FanFic - Other
Part 23
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, Dave Matthews.
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
Miami, Florida

Liz's eyes followed Max as he paced up and down the crowded area near the gate. He kept peering into the crowd, an angry expression on his face. She knew that it was just a mask to hide his true feelings.

Complete and utter terror.

He was most upset by the fact that Michael and Jennetta had ended up sitting together on the plane and had somehow bonded. Max had nearly had a conniption fit about that. Liz had finally managed to calm him down by forcing a pair of the airplane's ear-phones onto his head.

He had been so surprised by the music he had shut up abruptly, sitting back in his seat with a perplexed expression on his face.

"What is this?" He had finally asked, his tone interested.

"It's music." Liz had replied, not sure if they had it on Illyria. He had rolled is eyes.

"Well, I know that. I mean, who is singing it?"

Liz quickly plugged her own earphones in, turned the dial to the channel he was on.

You've got your ball,
You've got your chain,
Tied to me tight,
Tie me up again.
Who's got the claws in you my friend?
Into your heart, I'll beat again.
Sweet like candy to my soul,
Sweet you rock and sweet you roll.
Lost for you...I'm so lost for you...
And you come crash...into me...
And I come

She turned to stare at him. He was gazing at her, a strange expression on his face, like some memory was trying to break through.

Liz had swallowed. "It's Dave Matthews." She finally managed to tell him. "Do you recognize it?"

It was the song that had been playing at the Crash Festival the night she had thanked him for saving her life. It was one they both loved.

Max had closed his eyes briefly. When he opened them, he had turned away from her to stare out the window. "No."

Liz had felt her heart drop.

He had managed to stay calm for the rest of the trip, although he had sent Michael and Jennetta a few glares. Michael had been busy teaching Jennetta to play the video-game that was attached to the back of their seat. The little girl had been shrieking with delight. At one point they had both fallen asleep, Jennetta's head on Michael's arm. She had seen Max look at them, his lips compressed, but he had not said anything.

The minute the plane had landed Michael had picked Jennetta up, swinging her onto his back. "We're going to McDonald's." He informed them abruptly. "We'll meet you at the gate." Max had been so surprised he hadn't even tried to stop them.

"Trust Michael to leave us with all the luggage." Isabel had muttered. Max's sister had been a foul mood since she had woken up that morning, clearly upset and finding it hard to deal with memoryless Max.

Liz, on the other hand, didn't care it what form they had him. She was just glad that he was back. They would make his memory return. It was just a matter of time.

Mr. Evans had been more of the same frame of mind as Liz. His eyes had filled with tears when he had first seen Max and he had hugged him, although Max had held himself very stiffly, looking at Liz for clarification. "Welcome back son." Max had flinched at that.

"It's your father." She had mouthed to him. Max's eyes had widened, but he had brought his arms up to hug Mr. Evans back.

That one gesture, one of comfort for a man he didn't remember, had brought tears to Liz's eyes.

He might call himself Jaxon, but it was still THEIR Max behind those dark eyes. His compassion proved it.

Now he was slowly losing it again. Liz went over to join him. He had finally stopped pacing and was sitting stiffly in a chair, rubbing a hand across his face.

"How are you holding up?" Liz asked, unable to stop herself from touching his shoulder lovingly. She was pleased that he did not jerk away.

"Where are they?" He demanded. "How could I have been so stupid as to allow her to go off with him?" Max's eyes looked up at her in confusion.

"Because I think you know instinctively that you can trust him." Liz replied quietly. "Don't you?"

Max sighed. "I don't know. I don't know anything anymore. They both betrayed me Liz and I KNOW that you'll betray me work for them."

Liz gently put her arm around his shoulders. "I don't work for anyone Max. I'm all yours - I always have been." He turned to stare at her, swallowed.

"Why do you have this power over me?" He asked her quietly. "It is like being in your presence soothes my soul. I don't understand it. Have you bewitched me through my dreams?"

Liz shook her head. "You love me." She replied. He didn't say anything, just continued to stare at her. His eyes lowered briefly to her lips. Liz held her breath.

"Jaxon! I brought you a Big Mac! These things are amazing! I have never been so full in my life!" Jennetta's voice broke the spell. Liz's head snapped around. She was unsurprised to see Isabel, Michael and Mr. Evans all watching them, hopeful expressions on their faces.

Liz felt the burden on her shoulders increase. She knew that they were all depending on HER to break through to Max. She wanted it to be her, but she didn't know if she was going to be able to do it on her own.

Max Evans had not just been about his love for her, Liz Parker. His entire existence had revolved around the love he had for every important person in his life. It had been that love that had gotten him into this predicament in the first place.

Liz turned to stare briefly at Michael. She had promised herself in the stone circle that she was going to forgive him...but seeing Max like this - so confused and torn...her animosity flickered briefly.

If Michael hadn't been so stupid as to let Tarsus of Dernia trick him...

She quickly forced the feeling aside. She didn't have time for that now.

Max was sitting stiffly again. "Is that right sweeting?" He moved away from Liz, went to pick up his small sister. Liz saw Isabel watching them, an expression of longing on her face.

Liz went to link arms with her friend. "It's okay Izzy. We'll have him back soon. Think about what we've accomplished already! He's here!"

Isabel smiled weakly. "I know." She said simply.

Michael came up to join them. He was watching Max and Jennetta, an unreadable expression on his face.

"You certainly seem to be getting along well with the little princess." Isabel snapped at him. Michael eyed her for a moment.

"She's your sister Isabel." He finally said in the most gentle tone than Liz had ever heard from him.

Isabel sighed. "I know. It's just hard to see him with her when he so clearly despises me." Tears filled her eyes. Liz and Michael exchanged glances.

"You have to be strong Iz. Max is going to feel bad enough as it is when he finally gets his memory back. They've brainwashed him somehow into believing that you and Michael betrayed him...but we'll get through to him. I promise." Liz smiled at her encouragingly.

"At least he seems to be getting along okay with our dad." Isabel replied finally, sounding pleased. They watched Max talking with Mr. Evans briefly, as Jennetta tugged on Max's arm, thrusting the hamburger up at him.

"He doesn't have an false bitterness towards him." Liz guessed. "He doesn't remember him at all. The problem with you is that he has fake memories."

Isabel sighed again. "I just hope getting back to Roswell makes him remember."

"Speaking of Roswell," Michael changed the subject. "We've been so busy getting Max back, we haven't even figured out how we're going to spring him back on the town. I mean, they think he's dead."

Liz frowned. "Well, I guess the amnesia will come in handy. We can just let it out that Max was swept away down the river, was found by someone, but couldn't remember who he was."

Michael grimaced. "This isn't All My Children Liz. Do you really think anyone's going to buy that?"

Liz shrugged. "I don't see what choice we have." She replied, feeling a little annoyed. Why was she the one who always had to come up with the solutions? "I mean, he's going to be there. They'll just have to accept it."

Michael scowled. "So much for not bringing attention to ourselves again. This is going to be the biggest news to hit that stupid town in a long time." He stalked away, clearly not at all happy.

"Why does he always have to be so difficult?" Liz demanded wearily, watching him go.

"He's Michael." Isabel replied simply. "That's explanation enough."

"But it's running a bit thin as an excuse." Liz muttered. Isabel eyed her for a moment, but let the comment go.

"Flight 285 to Roswell, New Mexico is boarding at Gate 3. Will the passengers needing assistance and boarding with small children please make their way to the gate now?" The announcement over the intercom snapped Liz out of her mild bitterness.

"Well, that's us. Only another couple of hours and we'll be home." Liz could tell from Isabel's expression that she was as scared as Liz was to find out what that was going to mean.

Roswell was home, but for Liz it would only be complete if Max came back to them entirely.

Because for her, Max Evans was her REAL home.

She followed Isabel onto the airplane.

Part 22 | Index | Part 24
Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours
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