FanFic - Max/Liz
Part 2
by Danilise
Disclaimer: Roswell, the characters, and situations are owned by the WB. No infringement intended.
Summary: Michael is missing, and Max and Isabel need to find him before it's too late.
Category: Max/Liz
Rating: PG
On the other side of Roswell, Max and Isabel were literally stumbling in the dark. In the commercial part of town, street lamps were few and far between, and shadows outnumbered patches of light. Charcoal-dark clouds obscured what little light the moon afforded. To Max and Isabel, it felt like the streets and alleys were closing in, hunching over to peer down on them, to pin them down, keeping them stranded and lost on the edge of town, the blackest fringes of Roswell. They heard footsteps echoing behind them. Voices seemed to bounce off the walls in front of them. They sensed that they were being followed.

Then the footsteps behind them gave Max an idea. He grabbed Isabel’s arm and pulled her with him into a darkened alcove between two brick buildings.

“What are you doing?” she hissed.

Max put his finger to his lips. “Wait. Let whoever is following us go past. Then we can follow,” he whispered.

Isabel nodded, and they waited. Within five minutes, the FBI agent who usually trailed them hurried past their hiding-place.

“Let’s go,” Max said. He and Isabel abandoned their alcove and followed the agent. The agent led them to a derelict warehouse. Not far from the old soap factory, the red brick building was rundown and stale-smelling, its windows boarded up in places, broken in others. Concentrating on remaining a safe distance behind the agent, Max and Isabel approached the building in cautious silence … until a piece of plywood snapped under Max’s foot, as loud as a firecracker in the stilly darkness.

The agent spun around and visually scanned the area. Max and Isabel ducked behind the corner of the building just in time. The agent looked suspiciously in their direction, then shrugged and went inside. After a couple of minutes, Max and Isabel snuck up to the lit window. Inside, they could see two men standing by a desk. They could also see Michael.

He was slumped in a chair, his face swollen and bruised, his chin sunk into his chest. His arms were twisted and tied painfully behind his back, his ankles taped together. The bindings seemed to be the only reason he remained upright.

“Oh my god,” Isabel whispered.

Max barely heard her. He could hardly control the fury building inside him. All he wanted to do was get Michael out of that chair, away from that room, away from those people. He wanted to hurt them as much as they had hurt Michael. For someone who prided himself on not letting things spin out of control, Max was having trouble controlling his spiraling emotions. But he had his sister to think about. He could tell Isabel was seriously upset. Taking several deep breaths, he said as soothingly as he could, “Iz. We’re going to get him out of this. We can heal him. We just have to get him out.”

Biting her lip, Isabel nodded. “What do we need to do?”

Max rubbed her arm reassuringly. “We need a diversion.”

Isabel nodded again. “You get him out. I’ll make our diversion,” she said as she began to pick her way back around the corner of the building.

Max watched her until she was out of sight. Then he waited. He could feel his heart thudding in his chest. His hands were shaking; they had been shaking ever since he and Isabel had first felt that something was wrong with Michael. As he waited in the dark, Max knew that he was afraid, but he also knew that he needed to be as strong, as fearless as Michael would be if he were the one standing there waiting in the dark.

* * * *

Inside the building, Agent Stevens was bellowing into a telephone, eating a sandwich, and reprimanding Agent Moss all at the same time.

“What were you thinking, Agent? We’ve been tracking those kids for over two years. Your mission was to keep them in your sights at all times. What part of that mission was unclear, Agent? Was any part of that mission unclear, Agent? How difficult can it be to follow a bunch of eighteen year—“ Agent Stevens’ tirade was cut off by a choking fit. He pounded on his chest with his sandwich. “Dammit. I’m so frustrated I can’t even swallow a sandwich right. I have bread stuck in my esophagus. This always happens in this crazy town. Hold on a minute,” he said into the phone. “You don’t go anywhere,” he told Agent Moss, pointing the remains of his sandwich in Moss’s direction.

Suddenly there was a crash on the other side of the building.

Stevens glowered at Moss. “What are you waiting for,” he barked. “Go check it out.”

“Yes, sir.” Moss pulled his gun out of his shoulder holster and headed out of the room in the direction of the crash. After a couple of minutes, Stevens slammed down his cell phone and followed Moss, muttering under his breath about incompetent fools.

* * * *

Max watched them leave. Once he was sure they were gone, he used his powers to break the lock on the window. Then he pushed the window up as quietly and quickly as possible, and hoisted himself into the room.

“Michael!” Max whispered, dropping to his knees by the chair and beginning to fumble with the ropes. “Michael. Iz and I are going to get you out of here.” After a couple of minutes of fumbling, Max swore under his breath and used his powers to slice through the rest of the rope. Without the bindings securing him to the chair, Michael fell forward. “Michael!” Max cried as he struggled to keep Michael from hitting the ground. He cast a frantic glance at the window, which was a good five feet off the ground. “Michael! You’ve got to help me somehow. You’re not Liz or Iz or Maria here. We’ve got to get outside so that I can heal you. So I’ve got to get you through that window. C’mon. Help me.”

Michael’s head lolled backward. Blinking slowly, he mumbled, “Max? What are you doing here?”

“Now is not the time, Michael. Just help me get you out of here.” Max pulled Michael to his feet and half-shouldered, half-carried him to the window. Shoving the window open as far as it could go, Max struggled to lift Michael high enough so he could crawl outside. “Michael,” he said, breathing hard. “Go through the window. Isabel will be waiting on the other side by now.”

When Michael was halfway over the window ledge, Agent Topolsky, their old nemesis, walked in. Her gun was drawn.

In a single movement, Max pushed Michael the rest of the way through the window then whirled around to face Topolsky. His action startled her. The gun went off, a dull pop in the close silence of the warehouse. The bullet burned through Max’s left side. He stumbled backwards in reaction, dazed by the pain that ripped through him, clouding his vision, crushing his ability to think. As he crumpled to the floor, Max’s last conscious thought was a hope that Isabel and Michael were able to get away.

Isabel was kneeling beside Michael, trying to form the healing connection that would give him enough strength to make it back to the Crashdown, when she heard the echoing gunshot. She stared at the window in horror. “Max!”

“Is he out? Where is he?” Michael mumbled.

Isabel jumped up and raced back to the building. Frantically peering through the window, she saw that Stevens had reentered the room. Max was collapsed on the floor, Topolsky standing over him, her gun pointed at his head. “He’s still in there, Michael. Oh my god. Max.”

“Good work, Agent Topolsky,” Stevens was saying as he settled his cell phone back against his ear. “He’s the one we wanted all along. The one who healed the waitress two years ago. The one whose blood was switched at the hospital. The one we have proof is different.” He paused, looking around. “Now. Let’s get the other two back in here. Where’s Moss?”

Trembling, Isabel turned away from the window. “Michael, what are we going to do?”

Michael stood up weakly, bracing himself against the wall of the building, and grasped Isabel’s arm. “Iz. Listen to me. We can’t help him right now. I need time to recover, and you’re too freaked out. We need to get away, and we need to get help.” He pulled her away from the window. “Let’s go to the Crashdown. Liz and Maria and Alex can help us. Isabel? Are you listening to me? We can’t help him now. Let’s get out of here.” He looped his arm around her trembling shoulders as much for support as for comfort, and together, Michael and Isabel staggered away from the warehouse where Michael had been beaten and held captive, and where Max now lay unmoving in a spreading pool of blood.

* * * *

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