Disclaimer: I'm just borrowing characters
from Melinda Metz and Roswell on WB because I'm so
lame that I can't do it on my own. It's all them.
Summary: Dark, dark alter-reality for M2tM Lyrics by Natalie Imbruglia
|Liz didn't have the strength left to gasp, much less
try to escape.|
Nasedo grasped her by the arm and yanked her to her feet.
She just numbly accepted this new turn of events and let him lead her away from Max, stumbling a little to keep up. Nasedo seemed angry... He swung her around fast and she winced as her back hit the wall.
His Max-like eyes bored into hers as he put one hand against the wall on each side of her and leaned in close.
She felt his breath on her and realized that she was trembling. No! No fear. She swallowed once and steeled herself, meeting his eyes with shaky defiance.
"Do you know," his Max voice was seething with anger, "that the only way Pierce could get the location of the orb out of Max was by threatening him with your death? It took a few hours to get that out of Pierce, but it's amazing what a little pain will do on a weak person."
Liz's mind whirled. She knew Pierce had the orbs, and that he had threatened her life, but Max hadn't told her... hadn't wanted to tell her that one was related to the other.
"Max would completely destroy himself to save you," Nasedo said coldly. "And he's just shown that he would go against everything he believes about himself just to please you. You- are dangerous to him."
Tears sprang into her eyes. He was right. Max would do anything for her. How could she have asked him to kill someone? How could she-
"And that's where I come into the picture. I'm here to do his dirty work. I kill when he can't. I take what he won't. So say goodbye, Liz." He reached one hand over and placed in on her chest, spreading out his fingers so that he was touching each breast.
Liz closed her eyes against the sight of him, the feeling of him touching her. Revulsion swept through her and she just... gave... up. She felt so damaged, so torn by all that had happened.
It was best just to wipe the slate clean and tally the losses.
Her chest suddenly clenched with pain. She let out a small groan.
"Just take deep breaths and let your mind go blank," he whispered.
The last time she had heard Max say that was when they connected that night at the Crashdown, when she had seen how much he loved her, how beautiful she was in his eyes.
How could she leave him? No, she couldn't. Another notch up in pain... and heat rushed through her body.
She began to push at the hand on her chest, struggling to rip it away from the connection it held to her body.
But he grabbed her hands and firmly held them over her head, keeping her helpless as he gazed calmly into her eyes. "I'm sorry I don't have the time to make this more enjoyable, but I'm afraid there just isn't the time," his quiet voice bore into her pain-clouded mind. The wall behind her felt cold on her back, her arms. He was making her entire body burn... hotter and hotter.
She gasped at the intensity. How much more would it take? As the pain became unbearable, her body convulsed and she let out a tortured scream...
Then suddenly, the world went white and a roaring blast of energy overwhelmed her. She was weightess... flying and then hitting the ground hard, somehow entangled with Nasedo Max's body. She writhed against the hard, cold, smooth floor until finally her body cooled. Her heartbeat was still loud in her ears. She slowly rolled her head back and forth and licked her lips.
Voices were nearby... Michael? Isabel? Tess?
She couldn't make herself open her eyes, not even when warm, strong arms gripped her and the floor fell away beneath her. She grasped at the arms around her. Then she was laid back gently on the ground and a hand- a warm, familiar hand- was encircling hers.
A faint whisper reached her, "Liz?"
Max was beside her, and she forced her eyes open to look at him.
He was okay, but still weak.
She felt her lips curling up in spite of herself. They were together, and they were okay. It just made her happy. Her needs had simplified that much. Max slowly sat up and reached over to pull her up. His warm hazel eyes were filled with love and she drank it in like a wanderer at an oasis. She gathered her legs up under her and shifted into his arms, feeling him gasp a quick breath of wonder at the feeling. Whole again. Suddenly, she realized someone was speaking to her.
"Are you okay," Michael's voice was panicked. "I didn't mean to hit you, too. I wanted him off of you. I don't even know what I did. But I'm sorry. Are you okay?"
Liz pulled back out of Max's embrace slightly and looked at Michael in wonder. "Yeah. You did that?"
Michael's eyes flitted away and came back to her. "Yeah. Sorry."
She felt Max shift beside her, his warm muscles sliding underneath his shirt. "What was that, Michael," Max asked with concern. "Did you kill him?"
"No, he's not dead, but he's... hurt pretty bad," Michael ran his hand through his hair and stood to his feet. "Tess is trying to help him."
For the first time, Liz noticed Isabel standing behind Michael, looking miserable. He turned and put his arm around her.
Liz looked over nearby at where Tess was kneeling beside Nasedo's body, about ten feet away. She was whispering something to him.
A surge of anger made Liz tighten her lips and she felt Max tense beside her. "Bastard," Max spat out under his breath.
"Tess, is he okay," Isabel suddenly burst out in a choked voice.
Tess stiffened and slowly stood. "He's dead," she said without preamble.
Isabel cried out, but everyone else took the news silently.
"You couldn't help him," Michael finally asked, emotion choking his voice.
Tess shrugged and looked away. "I could have," she walked past them casually as if she was unaware of the effect her words were having. "But he was nothing to me."
She's lying, Liz thought with surprise. He was all she ever had. How could she let him die? Why would she?
Tess was walked to the elevator and turned as she stepped inside. She looked them all over, her eyes stopping to rest on Liz. "Sometimes it's better to just be alone," she said in a small voice, then punched the button.
Everyone was silent as the elevator doors closed, shielding the cold, blue eyes from their view.
Then Max stood and waited as he helped Liz to stand. "Wait here," he whispered to her. Then he walked slowly over to Nasedo and knelt beside him.
It was definitely eerie, Liz thought to herself, seeing Max bend over the body and hold out his hand. He paused, obviously fighting back emotion. Liz shivered, then stilled as she felt Michael and Isabel come to stand beside her. Their faces were grim. They were mourning the loss of their hopes, she knew. Then she turned back to watch Max. He took a deep breath and laid his hand on Nasedo Max's chest.
Liz gasped as the body just slowly disappeared beneath Max's hand. One minute he was there, the next minute, there was only empty space. Max calmly stood and turned to face them. Liz felt a sense of awe come over her as she watched him walk towards her. He pulled her into his arms and she gazed up into those thickly-lashed brown eyes.
"What," he asked, blushing a little at her stare.
"I'm... I'm just..." Liz paused, then gave up trying to find the right words. "I'm yours." Then she buried her face in his neck and sighed. "You know that, don't you? That you completely own me."
She felt him sigh. "It's about time. You've owned me since I the first time I laid eyes on you."
A MONTH LATER...
Her hands were clammy, her breathing shallow as she dialed his number.
She had to use the bathroom so bad that it hurt, but she couldn't go in there right now. Her eyes closed as the nightmare came rushing back... the leering grin, the teasing voice, the cold tiles beneath her. It seemed like every time, her imagination just supplied the missing pieces of what she couldn't remember. It became more horrible each time.
Which is why she was calling for back-up.
A sleepy voice answered, "Liz?"
She took a quick breath, "It's me."
A small silence.
"Did you have another one?"
"Yeah," she fought to keep from crying and that kept her silent.
"I'm so sorry, sweetness. I'll be right there."
With that, she heard a click and clutched the phone to her chest.
Just ten minutes of waiting... ten times sixty seconds... of not imagining... not remembering... not fearing...
Thirty seconds gone now...
His face flashed before her eyes, so filled with hate...
No... he's dead and scattered now. And no one is hunting anyone, or torturing anyone in Roswell. Not right now.
All the other bodies burned in the fire, which Valenti helped explain away.
One minute gone...
The tortured screams of Agent Pierce sounded in her mind. She put her hands over her ears and closed her eyes. When would this be over? She hadn't even gone back in when Max dissolved him; she knew had seen enough death to last her a thousand nightmares.
As had been proven in at least fifteen out of the last month of nights. But most of the time, it wasn't the compound she dreamed about, it was him. His cold brutality, the carelessness that surrounded his actions, and the hatred he held for her.
Enough, she told herself. Max is coming. Happy thoughts. Turn on a light, for god's sake. The light scattered the darkness, but the fear only stepped back a bit.
Two minutes gone...
And on the countdown went. Sometimes Liz drifted into remembering, but mostly she prevailed in just waiting.
Eventually, a noise on her balcony made her jump.
It's Max, she reminded herself. Unclutch the phone... put your feet on the floor... now walk to the window.
This time, his face didn't scare her.
This time, she smiled tearfully up at her rescuer without fear automatically gripping her heart.
She opened the window and backed away so his warm, strong body could fill the room. So his warm, strong arms could fill the emptiness around her.
So his love and gentleness could mend the torn places in her heart.
Piece by piece.
She leaned into him, felt him caress away the tears. It felt right, in a way that nothing else in her life felt right. Sigh.
As long as he would come, she could survive. And she would live for the day when coming would be staying.
And staying would be healing, for them both. She pulled back and caressed his lips with her own. His tender, gentle Max lips. The horror was slowly fading. This was her Max, gazing down at her with love in his eyes.
And that was all she needed.
His love and time...
love... and time.
|Part 10 | Index|
|Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours|