FanFic - Max/Liz
"How to Disappear Completely"
Part 9
by Deidre
Disclaimer: No copyright infringement intended, either with respect to Melinda Metz' work and characters, or to the wb or Jason Katims. Many thanks to all of you for creating such a fabulous world. Also, no infringement is intended in respect to Radiohead's song title, either-just a respectful bow of thanks.
Summary: The story takes place the night of The End of the World and afterward, and imagines what might have happened differently.
Category: Max/Liz
Rating: PG-13
Max pressed his eyes closed, and allowed Isabel's power to bolster his own. He'd sat still for several silent moments, sensing their collective energy gather strength. During that time, he'd simply watched Liz where she sat on the floor.... The floor of what? Where? It almost looked familiar, but the outlines were too vaguely defined. So he'd waited, allowing the buzzing energy to grow within him before pushing forward toward her. But he could feel that the moment to attempt it was nearly upon him.

Liz began to come more clearly into focus, and suddenly the haziness around her image parted. He walked toward her and knelt beside her on the floor, but she was busy talking, and even though he kept repeating her name, she couldn't hear him.

Liz. Liz, sweetheart.

No, she was involved in a very deep conversation, and though he couldn't hear what was being said, he knew she wasn't aware of him.

Max knew he was little more than a mist to her... or a ghost. That thought sent a shiver up his spine.

She buried her face in her knees, and he could see that she was fighting tears. Who was hurting her?

He looked all around where they sat, but couldn't make out any forms. Then she became quiet, so he tried again.

He placed his hand tenderly on her back and began to rub. With every caress, he began to feel a fire grow in his stomach. Slowly Liz lifted her head and looked around her, as if she expected to see who had touched her. He saw little goose bumps shoot across her arms. He hadn't made the connection yet, but he was very close.

He placed his hands on top of her own and whispered her name.


No answer.

The heat that had begun in his stomach began to grow, radiating outward. Now he felt it in every part of his body-he was burning up. Again, Liz looked around her in confusion, unsure of what was happening. She buried her face in her hands, and he moved in front of her. Gently, he placed his hands on top of her head, allowing the heat and energy that had been building up inside him to flood her.

Liz dropped her hands, her eyes meeting his desperately. And the connection between them opened wide.

Max, are you really... here?

No, Isabel has helped me dreamwalk you.

But I'm not asleep.

No, but... well, it's something like a vision. That was the only way I could connect with you.

Max looked around them and saw instantly where Liz was. The granilith chamber.

Why are you here? Who has taken you here?

Oh, Max... he works for Kivar. He's not from this time-it's all such a long story.

What does he want with you?

He doesn't want me... he wants you. You can't come here, no matter what, Max. Send Michael. You can't come.

You know I can't do that.

No, Max. No... don't you see? You're the one he wants. It's why he took me.

Max looked around the chamber again, and this time saw a figure. He was over six feet tall, with dark features. Her captor was pacing the length of the chamber slowly, studying Liz where she sat on the floor. Max rose to confront him, feeling the energy begin to escalate within him. He raised his hand, ready to kill this man for what he was doing to Liz.

Then he remembered. He wasn't even there, couldn't do anything to protect Liz at all until he got there. He knelt back in front of her again and saw that tears were streaming down her face.

Please, Max. If you come, he'll kill you. It's what he wants.

He cupped her face in his hands, and pressed his lips against her forehead. Shh... nothing's going to happen to me.

Max, his name is Marco. He was our protector... but something went really wrong. I don't know what.

Suddenly darkness began to form around Liz and he felt himself being pressed away from her. He saw that Marco was standing over her now, staring down at her, talking. What was he saying?

"Liz, what's going on?" It was Marco's voice, deep and throaty. And he sounded angry with her.

Then everything faded to black

Isabel stared at Max, and tried not to panic. He was absolutely burning up, and his breathing was heavy and erratic. More important, he'd been sitting like that, with his eyes closed for a good twenty minutes. Michael and Maria had stood watching both of them for at least ten minutes, neither speaking for fear of breaking the connection. Michael kept looking at Isabel, raising his eyebrows questioningly, and she could only shake her head and shrug. This wasn't like her dreamwalking. This wasn't like anything she'd ever seen. Max had simply gone some place where she couldn't find him.

But she hadn't felt afraid of it until the past few minutes, when his hand had begun to tremble within her own. Then the tremors had taken over his whole body, so she'd started whispering his name softly, trying to pull him back out of whatever this was. When that hadn't worked, they'd all begun to panic, sharing quiet glances around the room. She knew they all had the same unspoken thought-maybe he'd gone... some place and couldn't pull out.

Michael crouched in front of them. "Isabel, what's going on?" he hissed. "This is taking too long."

"I know Michael. I know." She glanced at Max again, and placed her hand to his cheek. "God, he's burning up." She looked back to Michael and Maria. "Something's wrong here."

Michael placed both hands on Max's shoulders. "Max," he said firmly, but there was no change at all.

Michael turned back to Isabel. "You've got to do something about this, Isabel."

"Like what, Michael? I don't even know what this is, okay?"

She pulled her hand out of Max's tight grip, and turned to him. His brows were furrowed in deep concentration, as if listening to a very intense conversation. Then his expression changed, as some emotion she couldn't identify flashed across his features. He began to shake his head.

"No," he whispered hoarsely. "No." Then his eyes fluttered open, and he met their expectant gazes immediately. "I saw her." He gasped for breath. "She's at the granilith."

Marco stood over Liz where she was huddled on the floor of the granilith chamber. He'd been watching her from across the room for some time, and had begun to wonder why she was so quiet. Her head was lowered, face buried in her knees, and deathly still. At first he'd thought she was simply crying. Then a nagging thought had begun to hound him.

Her connection with Max.

They weren't married yet, so he didn't know if their bond was anything like it had become in later years-or if they even had it yet at all. But what if they did? And what if she was trying to make that connection right now?

"Liz, what are you doing?" he demanded. She'd kept her head lowered, her face hidden from him.

"N-nothing," she stammered.

And he knew. He jerked her roughly by the arm, and her dazed eyes flew to his.

"You were trying to reach Max," he stated, his eyes narrowing.

She shook her head in denial, tears pooling in her eyes, but he'd seen this look on both their faces-Max's and hers-- too many times before.

"Liz, I know exactly what you were doing," he said firmly, and knelt in front of her. Her dark eyes were full of fear as they met his own. God, she thought he would really hurt her. That he could even do that if he tried. No matter what had happened in the past eight years, that was something he knew he was still incapable of. At least there was one thing still on the list.

But Max was another story altogether.

"Why are you doing this?" she whispered. "What happened to make you turn from us?"

He closed his eyes and willed himself to remain silent. He had to stay focused, and he refused to let her gain control of him by dredging up the past.

He opened his eyes again, and saw her studying him intently, waiting for some kind of answer. Her gaze, more than any other, had always had the capacity to unsettle him... even now when she was just a mere seventeen-year-old.

"So is Max on the way?" he asked quietly, rising again.

She remained silent, and he watched her as he slowly walked the perimeter of the chamber. Then he began to laugh.

Of course Max was on the way-that's how connected they'd always been. No one needed to remind him of that.

"Well, at least that will save me a phone call," he said, and felt something like a shiver of anticipation run through him. He hadn't stood face to face with Max Evans-any version of him-- in more than four years.

Liz hadn't understood what she'd seen in Marco's eyes a moment ago, but for the briefest moment she would have sworn she saw some kind of... fondness for her. She wondered if she might have more to do with all this than she'd initially guessed. Perhaps she could get some answers from Marco-answers that might help Max.

She stood slowly from the cold floor, and felt her knee throb where she'd scraped it on the rocks earlier.

He watched her rise, and moved toward her. "What are you doing?"

"I just want to stretch my legs. Is that okay?"

"Yes. Probably a good idea, because I want to watch for them outside."

"You won't be able to stand up to all of them, you know." Liz smoothed her hands across the front of her rumpled skirt. "They're too powerful."

He looked at her and laughed softly. "I think it's really quite the opposite, my dear."

She stepped closer to him, and suddenly felt incredibly small next to his towering frame. "What does that mean?"

"I mean... " he chewed on his lip thoughtfully for a moment. "I am much more powerful than all of you-even together."

"Why? If you're a hybrid, then how are you more powerful?"

"Because my human side died a long time ago." He cast his eyes down for a moment, and seemed to struggle with something. Then he looked back up at her, his expression completely unreadable. "And that's what makes all of you weak."

"Well, then I must be the weakest of all," she said tucking a stray hair behind her ear. "And I still don't believe what you told me earlier."

He arched an eyebrow. "Why not, Liz?"

"Because, for one thing... when I asked Future Max about our children, he said something about our being 'different'. Okay, he wouldn't have said that unless I were human."

Marco shook his head slowly. "Liz.... You are just more human than the others. That's all, but you are one of them."

"Others. So when you say others...." She cast her eyes around the room, as if searching for the words. "You mean, Max, Michael, Isabel, and Tess, right?"

"Yes. There were five of you."

"Ah!" She raised a finger. "But see, Future Max also told me that the four of them made a complete unit."

"You weren't part of the unit. You were his...." Suddenly Marco's voice trailed off, and he began shaking his head as he stared at her. "My God. You really don't know any of this, do you?"

Liz drew up her tiny frame, making herself as tall as she possibly could. She met Marco's cold eyes with determination. "Tell me what you were going to say," she said.

"Okay," He drew his face within mere inches of her own. "You were his bride," he whispered softly.

"I know that we were married," she stated impatiently. "Future Max told me that."

"No, Liz, I mean you were his bride. It's why you were sent with him."

And with that simple statement, Liz Parker felt her entire universe shift on its axis, and she collapsed to her knees.

Part 8 | Index
Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours
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