FanFic - Max/Liz
Part 10
by Watcher_Tara
Disclaimer: I am not affiliated in anyway with Roswell. (Roswell Quotes is all mine, however. Come visit me at Shameless, I know but had to do it. :-)
Summary: Post JTNY. Liz is getting sick, and her friendships are tested as the gang struggles to help her. No one is getting any sleep as Michael and Isabel start having strange dreams.
Category: Max/Liz
Rating: PG-13
Authors Note: This was written before ARC, based on what Max said about not being able to just heal people in LN. As always, your feedback is much appreciated.
Liz was laying on the lawn chair in the "Typical American Town" section of the UFO center. It was the same lounge chair Alex had fallen asleep in when Rath and Lonnie had come to town looking for Max. Liz idly trailed her fingers through the Astroturf carpet that lay on the ground beneath her, enjoying the strange texture. Max was puttering somewhere in the building, trying to look like he was busy with his job. They were basically waiting until nightfall when they could sneak into the high school's biolab. Liz was fairly confident that she could test the lump herself to see if it was actually Cadmium-X, or something more human.

Maria was working her shift at the CrashDown with Michael, and Isabel was at home studying. In essence, everyone was putting up a front of normalcy for when the grown ups came around. There had to be nothing suspicious about their actions, nothing to point toward them knowing about Liz's disappearance.

Alex was the only one who was out sneaking around. He was in charge of retrieving the alien files from Liz's bedroom. After Congresswoman Whittaker's death, Liz grabbed all the files Vanessa hadn't shredded before she'd died and stashed them away. There had to be some scientific research documentation on Cadmium-X in those files, they reasoned, so Liz had asked him to get them.

In some part of her mind she was worried. Worried that her suspicions were correct. Worried that they weren't. Either way she looked at it, she was in serious trouble. There was something seriously wrong with her. Something that could possibly kill her. Max had tried one more time to heal her when they'd gotten to the UFO Center, but still the growth, whatever it was, resisted his efforts. Whatever the thing was, it apparently was not going away any time soon.

If she wasn't so tired, she would probably go into a full-blown panic that would do Maria proud, but as it was, she couldn't muster up the energy to try. After the stress of the day: the trip to the emergency room, and everything that had happened afterward, she was worn out. The exhaustion that had been so much a part of her lately was creeping back in and she didn't have the strength to fight it. Liz closed her eyes and let her mind drift.

In another part of the center, Max was talking quietly with Brody as he tidied up the office. "I'm telling you, Max, I feel it's getting ready to happen again. I had one of those dreams again last night."

"What kind of dreams?" Max asked.

Now that he knew that Brody's 'abduction' was actually possession by an alien, presumably someone from one of the five planets in his home system, Max had tried to get Brody to open up to him about his experiences. If Brody was getting signs that aliens were again coming, then that would confirm his theory about Michael's dream. The aliens weren't actually on their way, but were getting ready to send their minds across space and time to talk with him. He just hoped that he had adequate answers for them when they came. And this time, he had a few questions of his own.

"I don't know," Brody said, in answer to Max's inquiry. "I can never remember them. You know the last time they took me, I woke up in a cab in Tennessee. The driver told me he had picked me up in New York. I don't even remember leaving Roswell, let alone travelling 2000 miles across the country."

"You said that the first time you were abducted was five years ago, right?"


"Hmmm...." Max set his mind to pondering what the aliens could have wanted five years ago. He and the others would only have been out of their pods for six years. They had been starting puberty and their powers had been growing stronger everyday, but still they had hidden their abilities from everyone, including, at times, each other. He figured that Zan, Rath, Lonnie and Ava must have been going through the same changes as they were, and he doubted they had kept it to themselves. More than likely, they had given themselves away somehow - did they have their own set of orbs? - and the leaders of the other planets had decided to make contact. Thus, Brody had been 'abducted'.

It was a shame he didn't remember anything that happened during the possession, Max thought. He'd love to hear Brody's opinion on Zan, as well as everything that had been discussed. Assuming of course that a meeting with the New York doppelgangers was the reason for the 'abduction,' not something else altogether.

Max felt like he had to say something to fill the silence, and so he offered lamely, "Well, if it does happen again, I promise to keep an eye on things until you get back."

Brody smiled a little cynically before saying, "Thanks, Max."

From the front of the building, there was the sound of a door closing, and Max tensed. He figured someone would try to track him down in order to ask about Liz's disappearance, and he'd been waiting on pins and needles all afternoon. They couldn't think of anywhere to stash their stolen Liz that wouldn't be too obvious, except somewhere in the out-of-doors, but with her sick, that was out of the question, besides, Max wanted to know that she was nearby. His need to protect her had all but taken him over. That was why she was hidden in one of the fake scenes here in the museum. The "Typical American Town" exhibit was closed to the general public because it was still being remodeled, so no one was likely to see her there. It was the best place they could think of on such short notice.

Footsteps echoed eerily from the front entrance of the museum. In trepidation, he looked toward the stairs that led to the building's only exit.

"Brody..." Maria's singsong voice called out as she stepped into view. "Max... I brought your dinners. One Galaxy Melt, hold the Mayo and extra pepper jack, and one Special, extra everything."

Brody was smiling as he walked over. "Maria, you are an angel. What would we do without you."

"Ummm," she said as she handed the sacks to them, "Actually walk across the street and pick it up yourself for a change?"

Max took his order, knowing that whatever was in there was actually for Liz: he hadn't placed an order, and said, "Thanks. How much do I owe you?"

"It's on your tab," she said.

"Tab?" Brody asked. "How come he's got a tab and I still have to pay for mine?" He was reaching for his wallet as he spoke.

"Just one of the many benefits that comes with dating the owner's daughter, right Max?"


"Well, doesn't that just beat all?" Brody grumbled as he handed a ten to Maria.

She smiled sympathetically at him. "Sorry."

"How are things at the café?" Max asked, keeping his tone light.

"They're busy. You know Liz is sick, so she's not working." Max nodded. "So it's just me and Mabel, who's slower than molasses. In fact, I'd better be getting back. Knowing her, she's still making the same milkshake she was making when I left." Whatever had possessed the Parker's to hire Agnes' sister Maria couldn't begin to guess.

"See ya," Max said. "And thanks for dinner."

"No problem. Bye Brody." She smiled at Max's boss one more time before leaving.

"Bye." His infatuated gaze watched her hurry up the stairs. Max had to hide his smile. He was going to have to talk to Maria about cutting Brody loose. The poor guy was so smitten it was almost painful to watch. With a sigh, the other man took his sandwich into the office and closed the door.

Max hurried over to Liz with her dinner. As he rounded the corner of the exhibit, he stopped short at the sight that greeted his stunned gaze. He should have expected it, but he was still unprepared for the reality that lay before him.

Liz was laying on her back on the plastic lounge chair with her shirt pulled all the way up her torso to just under her breasts. She was lightly fingering the silver handprint that was glowing brightly on her stomach. So great was her concentration on her task that she didn't apparently hadn't heard him approach. He stood transfixed as one of her slender fingers traced the outline of the mark he'd unwittingly placed on her body - again. Round and around went her fingers. First starting with the thumb, then moving down and around first the index finger then the others one at a time, only to start over. She was lightly humming a soft melody as she worked.

"Liz..." he whispered.

Slowly, she looked up at him. "Max." He was startled by the rush of emotions pouring through him. Sorrow, fear and anxiety for her, and love. So much love that he was all but drowning in it. As long as he lived, he would never forget the way she looked at this moment. The melting look in her eyes as she gazed at him. Her absolute faith that he would find a way to help her. And the shimmering imprint of his hand on her skin that would have had most humans running for the door. He was humbled by her faith in him.

She reached out for his hand, breaking the spell she'd put on him. Placing his hand in hers, he allowed her to pull him down next to her on the lounge.

"Liz, I swear I'm going to do everything I can to help you."

She smiled serenely at him, and said, confidently, "I know. I'm not worried, Max."

He was stunned by her admission. He was sure as hell worried. She should be too. "Why not?"

She looked at him and opened her mouth as if to answer, then shut it again. He waited patiently as she looked away and then back again. As her beautiful brown eyes met his, she said, "You know what song I've got running through my head right now, Max?" Mutely, he shook his head no. "It's 'I Shall Believe'. Do you know that one?"

"Yeah," he answered hoarsely.

"I used to love that song, but for weeks now, I couldn't stand it. I would turn the radio station when it came on because I couldn't take the memories. Everything it stood for. Everything I'd ever wanted and couldn't have." She tore her eyes away from his but not before he saw the pain welling up inside her.

He reached out with his free hand and stroked her cheek, bringing her face back to his. "Liz, what is it?"

"I was sitting here, getting scared over what's going to happen, you know, to me, and I realized something. I was being foolish. I'm not going to die. Somehow we are going to find away to get past all this because I have no intention of going anywhere. I'm going to be alive and well until the world comes to an end. That's a promise, Max. And by my calculations, that's still a long, long time away. There's an answer to this, Max. We just have to figure out what it is."

Unaware that Liz was speaking literally, Max sat there and marveled again at her courage and her faith in him. It was almost too much to bear, and Max wanted to say something to put things into perspective; wanted to tell her not to expect so much from him. Hadn't he already tried to heal her twice and failed? But he couldn't do it. Couldn't say the words that would diminish the light in her eyes or take the smile from her lips. So he only said, "We will."

Adjusting her shirt, she sat up in the chair and hugged him to her tightly. He had to bite back the words that were fighting to escape. He wanted to tell her that he loved her and tell her how much she meant to him and how he would move heaven and earth to make her well again, but he didn't know if those words would be welcome or not. So he only tightened his arms around her, cherishing every moment he had with her.

When they finally broke apart, Max kissed her forehead lightly and said, "Maria brought you some dinner. Go ahead and eat while I grab something from the pop machine."

He got up and handed her the takeout sack from the CrashDown. While he was gone, Liz bit hungrily into the sandwich. Ever since the realization that she wasn't supposed to die yet had hit her, she'd felt a thousand times better. According to Future Max, she'd still been alive and well fourteen years into the future. This... cancer, or whatever it was, it obviously wasn't a result of their breaking up, so it must have occurred in the other reality as well. Which means all she had to do was keep her sanity intact until they figured out the cure.

Damn Future Max and his 'can't know too much about your own future' outlook. He should have given her a few pertinent details before vaporizing on her like that, you know, to spare her the terror she'd had to live with for the past several hours ever since her parent's had told her what was happening. However, in his defense, she argued, this had all happened fourteen years in his past. Compared with everything that was happening in his life at the time he'd come to her, this illness was probably the last thing he was worried about. So, she supposed she could forgive him for not telling her.

Liz smiled softly at the complete stupidity of that thought. Yeah, I forgive someone who will never exist for not telling me about something that didn't really matter in the first place. Still grinning, she took another bite of her sandwich, and chewed slowly, waiting for Max to return.

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