|Disclaimer: Roswell, the characters, and the situations are owned by Regency Television and 20th Century Fox. No infringement intended.|
|Maria couldn't remember ever being this frantic in
her whole life, this
desperate. And that was saying a lot. Tears were
racing down her cheeks,
dripping straight to the floor. It amazed Maria that
there were any tears
left inside her to cry. Sniffling, she lifted her
head a fraction of an inch so
she was able to see the others from behind her curtain
Unfortunately for Maria, everyone was gaping at her,
waiting for her to say
something. Maria had absolutely no idea what she
should tell them, but one
thing was certain, she had to saying something...and
"Maria, what was that all about?" Michael asked in a reasonably controlled tone of voice. Impressive, considering it was Michael.
"W-well, you see, me and Liz go way back so natur-" she stopped abruptly when she saw the expression on Max's face. He was beyond devastated, his features were twisted with emotion, Maria noticed that his body had started to shake. Being so sensitive, Max'd obviously taken Liz's stuttering protests to heart. Why shouldn't he? It sounded as if Liz'd suddenly been repulsed by his touch, terrified of what he would do to her. Liz was choosing death, rather than being saved beneath his skillful hands.
Making a split-second decision, Maria sealed her lips tight in the middle of her half-assed excuse, and focused on piecing her brain back together. Taking a moment, Maria blew out a long breath and turned to face the music. Still not positive of what she was going to say, Maria was startled to find words tumbling over themselves as they poured out of her mouth.
"Max," her voice surprisingly strong. "You have to help Liz, heal her, no matter what she says. I don't have the right to make this decision in the first place...but this simply ISN'T working! You two are falling apart. I don't know what that bastard was thinking when he came up with this plan," Maria inadvertently referred to Future Max. "But I am NOT going to stand by and watch my friend die. We'll just have to figure something out..."
No one had a clue as to what she was talking about, they all continued to stare at Maria in bewilderment. But the only thing Max cared about, was the fact that Maria had given the go-ahead. For Max, Maria's approval was all the encouragement he needed. He didn't give a damn what anybody else thought about it.
In the mean time, over the last few minutes, Liz's condition had deteriorated rapidly. Too weak to move, she was lying restlessly on top of Max. Her breathing had changed and became more ragged, she was obviously having trouble breathing. Her temperature was soaring while her hands felt like they'd been thrust into an icebox. It was hard to believe it had only been ten minutes since they'd soared into the Evans' driveway. Time was not something they had in abundance, yet it seemed to be flying by.
When Liz's body started twitching it was Maria who screamed, "Oh god, MAX!! Do something! Even I can tell she's g-going to die..."
Choking on her sobs, Maria grabbed hold of Michael and dragged him over beside the sofa.
"Michael, Isabel, you are going to help Max. And you know what, I don't give a flying fuck what you think Tess. Now, you three feed him your powers. I know you can do it, let's go!!"
Pointing and directing traffic, Maria was a force to be reckoned with. Truth be told, Isabel and Michael didn't need much encouragement either, they could both see what was happening to Liz. Not wanting to admit it, the two of them were terrified beyond words. Amazing but true, Liz had managed to worm her way into their hearts. And now that she had, there was no way they were going to let her go...not without a fight.
A thunderous din seemed to be swallowing Max where he sat on the sofa. Forced to deal with these aggravating noises, he soon discovered that after a few moments of concentration, the distracting sounds gradually began to it fade into the background. Thus enabling him to look down upon his beautiful angel without intrusion.
Her face was too pale and her cheekbones stuck out, her smooth skin stretching to cover them. The dark smudges beneath her large eyes emphasized how thin she was. But to Max, she was beautiful. Liz would always be beautiful.
Bright lights and sharp movements flashed in the corners of his somber eyes. An impatient shove with his mind and those too disappeared. Max and Liz were all that remained...together in the center of vast chaos. Taking her head into his hands, Max shifted slightly, careful not to jar her body as he moved, so he was no longer looking at her upside-down.
Showing supreme patience, Max gathered the furious power that was building inside of him. Seething in it's intensity, Max vaguely recognized the familiar feeling of Michael, Isabel, and even Tess's power combining with his own. All four energies fussed into a single, unstoppable force, boosting his strength.
Sending his power streaming out through his fingertips, he let it flow into Liz's body. Trying to reach beyond the painful agony that consumed him...or maybe just feeding off it instead, Max focused all of his attention on Liz. Despite the tumult of emotions which had been plunging through him for nearly a month now, one conviction made itself persistently clear. No matter what Liz had done to him, no matter how badly she'd hurt him, Max was not going to let her die. His precious Liz was not going to die when there was a possibility he could save her.
"Liz, sweet, please open your eyes and look at me," Max pleaded. "I, I know you don't want me to touch you," he swallowed. "But I have to. I'm sorry Liz, I can't let you die. Please understand..." he begged.
Pressing down the relief that surged up within him when her eyes flickered open, Max tried to lose himself in her swirling pools. Immediately unnerved by the panic he saw in their bloodshot depths, Max made himself ignore the bolt of anguish that sliced through his heart, and concentrated on forming the connection.
Letting himself fall, Max felt his stomach drop as he was consumed by Liz. They could sense the connection beginning to form, binding their two souls together. One moment the world was a dark, dreary place...and then suddenly the whole world burst forth into a million little stars. Glittering with blinding beauty, they enveloped both Liz and Max. The connection roared to life.
An endless show of images flashed by Max pouring salt upon his painfully fresh wounds. Most of the pictures made absolutely no sense to Max. Indeed, they only added to his overwhelming state of confusion. But one constant remained throughout each and every flash...they were all of Liz. His Liz. Along with each image, came the specific emotion Liz had been feeling during that exact moment. Images blended with passionate feelings as Max lived life through Liz's eyes.
Even though Max had anticipated this reaction, he was unprepared for the nightmares which swept over him, leaving him trembling and breathless. Fear and grief raced through his bones, breaking down the defenses he had built around himself. Something was wrong, terribly wrong, Max decided as a series of pictures kept repeating themselves over and over again. It was as if they were trying to tell him something...
**flash** Liz viewing the fortuneteller's cards spread on the table before her. **flash** Lightning splitting the night, and Future Max appearing outside her window. **flash** Future Max, decked out in leather. **flash** Spying on Tess and Max from across the street. **flash** Bits and pieces from all of the conversations Liz had with Future Max. **flash** Seeing Max do pull ups from outside his bedroom window. **flash** Liz and Future Max, in the bathroom. **flash** Liz talking to Kyle, going over the rules. **flash** Max's face when he saw the two of them in bed. **flash** Liz on her balcony, sobbing next to Future Max. **flash** Liz's wedding dance...followed by Future Max disappearing.
Max's head was pounding from the potency of the flashes. These vivid images were different, almost demanding, unlike the ones Max and Liz had experienced before.
Finally, it was Liz herself who distracted him from the task of fitting the puzzling pieces together. Her delicate body arched, and a low scream tore from her pearly throat. Not noticing his own river of tears, which had surreptitiously started to flow again, Max tightened his hold on Liz. He refused to let her go, not while he was so close to the answers he craved the way a starving man craved food.
"Lizzzzzzzzzzzzz..." he cried out desperately. His voice hoarse and thick with tears, "Don't you leave me, don't you dare leave me!" Driven by unyielding determination, Max gathered power from deep inside himself. Power he had not known he possessed until that very moment.
Those who stood reeling in shock, watching him as he worked, observed a surreal glow begin to radiate through his heaving chest. If one took the time to look closely, they would see its source burned like molten lava from within his heart.
This spectacular light traveled along his body and spread easily into Liz's. Upon discovering her injuries, it grew brighter still and at the same time filled Liz with a warm, tingly sensation. Under Max's unforgiving supervision, individual molecules proceeded to bind themselves together. Life pulsed with renewed vigor along the secret channels that were Liz's veins.
Color bloomed on Liz's cheeks and her breathing settled into a quiet, peaceful rhythm. The soft skin around her eyes and mouth began to relax, smoothing out, no longer creased in anger or in pain. At her side, holding her close, Max too had slipped into a deep and dreamless slumber. He was extremely week from using such large amounts of power. Although, despite his face being unnaturally gray and his lips at shade too pale, there was a quality about him that assured he would be all right. In fact, just as the ethereal light had recently surrounded Max and Liz, there was something else which encircled them now. It was more of a feeling, twining around them and reaching out to brush against the other people standing nearby. This beautiful, amazing, precious feeling was harmony. A sense of long awaited peace descended upon the entire household. A house that just moments ago, had been quivering with feelings of hopelessness and despair.
One by one, Tess, Isabel, and Michael stumbled backwards breaking their connection to Max at the same time. Each was met by strong arms and soothing voices of both Alex and Maria. Never had any of the aliens experienced what it felt like to be drained of ones power; it'd taken an enormous amount of energy to heal Liz. Energy which they had willingly offered up to Max. However now, all three of them were left with an empty feeling in the pit of their stomach. Dizzy and slightly nauseous, they gratefully accepted help as they sank down into various chairs about the room.
"Are you okay?" Alex asked Maria, lightly touching her on the shoulder while she was propping a pillow beneath Michael's neck.
"Yes," she replied softly. "I know now that everyone will be all right...I'm not going to loose someone." Turning her head to frown at Alex she asked, "Can't you feel it?"
"Yeah, I feel it," he smiled with relief. "I just wanted to make sure you did too."
|Part 15 | Index | Part 17|
|Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours|