FanFic - Max/Liz
"The Fugitive"
Part 3
by Karen
Disclaimer: None of it is mine.
Summary: Max commits a crime, he and Michael go into hiding, the others plot to clear Max.
Category: Max/Liz
Rating: R
Authors Note: Feedback is appreciated, just don't flame me for letting Tess do a good deed - she's still creepy and not to be trusted.

Liz had her arm outside of the jeep, letting the wind current bounce it up and down. The sun was high overhead and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. She looked up at the sun, squinted as she felt its warmth on her face. She wasn't sure she'd ever been happier.

Max was driving, singing at the top of his lungs to a song that was playing on the radio. The wind had tossled his dark hair, and that combined with his sudden vocal abandon made Liz think he looked amazingly cute. Not to mention his bashfulness had been whisked away by Poison, of all things. Isabel must've borrowed the jeep and left the radio on an '80s station again.

"Win big, mama's fallen angel," he sang. "Lose big, living out lies."

Liz started to giggle. She'd never seen him so unreserved. He didn't have a bad voice, but the volume of it shocked her - Max was usually so soft spoken, and here he was singing to the skies. He glanced over at her when he realized she was laughing at him. She had a sudden pang that she'd offended him and she was afraid he'd stop his little performance. But he only smiled and shouted, "Join me, Liz!"

She tried, but laughter prevented her from giving it her all.

"Rolling the dice with her life!" Max bellowed, then fell into laughter along with Liz. He grinned over at her, then leaned over and kissed her quickly.

Liz sat up on her knees on the seat and leaned over so she could hug him without blocking his view of the road. She kissed his cheek, then for fun bit his earlobe. She felt a shiver run through him.

"Hey, hey, hey," he protested. "None of that. Not if you want to get to Carlsbad before it gets dark!"

Liz giggled and kissed him quickly on the lips. "This was such a great idea, Max." They had a tent and their camping gear in the back seat of the jeep. They'd both lied - Max was supposed to be at Michael's helping him paint his apartment and Liz was supposed to be spending the weekend at a trade show with Maria and her mother (being conveniently out of cell phone range).

"Yeah," he agreed, taking one hand from the wheel and touching her arm across his chest. He took the opportunity to give her another kiss, longer this time and with more passion.

Liz pulled back and looked into his eyes. She felt her heart start to thud a little harder in her chest, and from the look in his eyes and the feel of his pulse beneath her arm, he was feeling it, too.

"Do we have to get to Carlsbad before dark?" she breathed.

Max shook his head, his eyes leaving hers only long enough to ensure he was still on the road.



"Can you pull over?"

Max swung the jeep to the side of the road, shoved it into park and grabbed her face with both of his hands. He kissed her so hard her teeth hurt. When he came up for air, he immediately reached behind him and grabbed one of the sleeping bags. "Let's go."

Max grabbed Liz's hand and nearly broke into a run for a grove of nearby trees. He quickly spread the sleeping bag on the ground, then turned to unzip Liz's shorts. Her hands went immediately to the zipper of his jeans. Within seconds they were tumbling to the ground, kissing with an urgency bordering on desperation. It was quick, it was hard and it left them both exhausted and panting for breath.

Max looked up into that cloudless sky as he caught his breath. A smile crept to his lips - their first quickie. "Well," he gasped, "guess we'll still make it to Carlsbad before dark after all."

Liz laughed. "That was...amazing."

Max eagerly nodded his agreement. "And if we keep up that pace, we can stop every twenty-five miles or so and still get there before dark."

Liz kissed him, loving the smell and taste of him. "Or, we can wait until tonight and just do it for hours and hours and hours."

Max's eyes widened. "You're right." He stood up, zipped his jeans and held out his hand to help her up. Grabbing the sleeping bag, they walked back to the jeep hand in hand.

Max started the jeep, and immediately started singing to the first song that came on the radio. Liz held her head in her hands as she started laughing again. God, she loved him! ______________________________________________________________________

Later that afternoon, after Max's '80s marathon had ended and they both fell silent as often happens on long road trips, Liz looked ahead of them and saw a service station.

"Need gas?" she asked.

Max checked the gauge. "Not really."

"I, uh, have to pee."

He smiled at her slight embarrassment. "Okay. And I'll go inside and get some munchies. Anything you want in particular?"

"Hmm, how about some chips of some kind. You pick. Oh wait - get me the regular kind. I just know you're going to get those barbeque ones that could melt the skin off your tongue."

He laughed - she was right. He swung the jeep into the gas station parking lot, coming to a stop in front of the ladies bathroom door. Some times Liz couldn't get over how considerate he was. He climbed out of the jeep, squeezed her hand and gave her a quick kiss.

"Hurry back, okay?" he said.

"I will."

Inside the carry out, Max surveyed the chips. The man behind the counter was looking at him suspiciously. Several times Max looked up and smiled at him, but the man just kept staring. I feel like a biker at a debutante ball, he thought. Any minute now he's going to tell me he doesn't like my kind. Let's see, oh - mmm, flaming red-hot chips. He grabbed the bag and stuck it under his arm, then started surveying the shelf for something Liz would like. He only vaguely registered that the door had opened and closed, sort of figuring Liz had come from the bathroom.

"Put it in the bag, now!"

Max's head jerked toward the voice, and he instinctively ducked behind the chip rack. When he eased his head around the corner, he saw another man holding a gun on the man behind the counter. Max's heart began to pound in his chest. Oh, no. Not again. His thoughts went immediately to Liz, that he should try to find some way to warn her, to keep her from coming into the store. Max looked at the counter attendant. Geeze, buddy, you had the wrong guy, he thought.

"I said put the money in the bag!" the man with the gun shouted again.

Max could tell the attendant wasn't going to cooperate. Oh, God, just do it.

"What if I don't?" the attendant argued.

"Well, I'm going to shoot you, asshole. Put the money in the goddamn bag!"

Just then, Max heard the jingle of the bell on the door. He whipped around to see Liz walk through it, looking for him. Within a second, she registered that all was not as it should be, and she stopped dead in her tracks. The man pointed the gun at her.

"NO!" Max screamed as he lunged from behind the chip rack.

The man with the gun whirled toward him, but Max grabbed the hand holding the weapon and they tumbled to the floor. As they fell, the gun went off, sending an ear-splitting echo throughout the small store. The smell of gunpowder and the sound of Liz's shriek hung in the air as the attendant crumpled to the floor behind the counter. Max and the gunman rolled across the floor, each of them struggling for control of the gun. Max was surprised at the strength of the man. Within seconds, he had Max pinned under him, the gun moving closer to Max's temple. The man's free hand moved to Max's throat as he pinned him with his elbow. Max could feel the world going dark, was only slightly aware that Liz was screaming his name. He barely registered the fact that he had touched the man's chest with his open palm.

And suddenly he could breathe again. When he'd taken in enough air to see clearly, he saw that Liz was staring at him in horror. All of the events came rushing back to him and he sat up quickly. Beside him, the man with the gun was lying in a heap on the floor. His eyes were wide open and his mouth was stretched into a silent scream of agony. His jacket and shirt had burn marks through them.

On his chest was a silver handprint.

Max felt the bile rise to his throat. He didn't remember using his power, but he must have. He didn't remember taking this man's life, but he must have done that also. He looked at Liz. Had she just backed away from him?

He unsteadily got to his feet, feeling his knees wobble beneath him. He glanced toward the counter, saw the blood starting to seep from beneath it. This was bad. He looked to the gun in the man's hand - he'd touched it; his fingerprints were on it.

In the distance, he could hear sirens. The attendant must've tripped a security system. Liz looked out the window.

"Max, go!" she demanded.

"I can't go without you," he said, stepping toward her. There was no mistake this time - she took a step backward.

"You have to. I'll make something up. Just go! Don't let them catch you."

Max hesitated, realized that she was afraid to go with him. He bit back his hurt and rushed past her out the door.

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