|"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 felt frozen in time. His thoughts were flying around in his mind like
bees and he couldn't seem to identify or articulate any of them. Isabel
recovered first, getting up from the floor and sinking down immediately on
"Max," she said softly. "Get up. It's time to do this."
Max looked at Isabel, then turned to look at his mother, trying to read her eyes, trying to imagine what she must be thinking and feeling. Diane Evans returned his look. He saw no fear or revulsion, only confusion. She waited patiently for him to begin.
With a deep sigh, Max pulled himself up next to Isabel and they faced their mother. A thousand ways to begin this conversation came and went through his head in a matter of seconds, but all that came out was a choked, "Mom." He sighed again and held his head in his hands.
Isabel began. "Mom, we have told you that we don't remember anything from before you found us in the desert. That's true, but it's not the whole truth. Over the years, we've learned at least something about our lives before that and where we are from. We didn't tell you because we thought it was safer if you didn't know and . . . because . . . well, because we weren't sure how you would feel about us once you knew."
Diane Evans wasn't sure what she was about to hear, but her children looked so scared, and her instincts were to reassure them. She looked at Max, who was staring at the floor.
"Max," she said gently. "I've told you before that nothing you are could ever turn me away from you. I meant that." Max looked up, his face a mask of uncertainty. It shot a pain through his mother's heart and she wanted to reach out to him, but she could see he had more to say. "Of course, that's true for you, too, Isabel. What is this secret you have kept for so long?"
"Mom," said Max. "Do you remember that video when I held the bird with the broken wing and then it flew away?"
"Of course," she nodded.
"I wasn't really aware of it then, but you were right-I had healed it. Over time, Isabel and I realized we were different. We had abilities that the other kids didn't have, and when Michael started coming to school, we felt an instant connection with him, too. As we pieced together our scattered memories of that night in the desert, we realized we had emerged from pods of some kind hidden in a cave out there. Then we learned about the stories of the 1947 crash. Eventually, we concluded that . . . ." He looked at Isabel and she reached for his hand. "We concluded that those pods had survived the crash, and that we're not . . . completely . . . human."
Max stopped and watched his mother try to absorb this astonishing information. She was no longer focused on their faces, but rather on some internal dialogue. Her children were telling her they weren't human. Yet she had raised them, bathed them, comforted them, helped them with homework, played basketball with them. Everything had always been normal. Well, almost everything. She recalled the incident with the bird that Max had just mentioned, the odd circumstances surrounding their kitchen fire, the sheriff's implications about the shooting at the Crashdown, and the scene she had just witnessed when Max made Isabel's nasty gash disappear. She reflected, too, on Max's guarded nature, always so secretive, so careful. She remembered his words that day on the park bench when he had asked her not to question him any more: "It's nothing bad, it's nothing dangerous. I beg you to trust me."
She raised her eyes to look at the anxious faces of her two wonderful children. Could this be true?
"What I just saw, Max-you and Isabel. How did you do that?"
"I can't explain it exactly. We can manipulate molecular structure, which makes it possible for me to repair damage like that."
Mrs. Evans thought a moment. "Is that what happened with the Parker girl?"
Max looked at Isabel. The dam was broken; there was no holding back the truth anymore.
"Does that mean she know this, too?"
"So do Maria, Alex, and Sheriff Valenti, Mom," Isabel added. "And we've only just learned that there are probably many more of us than we realized. You know Tess Harding? She and her "father" have been looking for us for years. She was also in the crash, but we were separated. There may be others as well, but we're just beginning to learn about that."
Mentioning Liz reminded Max about what they had been doing when their mother discovered them. He felt torn between helping his mother cope with this shock and wanting to know what Isabel had learned in her dreamwalk. His mother provided the perfect segue.
"I came in here because I heard a scream and a thud. I thought you were hurt, Isabel. What happened?"
"Mom, I know this is a lot to take in all at once, but we're in the middle of a . . . situation, and Isabel was trying to help. I'm so afraid of overwhelming you. I'm not sure you should hear any more tonight."
"Max, Isabel, I won't pretend this isn't a shock-I have a million questions-but there are two things you must never doubt." She stood and walked over to her children, bending to embrace them both. "Nothing will change my love for you, and there is nothing I wouldn't do to support you. To be honest, my imagination has been running wild since the fire. I've imagined all sorts of explanations and odd scenarios to explain what I saw, although I never imagined this one! Perhaps all these incidents have served to prepare me for this day. Or maybe I'm just in shock. But don't worry about me. I'm okay." The three held each other, and Max heard Isabel crying with relief. Mrs. Evans kissed them both on the cheek and wiped a stray tear from Isabel's face.
"Max, you said you had a 'situation.' Are you in some kind of trouble?"
"Anyone who knows about us is in a certain amount of danger, Mom. That's why we've never told you before. That day in the Crashdown when Liz was shot, I just couldn't let her die, but somehow that incident began a chain of events that's spinning out of control."
Isabel stopped crying and patted the bed for her mother to sit down. She began to relate the details of her dreamwalking ability, the visit from Josh, and Liz's disappearance. Mrs. Evans's wide eyes and dropped jaw couldn't begin to convey the amazement she felt at what she was hearing. She wouldn't have believed any of this coming from someone else.
Max interrupted. "Isabel, what did you find out? Could you see where she was?"
Isabel saw the concern creasing her brother's face. "No, Max. It was so dark, I couldn't see anything at first. I just heard bits of conversation that made it sound like the FBI had her, and then I saw them-the two agents that were with Pierce!"
Max groaned and sank to the floor. "Liz!"
Mrs. Evans listened and watched, a growing feeling of dread spreading through her as the whole scene started to become real.
"Max, what is Liz to you? I get the feeling she's not just a friend, as you've been telling me."
Max sat silently for a moment, anguish and hopelessness sweeping over him. How could he answer that question? With the truth, he decided.
"I'm in love with her. She's my soulmate. And now she's in danger because of me!" Tears welled up in his eyes.
"We'll find her," soothed Isabel. "We'll call Tess and have her contact Nasedo. He'll find out what's going on."
"Nasedo?" asked Mrs. Evans.
"You've had enough for one night, Mom. I promise we'll answer all your questions very soon, but right now, I have to find Tess."
Mrs. Evans nodded. Isabel was right; she had more than enough to think about.
|Part 6 | Index | Part 8|
|Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours|