FanFic - Max/Liz
"Strong, Dangerous & Undeniable"
Part 2
by Destinee
Disclaimer: The characters belong to M. Metz, J. Katims, and The WB. I'm only gently leading them where I'd like them to go.
Summary: This story begins with the scene in MITC when Liz does her astral projection thing. It follows along with everything in the show up to that point, and goes on to explore Liz's powers, and to resolve the obstacles in the path of her being together with Max.
Category: Max/Liz
Rating: PG
Liz hit the disconnect button and cradled the phone against her heart while she fought back a swell of emotion. Max was safe. And he'd talked to her civilly. Even better than civil. And he wanted them to talk when he got back.

It was a definite turning point. Hopefully for all of them.

Things had just been so crazy, confused, and awful between them all ever since they'd seen that destiny hologram. The news they'd received that day had torn them all apart, not just her and Max. Everyone in their group of friends had seemed to go off on their own to try and deal with the devastating effect the destiny message had had on each of their lives, and all of their relationships with one another had suffered for it.

They were handling it all wrong though. She could see that now. The only way they'd been able to handle the whole Pierce/FBI debacle was by sticking together and being there for one another. By turning their backs on each other now, they were really just making things harder on themselves and everyone else. And especially on Max.

Liz swallowed hard in regret.

All these secrets, lies, and betrayals had driven Max away and had led to his almost getting killed. They had to find a way to work things out and make them better. There was just no way to fight Skins and Dupes and whatever other enemies lurked out there if they didn't have the security of friendship and loyalty to fall back on that they'd once had.

She knew for a fact that the four aliens were stronger if they stayed together, but the seven of them together would be even stronger. Nine if you counted Kyle and his dad. And now it seemed as though she might be able to contribute a little Czechoslovakian super power, too.

She quickly pushed that thought to the back of her mind. She couldn't deal with that right now.

No one seemed to know what to say now that the crisis had passed, and Liz finally broke the silence.

"So. He's fine. And when he gets home we'll talk and...everything will be okay." She looked to the others for confirmation. "You guys, we have to make it okay."

Isabel and Michael nodded their agreement. Max had had a close call and now she thought they all felt as if they'd been given a second chance. They had to make it count.

Liz was suddenly hit by a wave of exhaustion. Too much had happened in the past hour and had left her reeling. She could hear Michael confronting Ava about how she seemed to know so much, but she just was not up to a discussion about alien changes, dupes, and murders at the moment. Right now she wanted nothing more than to go to her room and pull the covers over her head.

She could see Ava reacting defensively, and it seemed as though they were rapidly evolving into a repeat of the interrogation she had interrupted earlier. As tired as she was, she still felt as if she had to try and keep the peace.

"Uh, guys? I'm going up to bed. I'm exhausted. Ava, come to the break room and I'll bring you down a pillow and blanket, okay? You are crashing on the couch again, right?"

Ava nodded and promptly followed her to the swinging door that led to the back.

Liz looked back at Isabel and Michael. "Lock up when you leave, okay?"

Halfway through the doors she stopped. "Oh, and Michael? Clean up that mess." She pointed at the pile of destruction he'd created when trying to intimidate Ava.

The two of them just looked at her, dumbfounded at how swiftly she had gained control of the situation. She smiled serenely, and turned to go upstairs. After she'd gotten Ava settled, she escaped to the solitude of her room. Leaning back against the closed door, she rested her head against the wood and closed her eyes.

She heaved a sigh and thought about all the things they'd had to deal with over the past few months. Things that went way past the realm of plausibility. And just when they thought they'd seen the ultimate impossibility, they were thrown something else that proved how wrong they were. But this latest development...Liz shook her head.

Almost unwillingly, Liz was drawn over to the cheval mirror standing near the window. Once she was standing in front of it she studied herself intently. She looked no different than she always had. Her face, although pale, was the same. Same straight dark hair. She couldn't see anything different about her body. She wasn't any taller, which seemed to be an alien characteristic. Except in Tess' case. Her lips quirked. She moved closer to the mirror to search her eyes. They looked tired and still contained a little residual shock, but otherwise they looked normal.

She made a wry face at herself. Of course she looked normal. What exactly was she looking for? Green slimy skin? A third eye?

She smiled nostalgically.

It seemed so long ago that she'd first learned Max's secret. They'd been so naive back then. Utterly clueless about where the path they had chosen would lead.

It had led to his changing her, she thought darkly.

Giving her reflection one last searching glance, she moved away, and collapsed on the bed. She'd always felt different somehow after Max had healed her. She could even remember thinking that day before they'd found the orb that she could actually feel chemical changes taking place in her body. She'd thought it had just been normal teenage growing pains, though.

That had certainly been a crazy couple of days. Secretly, she called it the Orb Odyssey. Being changed might explain the flashes, the glowing hickey, and all that, but she'd always written off the strange happenings that took place then as something that generated from Max. The possibility that they could have happened because of something within herself...well, that would never have occurred to her in a million years.

And maybe it shouldn't have occurred to her because it was wrong.

At a sudden thought, she sprang up to a sitting position. Maybe Ava was wrong. Maybe she hadn't been changed. This thing that had happened tonight, couldn't it have just happened because she'd been connected with Isabel? And she'd always shared a special connection with Max, a phenomenon she'd always attributed to Max's powers and the love they felt for one another. Maybe she'd simply acted as some sort of conduit between Max and Isabel. Maybe she hadn't been changed at all.

Her mind latched on to the thought and wouldn't let go. She had to find out if it had been some kind of fluke. She'd try and see if she could reach Max again.

With that plan firmly in mind, Liz moved to sit crosslegged in the middle of her bed. Taking a few deep breaths, she centered all her thoughts on Max. Ten minutes had passed when she opened her eyes and peeked at the clock. Nothing was happening.

She could feel her hopes rising and told herself sternly that she had to be sure she was giving this her all before jumping to conclusions. Isabel had given her a boost with her powers the first time. Was it possible for her to do this on her own even if she had been changed?

She tried to remember exactly how it had felt when she'd been connected with Isabel. It had felt completely different from when she and Max connected. It was always a complete rush to experience Max's emotions. He never held anything of himself back from her. He allowed her to see everything in his heart. Warm, caring, and generous, his heart was full of the most beautiful sensations she'd ever felt.

But with Isabel, she hadn't been bombarded with feelings and emotions. Words and thoughts had only whispered at the edge of her consciousness. She had definitely felt the worry and fear she felt for her brother, as well as empathy for Liz and what she was experiencing. She'd also heard the name Vilondra, and it had been attatched to an extreme sense of guilt.

Liz thought that she had sensed the majority of Isabel's emotions nearby, but it was like they were closed off somewhere that she couldn't see. She briefly wondered if Isabel lived her life like that or if she had just closed them off on this occasion to keep them hidden from Liz.

Shaking her head to clear it of those thoughts, Liz tried to get herself back on track. When they'd connected, Liz had been able to see herself and Isabel standing under a starlit sky, hands still clasped. Isabel had told her beforehand that she would feed some of her energy into her, and Liz had felt it seeping into her through their linked hands. Tingling and hot, it had spread throughout her body, bringing her nerve-endings to life. Isabel had told her to try and reach out with her mind to try and find Max's. She'd explained that Liz should be able to sense him somewhere out there, and to simply follow his call.

Liz remembered being able to feel him, the same familiar thoughts and emotions she felt whenever they connected, and it had been a fairly simple thing to home in on them. It was as if they drew her towards him. The next thing she knew, Isabel and the night sky had been left behind, and she was standing in the middle of a busy New York street.

Liz closed her eyes and attempted to do the same thing she'd done then. She reached out with her mind, casting about for the answering pull from Max. Finding nothing familiar, she tried to reach further. Nothing. Again and again she sought him, trying to reach further each time, but she still couldn't find him. She didn't give up until she'd been trying for a full hour.

She hadn't sensed him at all. Not at all.

She heaved a relieved sigh and a jubilant smile broke out across her face. They were wrong. She hadn't been changed. It had all been Max and Isabel. She had only helped to form the connection somehow.

She fell back against the bed. The strange feelings of panic and dread she had felt from the moment Ava had announced her change fell away from her, making her feel much lighter and almost dizzy. She didn't stop to examine why it had upset her so much to think that she had been changed, she simply let herself float in the giddy sensations of relief.

It wasn't long before exhaustion once again overtook her. Without bothering to take off even her shoes, Liz dragged the blankets up over her. Her last thoughts before sleep consumed her were happy memories of Max's soft voice, lilting teasingly.

Everything was going to be fine.

A small smile curved her lips as she fell into unconsciousness.

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