FanFic - Max/Liz
"Epiphanies 1: The Ties that Bind"
Part 13
by Carol
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.
Category: Max/Liz
Rating: PG-13
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.
"Come with me, gentlemen, if you would," Valenti said quietly. "We'll need to sort this out down at the station." Ed Bellow's whole body sagged with the realization of what lay ahead. "My wife . . . ," he muttered. Valenti started toward him, handcuffs hanging from his fingers. Suddenly, Agent Samuels bolted from the porch and ran toward the side of the house.

"Michael, he's headed toward you!" yelled Valenti. Michael appeared from the shadows along the driveway and began to chase the fleeing figure. "Kyle, get ready!" Michael panted. "He's headed around back!" Kyle caught a glimpse of the figure in the shadows and joined the chase. Alex had filmed everything up to that point. He stood and climbed into the Jeep. "Isabel, take off!" Isabel started down the street in one direction, Maria in the other, both turning south at the first street.

"Get him in the car, Max!" shouted Valenti to Max, as he shoved the handcuffed Bellow toward him, and he turned to join the chase. Michael and Kyle continued to flush their prey toward the street as Maria and Isabel raced to converge on the next block. As the two sets of headlights lit up the street, Samuels appeared in their light. Maria swerved left, nearly missing the disoriented man, and Isabel pulled up behind him. By this time, Michael and Kyle had caught up with him and grabbed his arms, wrestling him to the ground. As Valenti rushed up behind them, he gasped, "You're under arrest."

"You can't pin anything on me, Valenti! It's your word against the government, and Pierce won't risk this investigation going public!"

"Not so, my friend," grinned Valenti. "We've got the whole thing on tape." Alex lifted the video camera and smiled broadly.

The group piled into the two vehicles. Samuels was securely handcuffed and staring nervously at the gun Valenti had pointed at his head. They rode in silence back to the house. Milton was standing in his doorway, peering at the squad car. As the other cars returned, he walked toward the street. Valenti quickly hopped out of the car, practically dragging his prisoner with him. Mr. Ross, I'll need you to come with me to make a statement.

"But there's still an agent in the house, and an ali . . . , uh, I mean a prisoner of some kind in there."

"The other agent will handle things here, Mr. Ross. We really need you to make a statement right away."

Milton looked back at his front door, torn between taking a look inside his basement and getting in the car with the sheriff. He realized, however, that if he went back inside, others would follow and he didn't know what kind of chaos would result. Reluctantly, he climbed into the squad car and they took off down the street.

Max sprinted across the lawn and into Milton's house, taking the basement steps two at a time. He burst into the open vault and saw Liz curled up on the cot. He knelt by her side and stroked her hair away from her face. "Oh, Liz," he moaned. "I'm so sorry. So sorry." He gently took her into his arms and lifted her, kissing her softly before climbing back up the stairs. Josh followed close behind. As soon as he appeared in the doorway, Maria and Alex closed in on them.

"Is she all right?" Maria asked.

"What did they do to her?" Alex chimed in.

Kyle looked at Liz, limp in Max's arms. "Liz," he whispered and looked Max in the eye. Then he backed up and let Max move toward the Jeep.

"Iz, you drive. I'm going to keep hold of Liz."

Alex and Josh climbed into the Jeep with them, as Tess, Kyle, and Michael got into Maria's car. They rode back to Michael's apartment, afraid to ask all the questions running through their minds. They had rescued Liz, but they also knew now that Nasedo playing Pierce was not enough to keep them safe from the FBI. And who knew what Josh was waiting to tell them.

One person wasn't thinking about that at all. Max looked down into Liz's face and thanked God for her safety. He wouldn't let this happen again. The danger was there whether they were together or not. At least if they were together, he could keep an eye on her, keep her safe. This was the love that was meant to be, and as soon as she was awake, he would tell her so.

When they arrived at Michael's, Max carried Liz into Michael's bedroom and laid her on the bed. She stirred and opened her eyes. "Max," she smiled, and pulled him down to lie next to her. "I hope I don't wake up any time soon," she mumbled, and snuggled close to him. He put his arms around her and kissed her forehead, her cheek, her lips. She just sighed and whispered, "My Max."

Tess peeked in from the next room. She was losing this battle. She had never felt so alone, not even before she and Nasedo found Max, Michael, and Isabel. At least then, there was the promise of hope, of finding the others and beginning a new life. Now her hopes were dim and her future blank. What happens now, Max? she thought again. What am I supposed to do now?

Michael pulled Tess gently away from the doorway and closed the door. "Let's leave them alone for a while," he said. "How about we meet here tomorrow afternoon. Meanwhile, Josh, you can bunk on the couch. I'll sack out on the floor-I do it at Max's all the time. Isabel, can you cover for Max at home?"

"Sure. I'll just say he stayed over here. It's the truth." She turned to Alex. "Goodnight, Alex, and thank you." She gave him a quick hug and hurried out the door. Maria started to follow her, then turned to look at Michael. He walked toward her and put his arms around her. They held each other close for several moments, and parted reluctantly. "Alex, Kyle, you comin'?" Maria asked.

"Yeah, right behind you," said Alex.

Michael turned to see Tess standing like a lost child in the center of the room. "You did good tonight, Tess. Thank you."

Tess only nodded.

"You need a ride? I didn't think. The cars are all gone."

"I've got mine," offered Josh.

"No. I think I'd like to walk and think. Thanks, Michael."

"Okay. See you tomorrow, right?"

"Yeah. Goodnight."

Tess walked out the door. Michael turned to Josh. "I hope you have some good news for us. We've had about all the bad news we can stand."

Josh smiled. "You just might be surprised."

Part 12 | Index | Part 14
Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours
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