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; serious R rating, folks
|"I'm all out of faith,|
This is how I feel.
I'm cold and I am shamed,
Lying naked on the floor.
Illusion never changed,
Into something real.
I'm wide awake
And I can see the perfect sky is torn.
You're a little late,
As a second clue for Pierce, they left another body along the side of the road, right after the real Max called her on her cell phone.
If only she had been able to talk to him, tell him that she loved him before Nasedo had grabbed the phone.
But she still couldn't get any sound out of her throat.
Whatever he had done to keep her from screaming wasn't going to wear off. Not that she really hoped it would. She was afraid to breathe too loud.
The beautiful landscape sped by.
How could the sun still be shining?
Shouldn't it be stormy and ugly and dangerous outside? Shouldn't it be dark, like her soul?
Liz took a shaky breath.
He was watching the road, with a sardonic smile settled on his face.
It made her furious.
He had taken everything from her, left half of all that she was back in some dirty motel room in the middle of nowhere.
Suddenly she felt back in control.
The anger helped.
She would try to escape, try to get back to Max.
Nausea swept over her suddenly at the thought of revealing to him what had happened.
How would he feel about her now? She had been violated... by him, sort of.
Tears flooded her eyes.
She didn't want to him to know how it had been. She didn't want him to try to understand what it had been like.
She shifted uncomfortably in the car, ignoring the fire and- was that blood she felt between her legs?
The life was just draining out of her as she numbly watched the road spin by.
The carnival was grotesque.
The laughing people and the alien-themed attractions mocked Liz's fear and pain.
Every step was painful for her, a reminder of his brutality.
He walked her around, parading her like a trophy, continually proving how very little he cared about her.
She kept her eyes off his face, even though she had long since been able to recognize the arrogance in his eyes that made him not Max.
She convinced herself that she could even feel the difference in the pressure he exerted as he pulled her close to him, in the way his breath caressed her neck too hotly when he spoke to her.
It wasn't Max.
And so she waited with him.
For Pierce to come. For Max to rescue her. For her fate to be decided.
Not too far away, the carousel kept going round and round.
The final sign to Pierce was her wake-up call.
As the light enveloped the hysterical woman, Liz saw Nasedo's focus was completely on terrorizing her.
Her mouth went dry at her next thought.
Only one second from conception to action.
He could turn any second...
She jumped as she knocked back into a strange-looking circus type, but she only gave him a glance before continuing on.
The carousel was dead ahead and she leapt on it quickly, hiding among the horses and laughing children.
Keeping an eye out for the familiarly horrifying face, she rode around in a daze.
Suddenly, a prickling along her neck made her aware of his nearness...
She turned her head slightly and felt her blood run cold.
He was sitting there next to her, his eyes laughing.
The mirrors. Just one more agonizing part of the night.
How long had she been in here?
Twisting and turning, hoping desperately that every reflection of him wasn't him.
She shivered and paused.
What on earth was she planning on doing now?
She couldn't even find her way out of the damn mirrors.
She needed help; she would admit it now.
If she could scream for help, she would.
But she was still alone and still silenced.
She heard his voice... and his voice in reply.
"What are you doing here?"
It was Max, yelling at Nasedo that he wouldn't leave without her.
She was running before she could even think.
Instinct drove her towards his voice.
Over there somewhere...
She dodged around mirrors and glass until she finally saw him... them.
She couldnšt scream his name...
But somehow, he felt her, saw her.
His face lit up and she felt a thrill of joy as he ran to her.
She could already feel his arms around her, the safety that came with his presence.
She didn't see the glass until he slammed into it.
No... she reached out to it, pressing her hands against it convulsively as she drank in the love and fear in his eyes.
He glanced behind him quickly, and Liz saw that Nasedo was gone.
Max turned back to her with resigned eyes, touching her hand through the glass.
Why didn't he just push through it?
"Liz," he said in frustration. "Go..."
She shook her head, even more tears filling her eyes.
Not without you.
It was as impossible for her to leave him now. After all that had happened.
Her stomach twisted up in a knot at the memory.
A sudden movement caught her eyes. Two agents had entered the maze behind Max.
The panic in her eyes warned Max and he slipped away.
Liz stared at the agents, fear keeping her rooted to the spot.
Then Max was there, grabbing her hand and pulling her away from danger.
If she had stopped to look into his eyes, she would have known the truth.
But the kiss showed her the darkness and death in his soul soon enough.
She shook her head silently as she backed up, eyes wide with fear.
He held out his hand and light blinded her momentarily.
Then he was no longer there, no longer haunting her with his Max face.
Instead a horrific clown leered at her before running out of the bus.
Liz stood there, horrified by the thoughts that assailed her.
That had been Max the agents had captured, not Nasedo!
She stumbled off the bus, suddenly realizing that she had no idea which way the mirror maze was.
How long had it been since Max was taken?
Too long, her mind screamed at her. Hešs already gone.
She searched the crowd desperately for a sign of the clown, or Max, or the suits.
But everywhere around her there were nameless, faceless people laughing, completely oblivious to her horror.
Her breath came in gasps as she turned around again, tears filling her eyes.
The lights blurred and she heard a voice call her name.
But it wasnšt his voice and she turned slowly, hopelessly.
Isabel, Michael... Tess.
They deserved an answer, but she couldnšt give it. She couldn't speak at all.
She looked at Michael helplessly, not even wanting him to understand what had happened.
"Liz, where's Max," Isabel gripped her arm tightly.
Liz slid her glance over to the pale face beside her, tears blurring the beautiful face.
Isabel would hate her when she knew.
Liz shook her head helplessly.
Michael stepped closer.
"Where's Max, Liz? Have you seen him?"
Liz's eyes fell to the ground as she nodded.
She felt rather than saw Isabel and Michael exchange glances.
Michael's voice was choked.
Liz nodded again, choking out a sob.
Michael grabbed her and Liz winced at the tenderness in her arms.
"Pierce has Max?"
Liz forced her haunted gaze up to his and nodded, feeling the world crumble around her.
She heard Isabel gasp.
Then Michael pulled her into his arms and she wished more than anything that she could disappear into the solid warmth of him.
Her body was screaming at her and now her conscience was joining in.
Max was gone and it was all her fault.
Liz sat in silence as they argued fiercely over what to do.
Over and over, her mind was playing the last precious moments with Max.
The way her looked at her, the gentle love in his eyes was completely different from...
Liz closed her eyes tightly against the memory of his face, leering at her as she lay exposed before him.
That was not Max.
A touch on her arm made her jump.
She turned to see Maria looking at her with concern in her beautiful eyes.
"Are you okay," she whispered.
Liz forced herself to nod.
Maria seemed satisfied for the moment, and turned her attention back to the others.
Liz was momentarily glad that she couldn't speak. She had time to force back the words of panic that she otherwise might have blurted out. Now was not the time to deal with Nasedo. There was plenty of time for that later. Everyone needed to focus on Max, saving Max.
Oh God, Liz choked as she prayed, please help him. Help us.
The words kept echoing in her mind, Isabel's frantic words that confirmed everyone's fears: "He's so scared. He's so scared. They're hurting him."
She would rather die than hear those words. She would rather hunt Pierce down and throw herself on his nonexistent mercy than hear those words about Max.
Tess said that Nasedo was going to help Max.
The emotions that assaulted Liz at that statement were almost overwhelming.
She tried to force her mind to think logically.
Nasedo protects Max. Max will be safe when Nasedo gets to him. But Nasedo would kill me without a second thought... he would-
Liz cut her thoughts off at that. How could someone so evil be her only hope for seeing Max again?
But he wasn't, she reminded herself, Michael would save him. Michael would rather die than leave Max in that place. That, she knew.
Suddenly, Isabel was in front of her and Liz closed her eyes as she reached her hand out to touch Liz's throat.
Liz felt a slight tingling, a warmth flood through her and then, the pressure in her throat eased.
She opened her eyes to see Isabel staring at her in horror.
She connected to heal me, Liz thought in a rush. She knows!
"Oh my god, Liz," Isabel whispered. "He-"
Liz reached out quickly and grabbed her arms, looking her frantically in the eyes.
"No! Not now," she croaked out, her voice rough from the long silence. "Think about Max. You have to get him out of there."
Isabel blinked tears back and nodded reluctantly.
Liz looked around to see everyone watching them. She caught Michael's eyes.
"Bring him back to me, please."
He nodded, "I will."
Everyone was pretty preoccupied with their own thoughts. Now, all three of the aliens were in danger.
Okay, Liz thought with a sigh, all four of the aliens are in danger.
Whenever Tess came to mind, there was an automatic flood of emotions. But, destiny or no, she was still one of them. And she was risking her life for Max.
Liz stifled a sob.
She would be doing anything rather than sitting here and waiting.
Valenti could help... should help, but Michael had been so adamant about not telling.
Liz sat there, her mind churning.
"Liz," Maria said as she sat on Liz's bed. "You sure he didn't hurt you?"
Liz slammed down the box she had been dusting.
You mean, hurt as in pain, Liz thought. Yes. Hurt as in being ripped apart piece by piece... yeah. That, too.
"I'm fine, Maria. I was scared, but I'm not the one in danger right now. We need to be thinking of them. Not me."
Alex and Maria exchanged looks, with Liz straightening her dresser nervously.
"Liz, why won't you tell us what happened," Alex pressed her.
She turned, looking into Alex's piercing gaze.
"Nothing happened, Alex," her voice was soft and weary. "There's nothing to tell."
He looked as if he could see straight through her.
She was lying to him again, after she wore that she never would.
"Liz," Maria said as she jumped up and ran to Liz, enveloping her in her arms. "It's okay, we can talk about it later, honey."
Liz sobbed into her arms and allowed herself to be led to the bed.
"I-I can't... I-I can't..." was all that she could get out.
"Sorry, Liz," Alex whispered as he caressed her hair softly. "I'm a little on edge, that's all. I know you'll tell us when you're ready."
Liz nodded and quieted a bit.
Maria laid down beside her, tears running out of her own eyes.
Alex just sat there, lending his warmth to both.
|Part 1 | Index | Part 3|
|Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours|