FanFic - Other
Part 15
by Kath7
Disclaimer: I own nothing but the story. The characters and concept belong to Jason Katims and Melinda Metz. Tarsus of Dernia and all Illyrian characters belong to me. Lyrics by Sarah McLachlan, Phil Collins, Amanda Marshall.
Summary: Sequel to "Out of the Woods." I highly recommend reading it before trying this one. It is archived at the Crashdown. Basically, Max is gone, and the others have no idea whether they will ever see him again.
Category: Other
Rating: PG-13
The Citadel, Illyria

Jennetta sat on the floor of the stone corridor, her back pressed against Jaxon's chamber door. Her eyes were closed as she concentrated on trying to access her older brother's mind.

Their mother had moved Jaxon out of the dungeon after their meeting and had given him free run of the fortress, but her brother was not allowed outside the Citadel's inner courtyard.

He seemed resigned to the fact and had chosen not to leave his chamber at all over the past two days. He refused to see anyone, although Jennetta had not let that stop HER. Although Jaxon had tried to get rid of her the first couple of times she had visited him, he had apparently finally given up and instead just listened to her chatter patiently, an expression of half-affection/half-annoyance on his face.

Her brother tried very hard to hide the fact that he had emotions - but he did not do a very good job of it. Jennetta knew exactly what was going through his mind and heart at any given moment.

Of course it helped that she had the gift of telepathy as well.

Now she was waiting for her brother to fall asleep, although she wanted to go in and talk to him. She loved to talk to him. He was the only one in the fortress who took her at all seriously, beside Lucianus of course. Jaxon seemed to hang onto every word she told him, storing it for later use.

Jennetta was happy to oblige him. She told him about Tristandor, whom she had never met, but who she just knew was the most wonderful brother- in-law in the world.

She told him about Mirana, whom she had met once in a dream.

She spoke of Sabrya, who she didn't really like, but knew that she was supposed to love, so she tried.

And she spoke of the humans that Lucianus had told her about - Liz and Maria and Alex and Kyle. The humans who were meant to save Jennetta's planet for her.

Jennetta's eyes snapped open a moment later. She leapt to her feet, raced down the corridor and took the winding staircase two at a time. If Mama saw her, she would be in trouble for being so unladylike, but Jennetta knew that her mother was currently in the transmission room attempting to make contact with Mirana.

Mother had been trying to connect with Mirana ever since Jennetta could remember. She didn't know if Mama had ever been successful, but she never stopped trying.

Slamming through the wooden door to Lucianus' study, Jennetta threw herself at the old man, who was leaning over an electronic tablet on his table, studying it carefully. Lucianus' head snapped up. He smiled at her tolerantly.

"He's asleep Lucianus! Finally! He had about five thousand thoughts whirling through his mind all evening, but he finally just gave up and went to sleep." She smiled at him conspiratorially. "Most of his thoughts were about Liz! Isn't that good news?"

"It is very good news indeed little one. Thank you for coming to tell me so quickly." Lucianus climbed to his feet, kicked his long robes out of his way and hurried across the room. The ease of his movements belied the whiteness of his hair.

Jennetta followed him closely, practically jumping up and down in her excitement. "Are you going to do another dream-meld with Liz?" She asked him breathlessly.

Lucianus paused, raised an eyebrow at her. "How did you know about that little one?"

Jennetta could feel herself blushing slightly. "Er - I might have taken a peek into Jaxon's mind when you did it last time."

Her mentor frowned at her. "You know better then that Jennetta. Jaxon's dreams are his own private domain."

She frowned back. "Well you manipulate his dreams all the time!" She told him indignantly. "I was just taking a look. I didn't DO anything."

Lucianus continued to stare at her, then was forced to laugh. "I suppose you are right little one. But I suggest that you let Jaxon and Liz be alone this time. This is the most important step in our quest to return our king to himself. Only Liz can do it, but it must be soon. He is going to try and escape tomorrow."

Jennetta's eyes widened. "He is? How do you know?"

"It's written in the stars." Lucianus told her in that mysterious way that always annoyed her.

Lucianus had stopped at the control panel on the far wall of his chamber. He began to fiddle with some keys, then turned and opened a nearby chest, pulling out two red orbs and placing them in their slots on the control station. Jennetta watched all this with interest. She always tried to remember exactly what Lucianus was doing whenever she watched him at work. One could never know how to do too much.

"There we are." He smacked a button soundly and sat back with satisfaction.

"Is it happening?" Jennetta looked at the control panel in confusion. It looked exactly the same to her.

"Oh yes." Lucianus smiled.

Greenwich, London, England

Liz stared up at the ceiling of the guest room in her aunt's apartment, sighed with annoyance. She had been trying to sleep all night, but her body clock was totally messed up due to jet-lag. Isabel had also been right not to take a nap that afternoon. Her friend was currently sound asleep in the twin bed beside Liz's, a slight frown on her face.

Finally giving up, Liz climbed out of bed and went to grab her England Guide Book out of her knapsack. She flipped to the entry on Stonehenge, reread the entry for what seemed like the thousandeth time. A picture of the great stone circle accompanied the paragraph about how to get there and admission prices. Liz traced it with her fingers, wondered if it was really going to help them bring Max home.

She and Isabel had gone to Victoria Station earlier that day to book four seats on the National Express bus to Salisbury for the next morning. They had decided that they would pretend to be regular tourists and visit Stonehenge tomorrow afternoon in order to case it out. After that, she, Isabel and Michael would return later that evening with the orbs and try and open the gate to Illyria.

She only hoped Max was waiting for them on the other side.

Liz knew that it was not going to be easy to access the heritage site in the middle of the night. She was sure that such an important tourist attraction would have tons of security and she had no idea how long they were going to need in the circle to bring Max back. She also had no idea what they would do if they were caught.

For the first time she wished that Tess had accompanied them. Her gift of illusion would have come in very handy. But at least they had Isabel's dad. They might need a good lawyer if all did not go according to plan.

She tried to push her nervouness aside, tried to focus her attention on another problem that was rearing its head.

Liz wondered briefly what was up with Tess. She had talked to Maria earlier on the phone and her friend had told her that although the blonde-haired girl was taking her job of "protecting" Maria very seriously, she was basically ignoring Kyle and Alex and when she wasn't, she was snapping at all three of them.

Liz knew that this had to be about more than just being left behind by Michael and Isabel. She could tell by the tone of Maria's voice that her best friend was hiding something from her. Liz didn't push it though. Maria or Alex would tell her what was going on when it became truly necessary.

Maria had also told Liz that her parents still had no idea that she was gone. Tess had called them, imitating Mrs. Evans so perfectly, even Maria had been impressed. She had told them that the Evans were taking Liz on a week long tour of eastern colleges with Isabel, but that they had to leave immediately because Mr. Evans had managed to get discount airline tickets that expired after the weekend.

"That's brilliant Maria!" Liz exlaimed. "Now if only I can convince my aunt that she doesn't need to call them to tell them I arrived safely."

Maria had replied, "Can't help you there chica." She had paused for a moment. "How's Michael?" She had finally asked quietly.

Liz had felt herself scowling just at the mention of his name, although she tried to control herself. She knew that she was being totally ridiculous at this point, but she seemed to have no control over how she felt about Max's best-friend. She hated him more every day.

"He's okay." Liz had answered evenly.

Liz could hear Maria breathing on the other end of the line. "Liz, you've go to give him a break. He feels terrible about what happened."

"I know Maria." Liz did not want to upset her best friend. She had enough to deal with. "I'm trying." But are you? A little voice in the back of her mind asked her.

"Liz, you've got to promise me that you're going to look after him."

Liz had frowned at that. "Michael has made it pretty clear on this trip that he can look after himself Maria." Maria's silence was deafening.

"I wasn't talking about on the trip Liz." Liz pressed her lips together, could feel tears beginning to well up in her eyes.

"Stop talking like that Maria!"

Maria sighed. "You've got to accept what's happening sweetie. You're going to need to be strong - for me."

Liz felt herself beginning to panic. She could NOT promise to be strong again. She had already promised Max - she couldn't bear the weight of another promise of that magnitude. She was horrified when she heard the words coming out of her mouth. "I promise that I'll be there for you and him - Maria."

"I love you Liz."

"I love you too Maria. We'll be home soon, with Max, and everything's going to work out. You'll see."

"I hope so. Well, I better go. This call is probably costing my mom at least two inflatable alien dolls."

As Liz remembered the conversation, she could feel tears filling her eyes again. She thrust the guide-book in her hands aside and buried her face in her pillow. She didn't want to wake Isabel. Max's sister needed all her strengh to open the portal tomorrow.

Liz was suddenly hit by an overwhelming wave of fatigue. She missed Max so much, was so worried about Maria, was so resentful of was wearing her down, bit by bit. She could feel herself falling into the gratifying sanctuary of slumber, where she would not have to think any longer.

And moments later, she was with Max.

*Dreams * Max and Liz

He was scowling at her. "So they've sent you to do their dirty work again have they?"

Liz could feel herself blinking. It was taking her a moment to adjust to the fact that she was back in the Waylandian Ring and that Max was standing not two feet from her. She knew it was a dream, but it was so real, she could hear him breathing.

"I don't know what you're talking about." She told him quietly.

He was eyeing her, clearly trying to be angry with her, but his dark eyes were shining as they gazed at her. He was not as displeased to see her as he made out.

"Are you aware of the lies they've been telling me?" He asked abruptly, moving forward to help her to her feet. It was only then that she realized that she had been sitting on the ground, the tall yellow grass waving around her.

Liz just shook her head. "No Max, I have no idea."

"Jaxon." He snapped. "My name is Jaxon." Liz just stared at him. His mood was incredibly erratic. He actually looked like he wanted to throttle her and kiss her at the same time.

"Are you okay?" She moved forward, reached up to touch his face. She saw him lick his lips, press them together. His hand grabbed hers, pulled it down from his cheek. She was pleased to note that he kept her hand firmly in his though. He seemed unaware that he was doing it.

"No, I am not." He replied evenly. "My mother is trying to turn me against Tarsus. She is trying to tell me that Mirana and Tristandor did not betray me. She is trying to convince me that I have only been back on Illyria for several months, that all the memories I have of the life I lived here, the battles I have fought, are false! How by the stars could I be okay?"

Liz did not know what to say to him. "And you think that I am working for your mother?"

"Who else could you be? You told me the same things she did."

Liz could feel her heart going out to him. He looked so confused, so everything that he had known to be true was being taken away from him. He looked like a lost little boy.

Which in a way he was. He did not remember being Max Evans. He had lost himself. Liz could feel tears welling up in her eyes again.

Max seemed to calm down somewhat at the sight of it. He unconciously brought his hand up to her face. "What is wrong my Liz?" He blinked, like he wasn't really sure where that had come from.

"I am just sad Jaxon. I wish that you remembered me."

"I do remember you." Max replied, clearly trying to make her feel better. "I have told you as much."

"Then I don't understand why you insist on the fact that you are Jaxon! How can you be both my Max and Jaxon at the same time?" Max looked perplexed.

"I have no idea."

Liz shook her head. They had to stop wasting time. They were going in circles anyway. She did not know how long they were going to have together and she had many things to tell him.

"Max, we are coming for you." She told him, running her hands over his arms. He did not pull away from her.


"Through the portal. I think that you have to be in the Waylandian Ring though. Can you do that?" Liz asked him hopefully. He was looking at her like she was crazy.

"I have no intention of leaving Illyria Liz. This is my home. It is MINE. I can not leave it for my mother to take over." His eyes shadowed slightly. "It is why they had Jennetta - another heir to the throne seriously compromises my position. I cannot leave."

Liz could see that he was torn about something. "Who is Jennetta?" She asked him, deciding to leave the subject of returning to Earth for the moment.

She could see his eyes light up despite himself. "She is my sister. While I know that my parents plan to use her as a pawn to unseat me from my throne..." He trailed off.

"You love her?" Liz asked. Max turned away from her.

"I do not know what love is." He replied gruffly. Liz smiled. Yeah, right.

"Don't you?" She asked him, trailing her hand across his back as she moved to walk around him so that they were facing each other again. "I think you do."

Liz saw him swallow. His eyes were burning into her soul. Oh yes, he knew. At least here he did.

Liz caressed his cheek again, danced her other hand up his arm. She could feel his muscles tensing under her touch. "You do know what love is - you are mine. You are MY Max. They might try and tell you differently, but you know. Don't you?"

"Liz..." He looked terrified, but strangely intrigued at the same time.

She reached up, ran her fingers through his dark hair. Liz's eyes did not leave his. She would lose him if she let him look away for even an instant. "Max..." His head was slowly coming down...Liz parted her lips. She could feel her heart beating a mile a minute. MAX!

"LIZ!" She saw Max look beyond her, a slight frown on his face. He had heard it too. Liz grabbed his chin, forced him to look back at her.

"LIZ!" It came again. Liz knew exactly who it was and she felt the rage fill her as Max's gaze drifted from her face again.

"Tristandor." He said, sounding betrayed. He looked at her, his eyes shining with hurt. Max wrenched himself away from.

"MAX! Don't leave me! Please!" Liz screamed after him, but he was walking away from her, had stepped out of the stone circle. "Max! Come back!"

"Liz! Wake up!" Isabel's voice had joined Michael's, calling at her to come back to them. She couldn't! She had to follow Max! She was losing him again!

"LIZ!" Liz's eyes snapped open, her gaze instantly lighting on Isabel and Michael who were both leaning over her, matching expressions of concern on their faces.

She sat up, glared at them. "Why? Why did you wake me up? I almost had him!"

They exchanged looks. "Liz, you weren't breathing." Isabel finally told her quietly. Liz stared at her.

"What do you mean?"

"I woke up because you were tossing and turning on the bed. I thought you were having a nightmare." Isabel explained. "When I tried to wake you up, you stopped breathing. I went to get Michael to help me."

Liz closed her eyes, fell back against her pillow. "God, he is so messed up you guys."

"You saw him again?" Michael asked.

"Of course I saw him. He is totally torn in two. He doesn't know who to believe anymore." She jumped out of bed, glanced at the clock. It was six in the morning. Their bus to Salisbury was leaving in two hours.

She turned back to Isabel and Michael. "This has to work you guys. We need to bring him back soon or we're going to lose him....and this time not just physically."

Liz saw Isabel flinch, watched Michael put his arm around her to comfort her.

It had to work. They had to MAKE it work.

She would not lose Max.

Part 14 | Index | Part 16
Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours
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