FanFic - Other
Part 3
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 and 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
Liz felt her eyes widen. "What...what do you mean?" She managed to choke out, her heart in her throat.

"Just what I said. Today at school I had some sort of weird flash." Isabel replied. "And Max was in it."

"But how do you know that he sent it to you?" Liz asked, suppressing the hope that was building. Don't do this to yourself Liz, she ordered herself. Stay calm, rational. You know you're only going to be disappointed.

Isabel's brows drew together. "Well, I don't know for sure," she finally conceded. Liz could see that she was beginning to get upset. "I thought...I mean..."

Alex stood up quickly, went to place his hand on his girlfriend's shoulder comfortingly. "Why don't you just tell us what you saw?" He suggested, making the most commonsensical suggestion, as usual.

Liz eyed Michael out of the corner of her eye. She could see that he was leaning forward, listening to Isabel intently. His arm was around Maria's shoulder, supporting her. Liz could not bear to look at Maria. One look at her best friend when she had entered the Evans' living room had upset her enough to have the foundations of her stone wall shake.

Strong - she had to be strong.

"Well," Isabel searched her memory. "The voice was really familiar. I don't think it was Max's exactly, but I definitely knew it." Alex nodded encouragingly. "It called me "Mirana." I think that's my name on Illyria."

Maria's eyes suddenly snapped open. "Tristandor!"

"What?" Michael asked, perplexed. They were all staring at her in confusion.

"That's YOUR name Michael. It just like came to me..." Maria's brow was furrowed. "I distinctly remember Max calling you that...."

Michael and Maria had very few memories of their time on Illyria. They had all virtually disapeared after the first few days back on Earth. Liz knew that such a giant loss of memory was upsetting to Maria because, although it had only been about an hour on Earth, the time the two of them had spent on the other planet had been close to a year in Illyrian time.

To not have any recollection of that much of your life, especially such a significant part, must be terrifying.

"So you guys WERE with Max then?" Tess demanded. All the information they had managed to glean from Michael and Maria had been confusing to say the least.

Michael knew that Max had given himself up to the rebels on his planet so that Michael could be returned to Earth in his advanced human form, but he had no actual recollection of Max on Illyria.

Maria was still frowning, clearly searching her memory. "Definitely."

Michael was beginning to nod. "Yeah. Jaxon."

Liz began to feel impatient. "Okay, so back to your flashes Izzy." She felt a pang of guilt when Maria shot her a hurt look. Sorry, she mouthed to her friend. Maria smiled understandingly, closed her eyes again and leaned back against Michael.

"Well the voice told me that I had to go back to where it all began, make the sacrifice and my greatest wish would be granted." Isabel finished. She shook her head ruefully. "I just realized that I have no idea what any of it means."

"Is that it?" Tess asked, clearly unimpressed.

Isabel scowled at her. "Yes, Tess, that's it." She smacked a hand to her forehead. "Oh wait! The voice also told me to use my dreams."


Liz certainly knew about dreams.

Max Evans had been haunting hers.

If she didn't know for certain that Max's powers did not include the capability to dreamwalk...well, she had at one point thought that he might be trying to communicate with her that way.

But there had never been any new information in her dreams - just bittersweet memories of her time with Max.

The healing. The excitement and revelation of the advancement of their relationship. Their first kiss. Max taking a step back. The blind date fiasco. The crash/ flash incident. The whole Tess/white room/destiny catastrophe. The nine months apart when she had run away to England and Max had shut all his friends out of his life on the evil shapeshifter Tarsus of Dernia's orders. Max telling her he loved her, to be strong, disapearing in a beam of light, never to be seen again...

She relived it all every night in her dreams.

"Liz, are you okay?" Isabel demanded suddenly.

Liz shook her head, refocused on her friends. "Uh, yeah, sorry. Just zoned out there for a minute." She saw Alex and Isabel exchange a concerned look. Great Liz! Just another indication to further their belief that you are about to lose it. "So, using your dreams... what do you think it means?" She asked quickly, hoping to deflect everyone's attention away from her mental state.

"Dreamwalking?" Kyle suggested from the corner, speaking up for the first time. Liz glanced at him. Her ex-boyfriend looked tired. She knew that he had been juggling football, school and worrying about Liz for a long time now, not to mention struggling to hide his feelings about Tess, who was totally oblivious. Kyle had been such a rock to all of them. He deserved a little happiness. Liz wondered if Tess was ever going to open her eyes.

Liz knew that Tess' lack of interest in Kyle had nothing to do with Max anymore. She had finally given up on that. She had sought out Liz a few weeks after Max's disapearance to tell her that she had come to a decision.

Liz had been surprised to see the curly-haired blonde enter the Crashdown alone one Saturday when Liz was closing up. While there was very little tension between them anymore, they never actually sought each other out. It was too weird.

"Hi Tess. Is something wrong?" Liz had asked immediately, sure that something disasterous must have happened for Tess to be there.

"Ummmm, no." Tess looked mildly uncomfortable. She sauntered up to the counter, taking a seat. "I need to talk to you Liz."

"Okay." Liz had been perplexed, but interested.

"I just wanted to tell you that I'm going to do everything in my power to get Max back here." Tess told her abruptly. Her face was blank. Liz felt her stomach clench. Was Tess still going to try and get Max back for herself? She had thought that that was over...

"I've been doing a lot of thinking." She continued, beginning to fiddle with a straw. "I was really upset when I found out that Tarsus of Dernia told Max that I was insignificant on our planet." Despite herself, Liz felt her heart going out to her former nemesis. She knew how important Tess' "destiny" had been to had been the defining principle of her existence. "But Kyle told me something last week that made a lot of sense. He said that maybe it wasn't a bad thing not to have my whole life mapped out in front of me."

Tess paused, was clearly waiting for Liz to say something. "Uh huh." Liz said dumbly, not at all sure where the other girl was headed with all this.

"Anyway, I realized he was right. I don't love Max. I never loved Max. I don't want to be with Max." She smiled shyly at Liz. "And now I don't have to be."

Liz blinked. "Okay?" She finally said, unable to quite believe what she was hearing.

"I do care about him though and I think that he belongs here. I think if this has shown me anything its that all four of us are insignificant on our home planet now. Max's life is here. He should be where he feels at home...and Liz, I know for a fact that the only place Max has ever felt truly at home was with you. You were the only one who was able to get through to him when he was acting like a jerk. You're everything to him."

Liz had felt tears welling up in her eyes. She had quickly blinked them away. She had held her resolve this tears..."That's great...I mean, that's good. Thanks Tess."

Tess had smiled, hopped off the stool as though a thousand pound weight had been lifted off her shoulders. "Yeah, well, I know I told you once that I wished we could be friends. I know you probably didn't believe me, and I don't think I really meant it at the time," she added wryly, "But I do mean it this time."

Liz had just nodded. Tess had not said anything more. She had left, leaving a dumbfounded, but pleased, Liz behind.

As Liz glanced at Tess now, she hoped that the other girl would eventually find her own Max...if it wasn't going to be Kyle, then hopefully someone else would make her heart sing the way that Max did Liz's...

Liz tuned back into the conversation that was milling around her. "No, I don't think its dreamwalking." Isabel was saying. "Remember I tried to dreamwalk Max right after he left. All I got was a big blank space. I think the range is too far."

"Maybe someone is going to try and come dreamwalk you?" Tess supplied.

"Maybe..." Isabel trailed off. "It couldn't be Max, could it?" She suddenly looked at Alex and Liz. "Ohmigosh!"

"What?" Alex demanded. Liz was equally confused.

"I totally forgot! What an idiot I am..." Isabel continued to berate herself.

"Isabel, what?" Michael practically yelled from the couch.

Isabel continued to stare at Alex and Liz in turn. "Think you guys...remember back, right before Max took off...he locked us up in the cave..."

Liz's eyes widened. She stared at Isabel, then turned to stare at Tess. "Max created an illusion! He made us see that wall there, when it wasn't...Tess! He had your power!"

"Okay, explanation please?" Kyle said sarcastically.

"Right before Max went and podded himself to save Michael, he locked me, Izzy and Liz up in a cave." Alex explained. Liz wondered why none of them had never gone over this before. "Anyway, he did it by creating an illusion of a wall that wasn't there. We could feel it and everything...Isabel managed to make it disapear, but it was definitely a Tess-power type thing..."

"We figured that all of you have the capability to perform each other's powers if you really concentrate." Liz inserted. "It would make sense that as the leader Max would be the most powerful, and thus would be the one who found it the easiest to develop his latent abilities."

"So then him dreamwalking US is a distinct possibility!" Isabel finished.

"So Max is trying to communicate with us?" Liz could hear the note of hope that was developping in Michael's voice. Yeah, you had better hope he is! She thought bitterly, since its your fault to begin with...She pushed the reflection aside. The irrationality of her hatred for Michael - it frightened her sometimes.

"Okay, so basically we all keep our dreams available for a little visit from above." Alex instructed them. "He seems to be trying to make his way back to us...I think Izzy was right. It now seems likely that her flash was from Max."

"What about that part "return to where it all began and make the sacrifice?" Maria asked quietly from the couch. "What the heck does that mean?"

They all exchanged looks. "No clue." Alex finally replied.

"Me either." Said Kyle.

Isabel was frowning again. "I feel like I know...." She clenched her fists in frustration. "It's like the memory is right on the edge of my mind and I can't get at it..." She glanced at Michael and Tess. "Do you guys know?"

Tess just shook her head, but Michael replied, "It sounds familiar to me too. I guess we'll just have to keep our minds open - maybe Maxwell can tell us if he can get into someone's dream."

God, I hope its mine, Liz thought to herself. What she wouldn't give to be able to talk to Max again, to feel his arms wrapped around her, to caress his lips with her own...even if it was just in a dream.

Alex suddenly stretched his arms above his head, faked a yawn. "I'm suddenly feeling an overwhelming urge to go take a nap." He joked. Isabel and Tess laughed. Kyle did too. Michael even snickered. They were clearly all getting a little giddy with the possibility that they didn't have to give up on Max yet...

Althought Liz knew that none of them really ever would.

She glanced at her watch. It was only seven o'clock, she realized, disapointed. Hours before bed-time yet.

"Yeah, I could use a nap too." Maria put in. The others all sobered immediately. They all knew that Maria was not joking. The fact that she mentioned it meant that she really needed one.

Suddenly the world didn't seem quite as rosy anymore.

Michael quietly stood up, pulled Maria into his arms.

"I CAN walk you big doofus." Maria told him, sounding slightly annoyed. "I'm not a complete invalid yet."

"Humour me." Michael replied, then proceeded to ignore her irritated muttering. "So, first one to hear from Max, call right away."

Isabel nodded in agreement. "Yeah, even if it's three in the morning."

"What if we don't hear from him?" Tess asked in a small voice.

"Then we try and figure out the message on our own." Alex decided. "Let's all meet for lunch tomorrow in any case. We'll probably all have some fresh ideas after a good night's sleep."

Michael quickly said his goodbyes and carried a still protesting Maria out the door. "Liz, call me!" She managed to yell before the door slammed on them.

Kyle and Tess had clearly arrived together for they were the next to leave. Kyle came and put his arm around Liz and squeezed gently first. "Hang in there Parker." Tess smiled at her and followed him out of the room.

Alex settled back on the couch. He was clearly going to be hanging around with Isabel for a while.

Liz suddenly felt like a third wheel. Everyone was paired up...even Kyle and Tess hung out with each other more then with anyone else, even if there was nothing going on...

It made Liz miss Max even more...

"Well, I'll talk to you tomorrow." She finally said, feeling akward. Isabel was still looking at her with concern.

"Are you sure you're okay Liz?" She asked.

"Sure." Liz replied. She needed out of there now... The stone wall was cracking...

"Bye guys!" Liz practically sprinted to the door. She didn't stop her crazy dash until she was seated in the front seat of her parent's car.

Liz clutched the steering wheel, stared straight ahead.

"Max. Please. Let it be me." She whispered aloud.

Part 2 | Index | Part 4
Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours
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