or at least an eyewitness. I'm going to make them tell me before they're through, or I'll go public. They'd do anything to stop that!"
"What vault? And what makes you think there's an alien down there?"
"Haven't I ever told you about my vault? It's a small fortress. I keep my rarest artifacts there, as well as a ham radio, a bed, and supplies . . . you know . . . in case we are ever threatened by . . . ." He cast his eyes upward and pointed a finger. Clearly, Milton had been preparing for an alien invasion. If Max hadn't been so scared, he would have laughed.
"They've got someone down there all right," hissed Milton. I've heard the voices, and I saw a syringe that had dropped on the basement stairs. "They're interrogating someone . . . or something."
Max's jaw dropped. They had Liz! God, thought Max, how could Pierce let this happen!
"You want to see this thing as much as I do, don't you?" Max nodded his head. "We might just get that chance," smiled Milton. "Come to the house around 9:00."
Milton rushed off to chastise a child who was trying to climb on a display, leaving Max to sort out the possibilities Milton's revelation had triggered. The last 30 minutes of Max's shift crawled by, and he literally burst from the door at closing. He hopped in the Jeep and tore down the street. Sheriff Valenti saw Max take a corner on two wheels and got in his squad car to follow. He had a bad feeling in the pit of his stomach.
|Part 9 | Index | Part 11|
|Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours|