FanFic - Other
Part 1
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, Garth Brooks.
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
Max seemed to stay connected to Maria for a long time. Liz couldnít tell if anything was happening or not. His face was completely blank, unlike every other time she had seen him trying to heal someone. Liz knew that when Max healed, he took the other personís pain into HIS body. She had seen it happen when he had tried to heal her grandmother enough so that Liz could talk to herÖshe had also seen it when Max had healed Kyle. It was not a pleasant thing to watch, always made Liz feel ill to think of Max hurtingÖ

But this time there was nothing. It was like he was in a trance.

"Is it working?" Kyle whispered to her, obviously trying not to disturb Max.

"I donít know." Liz replied, frowning slightly. "When Max healed me I needed to look at him, but you didnít have to when he healed YOU. I donít even know if heís made any sort of connection with Maria."

Kyle was quiet for a while. Liz could tell he wanted to say something to her though. "Weíve never talked about it LizÖI mean, what it was likeÖ"

"Having him save your life you mean?" Liz glanced at Kyle calmly, knowing exactly how SHE felt about it. She was curious as to how Kyle had dealt with it though.

Kyle nodded, paused before replying. "I think I might have actually died Liz. I mean, I couldnít feel anything anymoreÖand then it was suddenly like I came back into my bodyÖlike I was coming down a water-slideÖyou know?" He paused again. Liz watched him stare at Max. "What I just didnít get was why you know? Why would he do that for me? I mean, its not like he liked me."

Liz could tell that Kyle really wanted to know. He wanted to understand who Max was. She wondered briefly if it had anything to do with the way he felt about Tess.

She knew that it was hard for Kyle to always feel like he was playing second-fiddle to Max Evans. First with Liz, then with his father, and now with his once -upon-a-time bride Tess.

"I think he did it for a lot of reasons Kyle." Liz began carefully. "I mean he respected your dad so much and, no matter what you might think, I think he did like you and he was upset that you got caught in the crossfire of something that had nothing to do with you then. But I think mainly it was because he is who he is. He is so good Kyle. I donít think anyone realizes how good he is."

"Saint Max." Kyle muttered. He glanced at her out of the corner of his eye. "Is it why you fell in love with him?"

Liz flushed. It was weird to be talking about this with Kyle. She knew that she had really hurt him when she had turned away from him for Max.

She remembered what it had been like to fall in love with Max. It had been like she had had no control over herself but also like she was making the most significant decision of her life at the same time.

She had seen into his soul. She KNEW him in a way that she would never know anyone else ever again.

It was the only way to explain it. She didnít even know how to put it into words for Kyle though.

Kyle was good too, in his own way.

But MaxÖhe was like a being apart, even in spite of being an alien - kind, compassionate and yet strong and determined too.

And he loved HER.

The miracle of it was what made her love him more everydayÖ

And even though he didnít remember loving herÖthe fact that he now seemed to know that he DIDÖ

It just reinforced even more strongly what Liz had known for a long time.

They were meant to be. That was all the explanation that was needed.

Kyle was still looking at her, waiting for an answer. She finally just whispered, "Yes."

Liz returned her gaze to Mariaís face. Her best friendís face was serene, and yet their was no animation at all, none of the spark that was Maria.

Liz and Kyle watched Max work quietly for several more minutes.

"Do you think heís hurting himself?" Kyle finally asked.

Liz had been wondering the same thing. "I donít know. Maybe we should make him stop. It doesnít seem to be doing anything anyway."

"I wonder if Michaelís okay?" Kyle said moments later. "Maybe I should go check. It looks like Max could be at this for a long time."

Liz glanced at her watch. A good ten minutes had passed. She was absolutely amazed that no nurse or doctor had poked their heads in here recently.

What kind of ICU was this?

Kyle was making his way to the door when Max suddenly released a great breath. His legs immediately collapsed under him.

Both Liz and Kyle were at his side a split-second later.

Max seemed to be in a daze. "How can this be?" Liz heard him say.

She took his chin in her hand, forced him to look at her. "Max! Are you okay?"

He blinked, seemed to focus on her for the first time. "Liz?"

"Itís me. Max, what happened?"

He didnít reply immediately. He let Kyle and Liz help him to his feet, then collapsed into the chair next to the bed. "I canít heal her." He said finally, sounding like he still wasnít totally with them.

Liz felt her heart drop. She glanced at Kyle. His face was white.

"Iím sorry Liz. I canít do it." Max had his head in his hands.

"Forgive me for sounding like an ungrateful ass EvansÖI mean I know you triedÖbut why canít you?" Kyleís tone was a combination of anger and sadness.

Max raised his head, stared at Kyle. "I scanned every inch of her. Thereís nothing wrong with her." He finally replied after a lengthy silence. "At least nothing physical."

Liz watched his eyes. He wouldnít meet hers. She could tell that Max was hiding something. "Kyle could you excuse us for a minute."

Kyle eyed Max a moment longer but nodded. "I was just leaving. Need to go make sure Guerin isnít blasting up the place anyway."

After the hospital room door shut behind her ex-boyfriend, Liz didnít beat around the bush. "Whatís going on Max. I think you found out more than youíre saying." Max looked away, stared at Mariaís still form for what seemed like forever.

"I saw things Liz. Things that change everything that I know about Illyria and my place on it."

************************************************************************************* "I really donít think this is a good idea Michael." Alex pulled his parentís car up in front of the Evansí house and turned off the ignition. He stared at the dark house, a frown on his face. "It looks like everyoneís asleep."

Michael thrust open his door. "No one gets to sleep until Maria is all right." He snapped. "I mean, Maxwell should have been at the hospital first thing. Heís got the power to fix her, heís going to fix her dammit. I donít understand why everyoneís being so protective of the guy."

"UmmmÖmaybe because as far as heís concerned you guys basically kidnapped him off his home planet?" Alex asked quietly. "Youíve got to give him a break Michael. Heís dealing with a lot."

Michael ignored him. Alex sighed and followed his friend across the Evansí front lawn. "Michael!"

Michael turned around, glared at him. "Go through Izzyís room. Max doesnít need you barging in through his window during his first night in a strange bed."

A strange look crossed Michaelís face. "I always go through Maxís window." He said quietly, looking sad. He paused, turned back to Isabelís window, tapped lightly.

The light came on and Isabelís face appeared at the window. Alex felt his breath catch in his throat.

He hadnít seen her since sheíd been back. He just hadnít felt right about leaving Maria alone at the hospital and he had known that Isabel was dealing with helping Max adjust to his returnÖnot to mention dealing with a new little sister.

She was so beautiful, even more so with her sleep-tousled hair tumbling around her shoulders, no make-up on her naturally glowing face. How could she possibly be his girlfriend? He barely managed to stop from pinching himself.

She didnít notice him right away. She was staring at Michael, an annoyed look on her face. "Michael! Youíre going to wake the kid." The way she said "the kid." It gave Alex pause. It was clear that Isabel was NOT the "kidís" biggest fan.

"Iíve come for Max." Michael told her, his tone brooking no opposition. "Maria isnít going to make it through the night unless we do something. They want to take her off life-support Isabel."

Isabelís face softened. "Oh no." It was that moment that she looked past Michael to see Alex lurking in the shadows. Her face lit up. "Alex!"

"Hi Iz." He pushed Michael aside, kissed her lightly. He definitely wanted to say hi more significantly, but Michael was breathing down his neck.

"You guys can do that later." Michael snapped, hauling Alex back. "Iím coming in to get Maxwell if I have to drag him out."

Isabel eyed him a moment longer. It always amazed Alex how well she handled herself under Michael and Maxís often high-handed behavior. She was the tie that bound the two male Czechs together and she knew that neither of them would ever hurt her.

She never backed down - from either of them.

"Unfortunately heís not here." She finally replied.

"Heís gone to see Liz!" A small, dark head appeared under Isabelís arm. Alex saw Izzy glance down in annoyance.

"Jennetta! You told me that if I told you where Jaxon was youíd go to sleep!" She then turned back to Michael. "Now look what youíve done! Do you know how long sheís been blathering in my ear?"

Alex frowned. Isabel was not the most patient person in the world, but he couldnít imagine her being deliberately mean to a child. He saw Jennettaís eyes fill with tears.

Something was going on here.

"Iím sorry Mirana." Jennetta said quietly.

"Great Isabel!" Michael was clearly angry. He reached past her, pulled Jennetta out of the window and hugged her. "Itís okay Jenny. She just got up on the wrong side of the bed. She yells at me and Max all the time."

Alex watched Isabelís face during this entire exchange. A bevy of emotions flitted across his girlfriendís beautiful features - annoyance, guilt, sadness andÖyes, there it wasÖjealousy.

Not for the first time Alex was glad that he was able to read Isabel like a book. The ice queen that everyone spoke of was not HIS Isabel.

"So Max went to see Liz huh?" Michael was asking Jennetta as Isabelís eyes met Alexís. He shot her a sympathetic look, sent her the message that they were going to talk about this later.

Jennetta sniffed, looked at Isabel questioningly.

Isabel sighed. "Itís okay." She said, clearly trying to control the tone of her voice. "You can tell him."

Jennetta smiled. "He WANTED to go see her Michael! Isnít that great news?"

It sure sounded like good news to Alex. He blinked when he realized that Jennetta was staring at him. "Youíre Alex!" She turned to Isabel. "Heís cute."

"Youíre a little young for him." Isabel replied wryly, grinning despite herself at Alexís reddening face.

Jennetta tilted her head. "Heís yours forever." She said it in such a strange way, it caused Alex and Isabel to exchange glances.

"Or at least until the next time she forgets to pick me up because of a sale at the mall." Alex quipped, trying to break the tension.

Jennetta didnít reply, just smiled knowingly. Alex felt like squirming.

"So, itís off to Lizís then." Michael decided, gently placing Jennetta back on the window-sill beside Isabel.

"Iím coming with you." Isabel announced.

"Isabel, we canít leave Jenny alone on her first night here." Michael told her impatiently.

"Thatís okay." Jennetta said. "I want to come too."

"No way." Michael replied sternly. "Itís after 1 A.M. It is WAY past your bedtime."

"Oh give her a break Michael." Alex butted in. "Sheís not a baby."

Jennetta smiled at him. "No, Iím not." She pursed her lips at Michael primly. "Besides, youíre not my brother. Only Jaxon can tell me what to do. "

"And Iím her sister, and I say she can come." Isabel finished.

Alex saw Michael scowl in irritation, but he gave in. "Fine. But letís go."

Isabel closed the window briefly while she and Jennetta dressed. They came out the front door ten minutes later.

Alex and Isabel sat in the front seat, Michael and Jennetta in the back. Isabel and Alex exchanged amused glances when Michael proceeded to argue with the little girl for several moments over whether or not she was putting her seatbelt on.

"But you donít have yours on." Jennetta pointed out reasonably.

"Iím grown-up." Michael replied, sounding frustrated.

"That doesnít mean your head canít still canít crack open."

Alex heard Michael snort. "Seatbelts on EVERYONE." He interjected, feeling like a referee. He saw both Jennetta and Michael open their mouths to protest in the rear-view mirror. "Itís MY car, so I win."

He sighed and relaxed when he saw both Michael and Jennetta frown at each other, then reach to put on their seat-belts. Straightening out Czechoslovakian family ties were not his idea of a fun way to spend his time at one in the morning.

Although he couldnít be sure, Alex thought he heard Michael mutter, "Yes Daddy." He chose to ignore it.

"Next stop Crashdown!" He chirped, feeling like an idiot. He felt Isabel pat his hand affectionately.

Part 0 | Index | Part 29
Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours
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